How Declarations & Explanations are Crushing Your Soul KDS:055November 2, 2020 November 10, 2020 /
I’ve been thinking about how to best approach this topic.
Since I seem to be on a bit of a roll with rants, that was definitely one direction I could take this, but really, as fun as rants can be, they can also be a little draining.
And I don’t know about you, but too much ranting and I stop listening.
It simply feels like shouting or dictating.
Not only do I think Declarations & Explanations are Crushing Your Soul, but I also think they’re hurting your business.
Like so many other people, social media feels super exhausting right now.
Not only is it because of what is going on in the world (i.e, learning to live and function during a pandemic), or the zoo that is American politics, but because everything feels somewhat forced.
People have forgotten how to trust themselves.
Never before have we had access to so much information, so quickly.
You can pretty much learn anything you want with a few clicks of your mouse and either patience and/or an investment (such as a paid course versus simply piecing together YouTube videos).
I saw a quote image on Facebook the other day that addressed something I’m sure we have all felt (or feel) at one time or another. I think it was from Tiny Buddha, but it was something along the lines of “if when you’re trying to rest you’re judging or shaming yourself for not being productive, you’re not getting rest.”
It was phrased much more eloquently than that, but you get the idea.
Because we can pick up our phone and see how other people are hustling or crushing it (yes, I’m TOTALLY bringing back my #FtheHustle phrase), we can judge ourselves into depression or illness in mere minutes.
I’m not here to tell anyone they should quit social media, or stay off their phones.
It’s not happening anytime soon for me.
And I’m sure there are subtle ways it impacts me that I’m not even aware of, but for the most part, the things I’m going to ask you to do are what keep me grounded, content, and sane.
Let’s start with “Declarations.”
I don’t know when it became so popular to declare to the world what you were doing.
I’m not referring to sharing something you’re working on, or towards. Asking to be accountable or sharing progress isn’t what I’m referring to.
I’m talking about the need for people to make ridiculous statements about who they’re unfriending or why they’re not going to be doing something anymore.
Or that they’re “cleaning up” their friends’ list, so if you want to be one of the lucky few remaining you better leave a comment.
O.K., so those are the obvious ones… but let’s address the less than obvious that are masked as “self-care.”
Declaring to the world that you need a break or have to take some time away and won’t be responding is asinine. No offense, but you’re just not that important.
People who matter probably have your phone number, email address, or a direct way to get in touch with you.
If you have a community or email list, this can be addressed directly to them. But do it in a way that supports your well-being. More often than not it comes across like an attempt for sympathy and coddling.
Every single time you look outside of yourself for what you need you’re perpetuating the problem.
And let me say again that I am NOT referring to needing professional help. You all know I still talk to my therapist and have zero intentions of stopping (that will be when she’s ready).
Getting help and guidance from a therapist, mentor, coach, or community is reaching out for tools and skills that YOU have to implement.
Using any of the above as an example, the things you learn only work if YOU do the work.
You do NOT need to declare what you will or won’t be doing to ANYONE, least of all the freaking internet.
OWN your choices.
Take complete responsibility for what you do or don’t do.
You don’t realize it but you’re chipping away at your belief in yourself every single time you declare something to the vast unknown that is the internet.
An invisible shit-show of epic proportions starts playing out in your subconscious mind and before you know it you have to crowdsource opinions and the most minute details of your life (and yes, that’s my armchair psychologist view on what happens at a deeper level).
I read an article today that I highly recommend you take the time to read and really process.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from the article that give you a good idea of what it’s about:
“The big-print word-cloud tropes of the “authenticity” movement are concepts like: “gratitude,” “mindfulness” and “self-love.” These are often dispensed as free ideas, but they’ve been mostly filtered and distilled beyond the point of attainability: gratitude, mindfulness, and self-love ladder up to a sort of nouveau-riche luxury brand where being your best self is the new conspicuous consumption: All sound baths, yoga retreats, and digital detoxes; SoulCycle, green juice, and sea turtle conservatories in Costa Rica — available to almost everyone, affordable to almost no one.
The shame we feel while eavesdropping on these super-positive super-humans no longer lies entirely in seeing, so closely, what we wish we had, but rather in coming face-to-face with who we wish we could be if we weren’t so damn busy worrying about when the direct deposit will hit next or if there will be free and fair elections in America anymore.”
Let’s move on to Explanations.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…
Stop explaining yourself.
You do not know anyone an explanation for what you do in your business.
Want to leave a Facebook group? Leave.
Want to unsubscribe from an email list? Do it.
