Ten Things I Wish I Knew Back Then
While I am in a constant state of running towards the next opportunity in my life, today I stop and find myself in a moment of reflection. I am standing in a moment of awe at how far I have come – in disbelief that I would ever be at such a place. I’m not sure I really believed that it could be possible. And yet here it is. In this moment, I look back with hindsight and clarity to the things I wish I knew back then.
- I didn’t need permission. Back then I was always waiting for someone to tell me it was okay to do this. I don’t do that anymore. There will always be someone telling me no, so I’ve decided not to ask and just do.
- I didn’t believe them when they said I had a gift. It felt too easy to me. Surely it must be harder. So I keep putting aside the things that came easy to me, thinking they weren’t good enough. It was easy because it was my gift.
- There is no right or wrong way to do this. I always felt like I was the stupid one, not sure what to do. Nobody is sure what to do. We’re all trying to figure it out. I still feel like that today – scratching my head and wondering what to do next. Only this time, I embrace the confusion and know that my work will matter even if I can’t see it right now.
- Being different is the key. I remember looking around and thinking that my business, my art, the way I wanted to do this, didn’t match the others. So I thought that was bad. In reality, it was my golden ticket. Too bad I didn’t trust it. I wasted years trying to be like everyone else. Yuck.
- There is power in encouraging others. I used to think that my message was too fluffy – that the smarter people with thought provoking data were the ones to be admired. It took me a while to realize that changing lives and reaching hearts can have a lasting life-changing effect. There’s nothing fluffy about that.
- Being skinny was not a requirement. I bought into the world’s messaging that said to be taken seriously I must be thin. Except that in my case, it was just the opposite. Representing the every day woman has turned out to be a gift. It allows me to connect in a deeper way.
- I was right where I was supposed to be in that moment. Too often I questioned (and still do) the opportunities I was given, compared them to others, fell into the trap of wondering why her and not me. I have finally (or am getting there) realizing that I have been put into each moment for a divine purpose. Right here. Right now. And it matters more than I may be able to see.
- I thought it was all about me. For too many years it was all about the performance and getting better at the craft. It wasn’t until I began to see that it wasn’t about me at all. It’s about them – the person sitting in that seat, hearing my words. Once I truly embraced that, things shifted in a powerful way.
- I kept trying to become someone else. I was constantly asking the question, “What do they want me to be?” I was trying to be who the audience wanted, instead of being the person I wanted to be, and finding the audience who needed me.
- I thought I needed to push me instead of pull them. I used to think it was about knocking on doors and picking up the phone and having the perfect sale pitch and a seamless way of talking them into more money. And maybe in a little way it is. But my success came when I stopped pushing and began to pull. Instead of begging people to hire me, I began to attract them by feeding the internet with all I had to offer – by knocking it out of the park on stage so they went to tell everybody about me – by not being the one in the networking event knocking over people to get to the buyer and pitch my stuff. I began to trust that I would become so good that nobody could ignore me.