I want to talk a little about the event I mentioned in my Gratitude post. The event itself was regarding the business we are in and the skills/tactics we need to grow. Honestly the reminders about using what we have to learn the myriad of skills and how they infiltrate all areas of our lives was fantastic. The speaker has done remarkably well for herself but I found myself less interested in what she did with the business and what she did for herself. Her story on the human condition reminded me on so many levels of what we are capable of. She is also a great reminder that sometimes what we think we are learning isn’t it…there is something more there.
So, I’ve been holding myself back in a lot of ways because I’ve had these preconceived notions on every area of my life. I defined what it means to work, what it means to be married, what it means to be a mother, to have a family and to be a friend. I defined what I expected other people to do in their relationships with me and, Good Lord, how it fit into my life on my schedule. I thought I was becoming more flexible about time by trying to shove more into my day. I missed the lesson on just doing and not watching the clock. I’ve grown up with that fear my whole life so I know that it’s going to take some time to heal that. Regardless, how could anyone get close to me if I only allowed them in during certain times? How could I get close to anyone if I only let them in part way? How could I form a human relationship based on understanding if I constantly expected them to be a certain way? I mean, I’ve grown up believing if you wanted a certain result, you behave a certain way. That IS true. But not to the degree of demanding someone’s timing match my own. Side note, don’t be a dick with someone’s time—be respectful, that is always good advice, but give enough slack for the human side of it, LIFE happens.
During this presentation, a series of three thoughts came quickly to mind. 1. I’ve been looking to be perfect when I thought I was trying to define what I’m doing. I honestly thought I was doing the latter, but I’ve been hiding behind those ingrained expectations thinking I wasn’t ready when I was trauma perfecting. There are people who can barely communicate, who don’t have an education, who have been ill/hurt/traumatized, who have found a way to do this. And I’m not doing it because it doesn’t fit into the schedule of what I think life should look like? 2. We can always do more than we think. It isn’t about acquiring, it’s about giving, sharing knowledge, helping each other level up. I always thought having more meant I could give more. Now I see the more you give, the more you have. Please don’t think I was a stingy person, but I grew up in survival mode in the respect that I gave away a lot that was precious to me for no return so I found the takers early in life and that trauma followed me. 3. I had to question what I’m really learning here. I had preconceived notions about this and many of them are still spilling through in my decisions, but reframing that is what will carry me further.
To detail point 3, the learning is where it’s at. Having an open mind is key to so much in this life and it helps us form connections that will take us further than sheer will ever could. Look for the lessons. I looked at this business as a scam, as people preying on the weak, and as something you have to devote yourself to 24/7 to succeed. Now I see it differently. I’m learning leadership. I’m learning to accept people as they are. I’m learning to set boundaries for myself first (that pesky time thing again) and others. I’m learning to have faith. I’m learning to prioritize gratitude over complaining. Most importantly, I’m learning what works for me. I always assumed I had to buy into the “plan” in order to be successful even if the plan didn’t work for me. I had to work twice as hard to prove myself to get half as much in the “real” world. Now I’m seeing HOW to build that plan with the pieces that work and how to gracefully say no to what isn’t for me.
I want to really point out that all of this came from 3 hours of listening to a convention because someone believed in me enough to share it. It all came from listening to another person’s story and seeing where the lesson really is for me. It came from changing my perception and being open enough to try it. My initial response was I don’t have time for it—which I really didn’t have time for the whole thing—but I did my best to fit in what I could. I am so grateful that I did. Share your stories, my friends. You never know who needs it. You never know the wisdom it will spark in someone else.