Want to stop spending so much time on social? Go for it.
Now, as someone who can be a little bit sensitive and does actually care about other people, if this is for a good friend or someone you care about, I understand maybe telling them why you’re doing what you’re doing.
But for the most part?
As much as some of these things drive me a little crazy, so much more of this is coming from a place of concern for my fellow entrepreneurs.
We have so much information available to us that it’s like we’ve stopped trusting our innate abilities to decipher what feels good or not.
Something I do often is to try to find a real-life example (or maybe I should say an ‘offline’ example) of that same behavior.
Let me give you an example:
Would you walk into a party and declare to everyone that if they don’t say hello or engage at some point during the evening you’re going to cut them out of your life?
Or how about the overly sensitive way people get pissy about upsells or marketing… why on earth would you get offended that someone is trying to SELL you something when you’ve clicked through to find out more?
When you go to the grocery store do you get “offended” and put off because it’s close to Halloween and they’ve put a table of Halloween cupcakes and treats right in front of you?
Or that they’re trying to upsell you at the checkout with gum, candy, or magazines?
This need that people should behave the way we expect them to behave or market the way we think they should market does nothing for your sense of self-worth.
You think you’re being altruistic, but it just comes across as insecure and jealous.
My therapist shared a phrase that I’m going to do my best to remember here by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. It’s something to the effect of “are you willing to let others feel betrayed in order not to betray yourself?”
Pretty powerful, isn’t it?
You don’t need to explain yourself.
Just because people can show up in Messenger and you’ve had conversations with them before doesn’t mean you owe them an answer when they show up (uninvited).
Or ever for that matter.
I know for myself that more often than not, I’m the one who has created the precedence. Which is great, because it also means that I get to change it (this is where the magic of self-responsibility really starts to show itself).
My goal with ALL of this is that we start protecting our own well-being with the same energy we give to the approval of others.
And let me say this loud and clear to the people in the back too… I am speaking to myself just as much as I’m speaking to all of you.
When I start feeling resentful it’s usually because I haven’t set clear boundaries or I’ve not taken care of myself.
There’s one other thing I have to address, that goes right along with my request to please stop making declarations and explanations.
I gave an example a couple of episodes back of a friend who wants to do an e-commerce project with me.
I’m all in, but I also made it clear that I do not have the time to create, build, and manage any social media profiles for this brand (my name wouldn’t be attached to this). She absolutely has the time to do this.
Yet she’s letting her fear of not knowing how to do it get in the way.
If I have to do that too, then it’s mine.
However, I’m not pulling the trigger on that until I see something on her end. Which basically means it’s probably not going to happen (at least not until I have the time).
I know so many people who are working on things and waiting for them to be perfect.
Or have the money.
Or can hire someone.
I would be willing to bet that at the same time next year they’ll be in exactly the same position.
Even if they pull the trigger on something.
Because they haven’t gone to the root issue, which isn’t their skill set, money, or time.
I can honestly say that the most important thing to succeeding in business is your mindset, which sounds trite, but it’s true.
The idea that other people doing what is best for them is a personal attack on you is ludicrous.
Get over yourself.
Let’s end on a better note.
Since this definitely has turned into a bit of a rant, I don’t want to leave you hanging or wondering why the bucket you listened to this episode and now feel like crap (and btw, if some of this “stung”, instead of judging yourself or getting annoyed with me, use that as an indicator that something needs to shift).
A friend and coaching client sent me an email update yesterday and he shared how he had found himself comparing himself to other people and feeling like he was going to get lost in the sea of noise online (I’m paraphrasing).
I shared with him that I had recently listened to an episode of the Capitalism podcast with Ryan Daniel Moran where he interviewed Trevor Blake.
Trevor Blake has sold 3 companies for 600 million dollars. While working 5 hours a day and remaining a solo entrepreneur.
I had never heard of him.
Which got me super excited… because every time I discover someone new or learn about something that wasn’t even on my radar it reminds me that there are SO many people to do business with and serve.
More often than not, our circles are small (even though we’re operating in this global economy and can do business online 24/7).
When you step outside of your niche, your space, you’ll discover a whole new world (cue Aladdin).
And all of the sudden you’ll start to feel hopeful again.
You’ll discover what resonates with you and you’ll start to remember why you got into business in the first place.
Most importantly though, I hope you can start trusting yourself again.
What many people seem to have forgotten is that we’re hard-wired to know what is good for us.
Take the time to figure out what feels right.
And then go do it. Without having to declare it or explain it.
Links from this episode