I recently took my kids to see Wicked.
We are huge fans of musicals and I loved the conversation my kids had with me after the show.
One thing that came up was the suggested importance of trying to fit in so you can be accepted and popular.
Some of the thoughts and ideas my kids shared were:
- It’s too bad when you’re super smart you feel pressure to dumb yourself down.
- I’m so glad Elphaba dressed and did what she wanted. You can’t please everyone – even if you’re trying to fit in.
- Elphaba was always trying to help everyone, especially the underdogs, but people were so stuck on her looking different. That sounds a lot like what’s going on right now in our country.
- Elphaba was a loyal person but people couldn’t see that until the end. Some people never in saw it.
- It’s just like you say, mommy, you’ve gotta be true to yourself no matter what people say and do.
- Some people are just slow to understand other’s genius. Elphaba was like a silent genius – so many talents and skills.
Having this exchange with my kids made me think about some of the conversations I have with my clients –and with myself.
We all are working hard and trying our best to do what we think is the right thing.
Sometimes the right things we focus on are not OUR right things.
Client: I’m so cranky because I’m on this juice cleanse. I mean one second I’m myself and the next, I’m the Incredible Hulk. I’m trying to be swimsuit ready for our family vacation over spring break. They are all so sick of me because I’m evil and hungry. They may not even let me go on the trip with them.
Me: You know your body is already swimsuit ready. Get a suit and put it on your body! Who told you something was wrong?
Client: The world!
Client: I’ve been looking at this coaching certification program for 6 months. I keep getting ready to apply, but you know, who am I to do this? Being a coach is for people who have perfect lives and always tidy houses.
Me: Where are you getting this bogus information? Let’s hang up and pick back up on Skype. I’ll show you my crazy laundry piles and then we can talk about perfect lives and tidy houses. Plus, I haven’t changed out of my morning workout clothes – and that was like 3 hours ago. You can see that, too.
Client: OMG, Kanesha! You just threw a monkey wrench in my janky thinking.
Client: You know, I’m at work sitting up in these meetings and the only chip in the cookie. It’s exhausting and sometimes stressful because I’m trying to make sure I have everything perfect. You know, I can’t be messing stuff up because they are always scrutinizing me at every moment.
Me: Look, it is exhausting being a unicorn, I know. All you can do is just show up and do your thing. Their problem with unicorns is not your problem, and you can’t let this affect your mental and physical health. You need to write a unicorn mantra at the start of each week or before big meeting.
Client: Yes, YES! I am a unicorn. Unicorns are badass and awesome! This just changed my entire energy.
If you are feeling like you have to change who you are or go against your core values to fit in, remember:
You can’t control the way other people think. You can work on your reactions to disappointment and keep your inner dialogue nurturing so you can focus on what’s best for you.
Rejection doesn’t mean you failed – but it is a stern way to receive feedback. Take the feedback and continue to grow.
Doing the right thing and doing YOUR right thing doesn’t always make sense to other people. Just do you!
Steer clear of people who use disapproval as a weapon. Some people will never be pleased with your work or receive you the way you want them to – move on.
How do you deal with rejection and disapproval? What changes or upgrades should you consider making?
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