Show and up and be yourself. Be authentic and speak your truth. As this is the only way to find and connect with your people. Except this is tricky when you’re not sure what your truth is. Who your people are. And where to find them.
No two people are the same. We experience life and business differently. We may agree on some things and not on others. We have different beliefs and values. And people will think nothing of telling you that they think you’re wrong if they don’t agree with you, especially on social media.
So it can put you off “speaking your truth”. You may retreat back to where it is safe and comfortable and just blend in with everyone else. Not choose to upset the apple cart. Say nothing just in case someone no longer likes you or wants to be in your social gang.
But we won’t change and improve the world if we retreat. Will we?
Some people will only love you if you fit into their box. Don’t be afraid to disappoint.
As soulful petite business owners it is not our job to try and convince others to go along with our way of thinking or being. It is also unrealistic to try to appeal or appease everyone. We have to find a way to keep ourselves centred. On message. And develop the ability to powerfully continue with our mission whilst navigating the naysayers.
If we want to be the change our job is to lead with our own wisdom. To share our own stories. To talk about the world as we see it. It may resonate with some and not with others. And this is all OK.
The best thing about speaking the truth is you don’t have to remember what you said.
As when you come from a place of clarity, confidence and conviction impostor syndrome dissipates. You don’t need external validation to approve of your truth. You feel comfortable in your own skin. Solid. Rooted and grounded. Unapologetically show up in your entirety. You naturally gravitate towards your people. And they miraculously find you. But in order to achieve this it definitely helps to do the inner work on knowing who you really are and what you stand for first.
Here’s a tale of two tribes One has suits
Not so long ago I was asked to be a speaker at two different networking meetings on the same day. The first one was a breakfast meeting. I don’t usually do these kind of meetings, as there is typically only one 6.30 in my day.
I had suspected the attendees were not likely to be my kind of people but I’d agreed to go along as a speaker as a friend had asked me to. I walked into the room and my audience were men in suits and various traders. Instantly I knew I had made a mistake. These people were not my people.
It came to my turn to speak and I stood up and began to talk. I was just warming up and in my flow when one of the group facilitators decided my time was up. She thanked me for my talk. But I hadn’t finished and the other facilitator was clearly embarrassed and encouraged me to continue. I wondered was it going that badly?
I laughed off the interruption, fortunately so did the other attendees. But inside I was mortified. If ever there was a time I’d wished I’d said no thanks for the opportunity and stayed in bed this was it.
The irony being they had asked me to come along to share my wisdom about connecting. Relationship building. Finding our tribes. My goodness I could see they weren’t mine.
I tried to regain some composure and wondered where was I as I’d completely lost my train of thought?
Indeed where was I and more to the point what was I doing here with these people? As it transpired I seemed to be speaking a foreign language, talking about things they clearly did not understand and all I could see was a group of men in suits staring blankly back at me.
There was absolutely no synergy between us. At all.
Have you ever felt like you’re in the wrong room with the wrong people?
You begin to shrink. To squirm. Dim your light. Play it small. Wish you were anywhere else but where you are in that moment.
And then the self doubt kicks in, you think maybe you really don’t have anything valuable to share. Because if you did surely these men in suits would not be staring at you in this way.
Eventually I wrapped up and took my seat. In what felt like an eternity the meeting came to an end. Finally I escaped and I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. I made a pledge to myself never to agree to speaking at a networking meeting like this again. Never. Ever.
As much as I’d have loved to go home and crawl under my duvet, especially as it was still blinking early, I couldn’t. I had to get myself together as I had another meeting to get to. Where I would be the key note speaker.
Accept both compliments and criticism. It takes both sun and rain for a flower to grow.
As I drove to the next venue, I tried to reconcile what had happened. Did I get it wrong? Was it something I said? My confidence had taken a battering and I no longer felt up to speaking. To anyone.
It is not easy to show up and be who you are is it? It is tricky to share your truth. It takes courage to stand up and state what you believe in, teach what you know and talk about how you see the world with others. They may not agree. They may not get you. They may not even like you at all. And this can be catastrophic. Disastrous even. As you may decide that you’re not cut out for this speaking lark and never “speak your truth” with anyone else again.
I made it to my next meeting. There were no men in suits. This group was all women. Lovely ladies. Ladies who in an instant made me feel very welcome and at ease. Things felt better immediately. I knew I was in the right room. I’d found my people. And what a different vibe this was.
In less than two hours I’d found myself back on my feet doing my thing, sharing my insights and wisdom with a group of receptive people. There were no blank faces staring at me. They asked questions. They were engaged. Interested. Keen to know more. There was a vibrant energy in the room. We were all buzzing. Even me. They were a lovely, lively group. I loved being with them. I felt so grateful that I’d said yes to this gig. Because in that moment I was back in my flow. My mojo and self-belief was restored.
I was back doing what I love best, sharing my “truth” and being me. Thank goodness for them. Because if I hadn’t had to show up at the second meeting I may never have spoken at another event again.
I don’t have anything against the men in suits. Or men at all in fact.
However, I have a pretty good idea of who my tribe is. When I consider my ideal client, I rarely consider demographics, job titles or business types. It’s about the person. The woman within. The one who when we speak something resonates and clicks between us. There is synergy. A spark. The connection. And this is what I spoke about at both events. It just seems the women I spoke to understood and got it immediately whereas the men in suits clearly didn’t.
The reality is before we attempt to speak our truth, we have to get to know ourselves better. Do the inner work. Learn more about ourselves. Who we really are. What we believe in and value. Only then can we show up with clarity, courage and conviction.
And if others don’t like us or what we have to say, we know it doesn’t really matter. It isn’t going to detract us from our mission and purpose. Because we have a job to do. And we’re committed, all in and unapologetically doing our thing. Regardless of whether we are liked or not.
Time to shake up the old school networking?
Recently whilst attending another networking meeting, I had a conversation with a lovely man. In a suit. He asked me about my work and invited me along to another group that he facilitated. There would be more men in suits. More corporate businessey types. Old school networkers. Predominately over the age of 50. Definitely not my kind of tribe. I could feel a big fat no coming on.
I politely declined. I’d been here before hadn’t I?
So I told him that I know who my tribe is and it’s unlikely I would resonate with his group. There is a place for everything isn’t there and I know this place isn’t mine.
He persisted and said “Please do come along, you’re a breath of fresh air and we need more people just like you to shake things up a bit and change how we network”.
Maybe I’ll consider it.
But only if they make a start by ditching the suits.............