SELLING OUT ONLINE
A CAUTIONARY TALE ABOUT Watering Down YOUR BRAND PERSONALITY
There’s a reason they say the truth hurts! And we both know, it can.
One of the hardest truths for me to accept was the three decades I spent pinging and ponging between the “real me” and some phony sellout version that I graciously watered down for the masses.
The phoniness wasn’t conducive to my mental health (or emotional stability) but the worst side effect was all the self-hate and doubt it brought on. That mental trifecta made it all but completely impossible to get anywhere near my entrepreneurial goals.
By 35 years old, I’d been entertaining that garbage for so long I was clinically depressed, embarrassingly insecure and afraid of e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!
I’d become a jaded dreamer, constantly paralyzed in a state of worry about what others thought about me.
I’d fret, borderline obsess, over whether I went too far or said something offensive. It was common practice to worry myself into a full blown frenzy after social situations (especially business-related social situations) - replaying what I said and how I acted, wondering how others felt about me, trying desperately to “will” a redo.
Sadly, after a few decades stuck in that state of flux the ping-ponging eventually became an effortless switch, kinda like an "add-on" uploaded to my hard-coded personality, that I could turn on and off.
A switch I would flip on to deflect my embarrassing insecurities and redirect my crippling fears. When I realized I had this switch, and how natural it was for me to flick on, I knew I had to do something drastic.
Today, I’m a recovering sell out.
I'm happy (and I mean Happy 🥳) to report that, I've been a recovering sellout for five years now!
How did I get here?
Well, it's been a ride, with lots of ups and downs, setbacks, and successes, but there's one thing that I believe made the biggest difference (bigger than any practice or strategy ever came close to) when it comes to successfully reframing decades of self-hate into truly unapologetic everyday self-esteem.
To put it bluntly, I stopped giving my fucks to people and things that didn't (energetically) feel right.
At that point in my life (35 years in), I had met a handful of people who truly understood me and saw me, people I instantly "clicked with" in the most kindred of ways, so I started operating from a mental place where only those people and I exist. I realized that by changing the audience in my head, I changed the narrative that I told myself.
I started making a conscious effort to celebrate all the idiosyncrasies and intuitive beliefs that for decades I'd been trying desperately to hide and dilute. It felt like I could (borderline, should) because my "kindreds" loved those things about me. Faster than I thought possible, the hates and doubts started melting away.
THE KINDRED LENS that helped me escape.
This kindred lens is how I reframed the self-hate out of my head five years ago and how I've managed to keep it out since, which is why I wanted to share this messy, dark alley of my past with you. I don't want a lack of individuality and confidence to kill YOUR entrepreneurial aspirations and send you (at warp speed) into the land of I'm not good enough.
I want you to know (and believe) that you can reframe your way out of this loop of self-hate and/or doubt you're in too, no matter how long you've been entertaining that garbage.
👉 Do you ever find yourself holding back or watering your personality down for the sake of fitting in, being liked, or just not ruffling feathers?
👉 Do you spend more time than you care to admit worrying whether your friends, family, colleagues, etc. will approve of this, that, or the other?
👉 Has it been so long since you felt whole that you've lost track of who you are, what you actually want, and what you actually believe?
If so, guess what?... that's a totally fixable predicament. If you'll let me, I'd love to help you figure out what that looks like for you so you can stop throwing your fucks away on the wrong things, and start channeling your kindreds and the confidence + clarity they'll bring to your life and business! I'm sort of a master annihilator when it comes to saving fucks and dealing with rogue ones that get away from you.
Here are 3 invaluable lessons I’ve learned on my quest to let my misfit flags fly loudly and proudly, straight from the mouth of a decades long sellout.
lesson no. 1
Someone Out There Hates You This Very Second
It’s true, as you read this article someone out there in the world doesn’t like you. In fact, they probably hate you and more than likely there’s actually a whole slew of them. Yep, some rag-tag-posse of haters is out there in the universe lobbing around disdain with your name written all over it…and guess what?…
….There’s not a damn thing you can or NEED to do about it!
