Can you remember exactly where you were the last time you heard something that changed your life forever?
For me, it was sitting in an audience listening to a lady named Marcia Weider.
She walked on stage and proceeded to give a tour du Force performance full of the energy that only a very small woman can have ;)…
And then she came out with a completely unforgettable gem that changed me completely:
“In business you got to toughen your skin and soften your heart.”
I took that in and have been allowing it to guide me in my business ever since.
Courage like this is powerful enough to transform those who witness it.
It’s also strong enough to change the world.
But there’s also a downside…
When you open your heart and speak your message, it will threaten those who aren’t yet ready to hear it.
The moment you begin to truly express your heart in your business, you’ll start to get negative, judgmental emails…
It’s all to easy to get sucked down a “rabbit hole” of emotions – or worse yet, get stopped in your tracks — that comes when you feel so perfectly misunderstood.
So the real lesson (for you and for them) is in how you choose to respond:
- Do you feel hurt and start to second guess whether you should be sharing yourself like this?
- Do you get angry and lash out, defending your views against attack?
- Do you apologize for your transgression and ask the person to give you a second chance?
If none of those seem like productive options, there is another choice.
I believe there is a way to respectfully acknowledge without defending, attacking or apologizing for who you are.
So I wanted to share the exact email template that I use whenever notes like this land in my inbox… so you can be prepared for the inevitable ripples your message will create in the world:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
We definitely think it is important to follow teachers whose beliefs are in alignment with our own. This way as individuals and as a community, we remain in integrity.
In that space of integrity, Marisa is known as someone who lives honestly with kindness and grace. She shares, teaches, guides and inspires through bold self-expression and vulnerable storytelling.
From time to time, we come in contact with someone in the community who doesn’t resonate with some of the honest self-expression shared. This is to be expected in life. We respect their choice to not resonate with the message shared, just as much as we hope in return they respect that Marisa will remain Marisa… living a life of full self-expression and that she will not filter who she is to please others.
And when those complaints do come in, for every one received, we receive 50 or more thank you’s from other people, who are inspired by Marisa’s bold, honest and caring self-expression and grateful to her for changing their lives.
If Marisa, or any of us for that matter, were to filter who we are for others, we would no longer be in integrity and our brilliance and calling in the world would be muted. Marisa built this community on the foundation that each of us has a gift and message to share.
If she was to change who she is to please others she wouldn’t be true to her calling and higher purpose and that would be a great loss to many who look up to her and are inspired by the great work she does.
While Marisa’s style is bold and full of self-expression, she is never hurtful, malicious or disrespectful. She lives a life full of joy to inspire, guide and challenge others to step outside their comfort zone to be the best they can be, for each of us to be part of the positive ripple effect of change.
She has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever known. I know that if what she says were to offend someone’s sensibilities, she would want them to remain in integrity to themselves and only remain connected to a teacher and community that is in alignment with their values. We follow the belief, “Don’t stay where you are tolerated, go where are you celebrated!”
So if Marisa being her amazing self, isn’t someone you resonate with, then we humbly and graciously suggest that you might find more joy in someone else’s community.
If we don’t gel, we wish you well. 🙂
Shared with kindness and the warmest of wishes, (Team member)
I hope this helps.
Feel free to take it and use it.
We’ve all got the kind of courage it takes to be vulnerable in the face of judgment, criticism and even despair. The trick is being prepared before you get stopped or spun, because what you have to share with us is too important.
Now go out there and Live Your Message!