“Hey Kim! How’s it going? I heard you were on tv? Price is right and you won a car?? Is that true? Lol?” This is the note I woke up to in my Facebook messenger this morning. It’s from someone in Canada who I haven’t seen face to face in three years and who for the decade prior to that, I’ve had intermittent contact with at best. They’re not in my immediate circle and don’t know anyone I’m intimate with. FB is our only connection.
At one time in my life, this kind of email might have sent me into a tailspin, knowing that someone was gossiping—aka lying—about me, but the sheer ridiculousness of the scenario had me pondering more important questions. Is the Price Is Right still on the air? Is Bob Barker still alive? I wonder what I was wearing?
One look at any of my social channels and you will find post after post about the “joy” of editing. So aside from considering the fact that the person who started the rumor wasn’t terribly bright, I’ve given up trying to figure out why people are so unavailable for their own lives that they have to take up interest in mine.
When it comes to doing business and doing life, we are schooled from a young age on the importance of other people’s opinions and perceptions. Many of us live in fear of negative feedback and reviews, staying silent in the face of mistruths so that we can avoid confrontation, not look like a bitch, be good, perfect, nice and all of those other things mostly women are taught to do.
Sometimes we turn in on ourselves, trying to dim the light of who we truly are, to be easier to get along with, less opinionated, less emotional, less sensitive, less vibrant, less us. And then we wonder why we don’t feel like enough, why we can’t even ask for our value, let alone more. What happens when you’re constantly looking to others to define who you are? You very quickly lose yourself, who you know yourself to be.
The one thing I’ve learned interviewing leaders is that they know their own minds and that they don’t make a decision based on the consensus of the pack. They’re not polling other designers for pricing, complaining about clients in online threads and doing business according to tips they hear via the grapevine. They’re not afraid to invest in themselves and work with trusted advisors to create systems that help them hone their inner guidance. They learn to feel when yes is truly a fit for who they are so that they can express the highest vision of themselves they see.
Remember you can’t say the right thing to the wrong person and the wrong thing to the right person. Leaders are here to fulfill their calling—a divine contract if you will—one that is imprinted on their DNA. They don’t have time for other people’s opinions of who they are and how their life is unfolding, they’re too busy mastering who they were born to be.