Principle #5: Why managing people’s perception of you is a dead end

Principle #5: As long as you are trying to manage people’s perception and valuing of you, you won’t say what needs to be said.

You only have so much energy in a given moment, in a given day.

And you can either use that energy to manage people’s perception of you or you can use that energy to show up and say what you are here to say.

Look, getting backlash for showing up as who you are is real.

My clients have over the course of a lifetime been smacked, insulted, shunned, and shamed for it.

So when I say show up as who you are, I don’t mean it as a happy inspirational meme.

There can be costs. Repercussions.

It’s natural and right that we want to protect ourselves, particularly the most tender and vulnerable parts of who we are. And we should take protective action when we are in real danger.

But, if you can discern that the cost of showing up and speaking up is NOT your bodily safety or the wholeness of your being, consider if you can take bigger risks to be seen and heard.

If you can risk the discomfort of disapproval. Of disagreement. Of criticism or judgment.  If you are willing to risk having people think you are stupid, or wrong, or unhelpful. Or selfish or self-centered.

If you can do that enough that you can start to feel in your body and hear with your ears when your voice is true and when it’s muddied or modified. Dumbed down to be more appealing.

There is a place where your language comes alive.

Where what you say breaks through the monotony of what everyone else is saying and how they are saying it. Where something you say strikes a chord that wakes people up, that creates that frisson of awe and delight that opens up something new in their world.

Your job is to figure out what needs to be said.

To figure out what is YOURS to say and how to say it so it makes sense.

And then to have the courage to say it.

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