Judgement, criticism, and expectations. Struggling with the “who am I to….?” issues. Getting past the fear, and a fantastic quote from Marianne Williamson that I want you to listen to over and over again.
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Build a Badass Business: Episode #3: Fear, Part 2 – Where is Your Fear Rooted?
Coming straight to you from her basement home office in suburban New Jersey, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.
Ok! Welcome back to episode number 3 of the Build a Badass Business podcast. I’m going to talk about fear again today, so if you haven’t listened to episode number 2, definitely go back, listen to episode number 2, maybe even after this episode head back and listen to that one again. I’m just going to jump right in and kind of cover a couple of different areas that I didn’t touch on with part 1.
So what I want to talk about today is a little bit more on some of the roots of fear. And I was recently listening to another one of the podcasts that I really like, and I will cover more about resources and things like that for you guys down the road. But Chalene Johnson is probably best known for being a fitness professional. She holds a Guinness Book of World Records for the most infomercial videos, I think, or the most fitness videos. Something like that. So I recently started listening to her brand new podcast, and it’s kind of funny because I actually have been following her work since 2005 or 2006 because I used to take her Turbo kickboxing classes. Not her specifically, but she created a program that could then be trained and taught all around the world.
Anyway, I digress. Chalene Johnson’s podcast; I really love it. It’s called Build your tribe, and I definitely recommend checking that out. And sometimes I’m listening to what someone else is saying, and it just kind of feeds into a thought I’d already been having, or it gives me a little bit more foundation for something that I wanted to talk about. And she touched on something that it just kind of lit me up, because I’ve been thinking about where this fear comes from. Where the roots of it are. In the first episode of fear, I was talking about other people’s view of you, and just people you may have had around you. Trying to figure out who were those people, what were they thinking and why.
I think there are two words, maybe three, that kind of root all of this stuff around fear for me, that I think may be going on. The first one is going to be criticism. And this is something that Chalene had talked about in her episode, and it definitely kind of hit me. Like, yes. When we experience any kind of criticism, mostly when we’re younger, as you get older you can sort of start to see through criticism. But I think if you didn’t get the chance to develop through that stuff, making mistakes and not being criticized is really, really important.
I don’t have children, and this is something that she talked a bunch about in her episode, so again I’m going to recommend listening to it, and maybe I’ll link to it in my show notes or something. But, talking about how we talk to our children, or how we were spoken to as children. And if you were consistently, either told directly or somehow given an implied message that something you did wasn’t good enough, or you did it wrong, or you should have tried harder, or it just didn’t live up to some expectation, which is the second word I want to talk about, that someone had of you, it sets up this really deep rooted foundation of some level of expectation that you should be reaching. And that may not be from within yourself.
I think it’s just really important to reflect back on where you may have gotten that criticism. Maybe it was from parents, maybe it was from peers, maybe it was from teachers. Who knows; it could have been anybody who held a meaningful place in your life. I think it’s not that you want to kind of rewind and blame anyone or go back and tell them, oh I can’t believe you criticized me like this! I don’t think it’s any benefit to go backwards and kind of discuss those things, necessarily. What I do think is of benefit is to discover it, and sort of put it into words for yourself and say, you know what, this did happen to me. So, alright, that kind of explains things. And you just kind of own those things that have gone on in your life, and observe them, learn from them, and move forward. So, criticism is that first word.
The second word is expectation. I think this might be one that affects all of us, even if we don’t think we were criticized. I think expectation is a really huge one. That can absolutely come from parents, or teachers, or peers, or peer groups, you know, as we’re growing up we’re expected to do a lot of different things. Some of that has to do with achievement, and some of it also has to do with the way we spend our time. I think that’s just another aspect that we really need to consider, you know, even if we weren’t criticized when we were younger.
Were there expectations on us? And were we able to meet them, or not. Did we constantly feel like we weren’t meeting expectation. You know; did you have an older or younger sibling, and was that sibling meeting or exceeding expectations, or were they the one that was always behind and you were always ahead, or were things pretty equal.
Again, this is not to go backwards and lay any blame or feel badly about things. It’s really more to identify it, because I think one of the things for me that I pretty much always talk about with my friends when I explain sometimes the drive that I have to consistently improve things that I’m doing. It’s really about this expectation that I have sort of created for myself because of what I call little sister syndrome. Because I’m a little sister.
When we were in grade school and high school, and maybe even in college, I definitely had this sense that she was the smart one. I was the athlete, and she was the smart one. My sister is very intelligent, a very smart person. That was something that I just, I set that construct up. I don’t know what it was, was it maybe our SAT scores were a little bit apart from each other? Or she took more advanced classes? I have no idea where this came from.