No amount of ass kissing, personality dilution, or pussy footing is going to change that. Truth be told, most times that will only make things worse.
People usually respect, begrudgingly or not, someone for being themselves when the tomatoes begin being thrown. But a wishy-washy people pleaser that stands for whatever is easy… that’s a straight shot to Judgement Row.
Come on, admit it. You’ve judged a wisher-washer for buckling in the face of resistance too, huh? Guilt! 👋
To make things worse we not only have those we know talking shit behind our backs in our real lives but now we’ve got a new breed of haters – internet haters – to contend with. Making it even easier to feel like you should hold back or apologize for being you.
THE BRUTAL TRUTH IS…
Worrying about people hating you is holding you back. It’s a fear and insecurity loop some of us fall into in response to hurt and disappointment. It’s validation we aren’t good enough and that our insecurities are as we suspected – true.
Let's reframe, shall we?
How many people have you come into contact with in your lifetime? 1,000? 10,000? 100,000? Of that how many of those people have truly broken your heart or crushed your soul? 5? 10? 20?
Let's say you've been exposed to 10,000 people, of which 10 (a likely exaggerated figure) have caused you real pain. That means a measly .001% of people in your ENTIRE life have actually hurt you.
Does that sound like a figure worth spending even a minute of your day worrying about? HELL NO! Embrace that!
People can "hate" you (or harbor whatever negative feels they have towards you) until their face falls off, that has nothing to do with you. Others dislike is not a reflection of your likability, it's not an indication of your potential, it's not a sign that you're not ready or not enough. It's simply the opinion of a person who will never be your friend or buy your shit.
Don’t try pleasing people who don’t matter. Let them hate. What do you care? You’re out basking and rejoicing in your dogpile of kindreds who get you.
lesson no. 2
Not Giving a Shit Gets Results
Yep, you heard me right! Let me explain…
When I first entered the corporate world I was ambitious, hungry, and ready to take over the world. Fast forward 15 years and I felt trapped, unfulfilled and bitter. I couldn’t even fake giving a shit.
But you know what? That freedom from caring made getting things done a breeze because I wasn’t bogged down with illusions of perfectionism or insecurities of not being good enough. I just didn’t give a shit.
I could get a presentation (a good one at that) done in the hour before a meeting. I could compile reports and procedures in mere hours that used to take days and sometimes weeks. And when someone got upset at me for something instead of spiraling into a pit of self doubt I chuckled and reveled in not giving a damn. It afforded me a solace I needed just to show up every day.
When I retired from corporate America five years ago and started running my own business all that hunger and ambition came flooding back, and so did all the fears and insecurities. I cared, I cared with every fiber of my being and that self imposed pressure came with bouts of crippling paralysis.
My success was now a definitive and direct correlation to my value and credibility. If something wasn’t good, it must mean I wasn’t good. If something went wrong in my business it must be because I was a failure or not cut out for self employment. Sound familiar?
I’m NOT saying you should produce crap proudly or diminish the pride you take in your work! That’s far from my point.
What I AM saying is stop giving a shit about attaining perfection. Lose your attachment to needing to be “ready”. Stop investing in things that don’t ultimately matter.
THE BRUTAL TRUTH IS…
The 80/20 rule is as applicable when it comes to not giving a shit as it is in its many other forms. If you stay focused on the 20% that actually produces tangible results the other 80% will fade away and ultimately work itself out.
I double-dare you to take a full inventory of your brain matter budget and see where you're bleeding "shits". Find those 80% of ROI-less shits that you're giving to the wrong things and imagine the time you have to focus on what really matters.
End the madness of giving a shit about the “little” stuff. Bask in the freedom not giving a shit will afford you. The bottom line is, when you stop giving a shit you can start getting shit done. The proof is in the results.
lesson no. 3
A Rose By Any Other Name is Still a Rose
“Strangers think I’m quiet. My friends think I’m outgoing. And my BEST friends know that I’m completely insane!” -unknown
One of my greatest struggles in life has been trying to control how much of me a person got and which part of me they got. I’ve always felt torn between the different facets of my personality. Like I had to choose one persona and that HAD to be me all the time. I’ll admit, I went so far to channel my inner chameleon that I repressed what wanted to come out sooooo badly- ME.
