F is for Feelings
As we continue to work our way through the ABCs of how to grow a speaking or any business successfully, the F stands for feelings. Feelings are important. I’m all about feelings. In fact, I tell people, I wear my feelings on my sleeve. Please don’t apologize if you get too excited or too sad about something, feelings are part of who we are. I like people that show up with emotion.
I also think feelings have to be in check and cannot exclusively define us, especially if we’re going to be successful in business. There will always be someone who doesn’t like you, even if everyone else loves you. Sometimes I ask the teasing question, how many compliments does it take to get rid of an insult? For example, if an audience of 1000 people hear me speak and 999 say “You’re amazing,” and one person says, “You have ugly shoes,” I tend to think about the insult on the way home. We have to be careful about the words we absorb, and how they make us feel. Thus, feelings can be dangerous.
You have to be cautious to not let one person’s opinion affect how you feel. A number of years ago, I was organizing and leading a retreat for the first time. We had lots of great speakers and activities. At the end of the retreat, there was over 100 women there and we got evaluations. Almost everybody wrote great things about what they learned and what they loved. But there was one person who wrote in as anonymous saying, “I didn’t like the food. I didn’t like the sleeping conditions. I didn’t like the speakers.” I was devastated because she insulted everything about the retreat. My heart was broken and my emotions were leading. Even though I had over 100, wonderful pieces of feedback, I had this one negative.
At first, I thought maybe a friend did it because they knew I was a little nervous about pulling everything together. So I called a couple friends. Did you fill this out? No, did you and I realized I really didn’t know who had filled it out. It wasn’t a friend, it wasn’t a joke. I was so sad at first. I thought I wanted to put together this weekend to give this gift to somebody. I realized after allowing logic to kick in, and not just emotions, that the negative person was probably in a really sad place in their life. Maybe they were walking through something dark, and they needed someone to vent it out on. I provided them the space to do that. This is why we have to be careful to not allow people’s feelings and reactions to define us.
You see, feelings are important, and we need to talk about them and express them. In an audience, however, especially the larger the audience you speak to, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like you. Maybe they don’t like the color of your hair, or they don’t like your PowerPoint, they don’t like this or that. For every single negative person though, there can be tons of other people that love you.
I’m not saying to ignore criticism, and especially not corrective criticism, which can be helpful in making us better at our practice or with our products or services. What I am saying is do not allow those feelings to define you. Take in the information, don’t let it devastate you, learn from it, and then keep moving forward. If you try to set up a business and be successful at business, judging everything by only your feelings, it’ll never last.
In fact, if you allow other people’s feelings about you, or even your feelings about how you feel that day, because it’s rainy or cloudy, and you can’t get you motivated to get your work done, you won’t last long. However, you should strive to let logic define your business instead of feelings. Remind yourself it doesn’t matter if everyone thinks you’re great or not, keep moving forward.
You can be an emotional person, you can be a passionate person. On the other hand, you also have to have logic in there. If your feelings define you, then your business will ride up and down just like your emotions. Get those feelings in check by acknowledging them, but don’t let them define you. Feelings, those of other people or your own, cannot define your business. If you choose to have success in your business, then keep moving forward. This week I encourage you to keep believing in yourself. I believe in you and I can’t wait to hear about the great success that you’re having in your life.
What does living your exceptional life look like to you?
Are you leading your life by feelings or facts?
Do you allow yourself to feel and express what you are feeling in a healthy way?