I used to think that in order to survive entrepreneurship, I'd need to grow a thicker skin. After a long-time friend, whom I regarded as a super cool big sister and role model, criticized me for sharing the good news of my business launch with my entire address book, I was shattered.
At the time, I spent 3 sessions with my coach trying to figure out: what I had done wrong, what was wrong with me, and how could I grow a thicker skin.
It took far more than 3 coaching sessions and quadruple the amount of therapy sessions to realize that:
- There was nothing wrong with me
- There was nothing wrong with what I did (I mean, what loving person beats down on another for launching a transformational business? SHE was showing me HER lovelessness. I did nothing wrong! 🤯🤯🤯)
- It's not me, it's HER. How SHE reacted is HER mind's projection of HER world, HER emotional reactivity (and therefore HER personal responsibility). It's not me, it's HER. Read that again, it's not me, it's HER.
- Growing a thicker skin wasn't the solution. A thicker skin is the equivalent of, what Brené Brown terms, "armoring up." Armoring up leads to LESS authenticity, more disconnection and very little space for vulnerability and courage.
So if growing a thicker skin wasn't the solution to shield against criticism, what was? Especially when all you di was be the big, bold, brave, endearing and successful person that you are?
Over many years and $100,000 in personal development and $100,000 in business development, I've come to realize that the solution is to shift from living under punishing patriarchy to living with liberating grace.
|From Punishing Patriarchy...||...to Liberating Grace|
From Force to Discernment
I like using the military drill sargent vs afternoon tea metaphor here.
Force looks and sounds like the loveless military drill sargent screaming at you to "Chew, chew, chew, mofo, what are you, a retard? Chew!" While staring you down to put more cake in your mouth when you're already gagging and chocking. But you rev up your engines, swallow without chewing, at shove more cake in your own face. Because he said so. There are only three possible outcomes to this scenario: 1. indigestion, 2. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or 3. burnout.
Discernment looks and sounds like an imaginary tea party, where you invoke a pistachio macaroon or a pumpkin spice scone, based on your in-the-moment mood, desires and life circumstances. You only conjure what is needed and wanted in THIS very moment, at your own rhythm and pace. Because YOU said so.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
I'm not saying that there won't be times when you need to pull up your 'big girl' pants and get the job done, or clear in your head so you can delegate it responsibly. But it's the difference between pushing a giant boulder uphill because partriarchy said so and hiring a sherpa to carry your gear up Everest because YOU said so.
From Impulsivity to Wisdom
Impulsivity looks and sounds like: "Leap and built your wings on way down." Goodness me, the amount of men and women I've seen crash on their face because of this piece of patriarchal advice. Even if you don't smash your bones to pieces at the bottom of the abyss, your confidence is so bruised or your heart so shamed from the "failure" that you never dare leap again. The brave men and women who did it this way are often worse off now then before they leaped.
Wisdom looks and sounds like: "Build your wings, put a trampoline at the bottom, then leap." The leap will still require a tremendous courage and trust in the unknown, but at least you won't land on your face. You'll experience the power of your own wings, no matter the size, shape, color, or texture. You'll feel what it's like to bounce back faster and stronger. And you'll be rewarded with deeper courage and resiliency.
We have to teach people how to land before they jump.
– Brené Brown
Slow and steady wins the race. That is my motto. I'm not saying that this tortoise, named Ellany Lea, hasn't hitched a ride on a Shinkansen (Japanese bullet train) once in a while, but I did it intentionally and without breaking any bones.
From Singular to Holistic Focus
Singular focus looks and sounds like a shame/rage monster roaring, "I should have been a New York Times bestseller yesterdaaaaaaay!!!" If I just do put my head down, suck it up, write like a fiend, forget to eat / sleep / move, drop off the face of the Earth, and shut out all people (including those who care about me), I'll get on that glorious author list.
Holistic focus looks and sounds like a wise oak laughing, "I will tell my whole story, with my whole heart, and if it turns into a book great, if not great." It'll take as long as it takes. And in the meantime, I'll tend to my radiance and vitality, fill my entire being with love and overflow of it in every direction, travel, delight, live, welcome new people and new adventures, be financially responsible, and clear heavy emotions and thoughts from my mind, body, heart, and soul every night.
Iterations kill perfectionism.
What would it mean to gift yourself an extra few months (years or decades) to achieve a dream? Can you see the correlation between spaciousness, effortlessness and self-compassion?
From Overthinking to Feeling First
Overthinking looks and feels like molasses trying to roll uphill on a frigid winter night. Others have described it as being stuck neck deep in quicksand.
Feeling first, then thinking looks and feels like honey being poured in tea. By first tapping into the Law of Least Effort (ie flowing as honey into the tea), you naturally access a place of genius, of insight, of clarity. Then from that clear, bright space, the mind can take over from that easy place and think of the necessary solutions.
[Freedom] The price is high. The reward is great.
I remind my clients all the time that freedom isn't free. This journey to be free in time and spaciousness, free from emotional turmoil and mind terrors, free to do what you adore and wherever you want to live, this journey of freedom isn't for sissies. You will bump up against childhood wounds, even trauma, identity crisis, and spiritual growing pains. The (sometimes) difficult choice is to decide if you'll go through all that agony alone, or with the aid of a professional guide.
From Worry to Trust
Worry looks and feels like a stalker that you can't see when you turn around, but you sense its presence hovering. You never know when it'll pounce and steal your wallet or attack and steal your relationship, or worse your joy, your peace or your fervor for life. Worry happens when the mind can't stand the goodness (or pain) of the present moment, so it jumps into the future and conjures up a doomsday scenario to relieve itself of the current goodness (or pain).
Trust looks and feels like a slow (sometimes, very slow) motion falling down an endless shaft that has many exit doors. The fall can be terrifying or it can be rather enjoyable, depending on the mood of the day. You don't know what is truly behind any of the exit doors, but you know that you've been through worse and you can handle anything, even epic love and joy that is almost too epic to bare.
The best way is your way.
It irks me when mature and wise grown-ass women in their 30s, 40s and beyond regard the business advice of 18-21 year old white boys as THE holy grail of advice, as THE one and only way to success. Many women have woken up from patriarchy and are claiming and embracing their own way to success, thank god!
I have two friends who are such 20 year old white boys and, with their permission, this is what they DON'T tell you online:
- They sometimes lie about financial figures, to make themselves look more successful than they are, because hey, they'll get their by the end of this sales campaign
- One is taking 2 prescription medications for the rest of his life (he was willing to pay the price of success with his health, he OBVIOUSLY regrets it now, but it's too late)
- Boys have 16X more testosterone to tap into for "do, do, do" action. Women, under the conditioning that they have to be the best men they can be, squeeze every last remaining drop of testosterone from their thyroid or ovaries, hence adrenal burnout and/or infertility
- One has created tremendous financial success, but he can't teach others to do it. He doesn't understand why people aren't as smart of capable as him. He's not coach/mentor material.
- One has been promoting affiliate products that he doesn't even believe in, but hey the system works, people buy and residual income lands in his pocket. After 6 years, even though he feels empty inside and unrewarded by his work, who cares, the money is good.
What are you choosing? To follow the masses (careful, often the 'm' is silent)? Or will you do this "freedompreneurship as a spiritual quest" thing YOUR way?
1,000 Reclamations for Freedom
💎 Reclaimed discernment over force
💎 Reclaimed wisdom over impulsivity
💎 Reclaimed holistic over singular focus
💎 Reclaimed feeling over thinking
💎 Reclaimed trust over worry