At work I’d channel the buttoned up professional business woman.
On a date I would channel the playful kitten that would shred her prey.
At home or around family I would revel in my role as black sheep.
When in the presence of those I didn’t know I would either clam up or get inappropriately rowdy.
Around my best friends and those I knew loved me I let my bat shit crazy flag fly.
Maybe you can relate. If so, then you know how maddening it is to feel like a master of disguise. I felt like a fraud and ultimately lost myself in all those “disguises”. I got so disassociated with my real self that I could have walked up and bitch slapped myself and I wouldn’t have known who it was.
My mindset back then was flawed on several levels, but the greatest was my misguided belief that each of us can have ONE persona (and one only!) and that this said persona was written in stone and HAD to accompany us and bind us in everything we do.
Now I can freely admit at this stage in my life that I’m seldom right and wrong again and this was arguably one of the biggest flubs I’ve ever made.
THE BRUTAL TRUTH IS…
No one label or simple definition is adequate to describe any of us, at any stage in our life. We are all born with a basic temperament and add and adapt to that as we traverse through our life experiences. So just as we never stop experiencing life, nor do we ever stop evolving in the facets of our personality.
Contrary to popular belief, people can change but more than that, we CAN (and will) evolve.
It took a lot of self reflection and soul searching but eventually I came to not only accept, but celebrate, all the above mentioned facets of my personality. I’ve learned and grown to love that each of those facets IS part of me. The good, the bad and the ugly.
I AM a hard working, intelligent, savvy business woman (though stuffy and buttoned up I’m NOT).
I AM a feisty, sassy, playful flirt.
I AM a sensitive, fragile, insecure, introverted girl.
I AM a confident, cocky, brutally honest hellion on wheels.
I AM an opinionated, aggressive, Italian with a wicked temper.
I AM a bat shit crazy, unpredictable nut case.
I AM so much more than this list!
We’re all an intricate weave of personality facets, that when strung together make us who we are. Your specific persona formula IS what makes you the unique, one of a kind, never to be duplicated unicorn you are. Without this depth and diversity we’d truly be a society of cloned robots.
I don’t know about you but technology innovations or not, I’m not ready for all that!
Don’t pigeonhole yourself into any bubble or box, no matter how simplified or safe it feels. Let the cornucopia of personality flags fly high. Be proud to be complex and don’t let ANYONE ever make you feel like that complexity is wrong or less than.
you're not alone!
If you’ve ever felt like a sellout, if you’ve ever felt like a phony, if you’ve ever struggled to feel whole in your own skin, you're NOT alone!
I won’t insult your intelligence and act like this is all in the past for me. I still have those days and times where it feels easier to fall back into my old patterns. Days where being someone else feels easier. Days where I try and please others to the detriment of myself. What can I say, I’m a work in progress.
These lessons have taken a lifetime to learn and a lot of blood, sweat and tears to come to accept but now that I know my power as a master of my domain (instead of disguise) I’ll never bend, conform, or minimize myself, no matter how tempting it is. My new motto…
…I’d rather be someone’s shot of vodka, than everyone’s cup of tea!
Take back your right to reframe yourself out of the BS programming you've accumulated over your lifetime. Chuckle and disregard the haters who don't get you. Bask in your “fuck it” place and hoard those "shits". Celebrate your complexity, unapologetically, like your happiness depends on it. Take back your right to be exactly who you are!
Do it today, I double-dog-dare you!…
want help figuring out your
GIVE ME 5-MINS. AND I'LL GET YOU SO Up Close + Personal WITH WHO YOU ARE THAT YOU'LL WONDER IF I HAVE MIND-READING POWERS!
(Maybe I do, maybe I don't!)