But there was something in me that always wanted to be different from her, always wanted to stand out in my own way, and at some point, I felt probably over the years that, you know what, academic achievement, getting straight A’s, was not going to be thing that was going to be mine. That was not how I was going to stand out or be different. Those are just things that shape us, and I think it’s important to reflect on that.
So, criticism, expectation, and the last one is definitely judgment. And this is one that obviously holds true from whatever happened in our younger years, through to today. And I have a few things to say about that. The biggest thing I want to say about judgment and us holding ourselves back because we’re afraid of judgment is this. The people who will judge you, and who will also then criticize you or say that what you’re doing isn’t good enough, or it’s not even good at all. I mean, they’re people who just beat everything down. They are never people who are also contributing. They’re never people who are out there creating things. They’re never people who know what it’s like to do what you're doing, or put in the energy or the effort or the time to do what you're doing.
Every single person who has ever hated on me, whether it’s they’ve written blog posts about me, or they’re making videos, or they’re just talking behind my back, and it happens every day, every week. It’s never somebody that I look at what they’re doing and I say, wow, they are really a contributing person to this community or to society, and I should really take note because they’re a contributing person and they’ve got something valuable to say. It’s absolutely never, ever the case.
I think what’s really important to take from that, too, is if you want to be an active member of any kind of community, whether you’re in sort of the health field or something else. A lot of you guys know me from the health field. It’s actively your duty to also not criticize other people. It does not serve any benefit to do that.
You do not need to support what everyone is doing, if you don’t believe in it, if you don’t want to follow it, if it’s not your thing, that’s fine. But to blatantly post something to be a criticism, or to be counter to what somebody else said yesterday on Twitter, and other people might notice it and you’re sort of passive aggressive about it, who knows what. It just doesn’t serve anybody. Just continuing to share your message, information, service, product, whatever you have is really your job. It’s not your job to get out there and kind of be critical of other people.
This stuff kind of comes up when people ask me all the time, why don’t I go comment on a blog that talks about not eating meat. Or a blog that talks about eating grains, and how it’s healthy. I’m like, it’s not my job to just be a critic, and go out there and be critical. My job is to educate people and help them when they’re seeking information that I have. So I think that’s really important to keep in mind.
Criticism, expectation, judgment. You know, this other piece on judgment is the sense that somehow, we get this idea that we are not enough. We aren’t good enough, we don’t know enough, we haven’t learned enough, experienced enough, to then teach it, share it with someone, or help someone with that information. This is one of the really big things that I think holds people back. Because it’s this sense of, who am I to? And this can get kind of deep ,because I think we have this sense that we should not be teaching, we should not be sharing, we should not be helping until… Until something. Until I have a certification, until I have this.
Ok, there are certain areas of expertise that requires a licensed practice. There are, you know, degrees that we need. There are different levels of validation, perhaps, in the community or socially, for certain areas of practice. That’s completely valid. But to say that you can’t help someone because you don’t have that yet; I think it’s more important to make sure that you understand the limitations, perhaps the legalities of things. And then to step into the thing that you know something about, and go ahead and share it with somebody.
Because if I told you that I had a solution to a problem, but I didn’t want to share with you the solution, and you were experiencing this problem, wouldn’t you feel like I was holding something back? And that’s really the big thing. You might think, well who am I to help somebody learn about how to eat better? And the real question is, who are you not to? Because for some reason, you think because you don’t know every biochemical mechanism of what happens in the body that you can’t show somebody which is a better pasta sauce to buy at the grocery store?
Literally, that is how it sounds when you say, I’m not qualified to help someone eat better. Truthfully you could go to the grocery store and show them which type of chicken is better to buy, or which olive oil they should look out for. That kind of thing is really not that deep. There’s a level like that with everything we’re doing. Of course, it’s not going to be, you know, you’re not going to perform brain surgery on somebody without going through medical school, and surgical school, or whatever surgeons go through. It’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about some of this service oriented, self-help, or coaching. There’s just this big sense of that.
Now, even to the level of perhaps going to medical school for somebody to think that they may not be good enough to even try, when that’s their truest passion, you’re just not setting yourself up to live the life that you really want. You’re going based on this expectation that other people have of you. If that’s what you really want, you have to go for it; I mean, this is the only chance we get. I don’t know what you believe, but I personally don’t have any belief in a life after this one. It’s just not my belief, and I’m here to do everything I can with every day that I have, and live it the way that I want to live it to the fullest, and help as many people as I can along the way.
So, let’s kind of wrap this up for a couple of minutes here now. One of the things I talked about earlier was also worry. Worry is really just a lack of faith in yourself, and so if you shift that around and start to focus on the things that you know that you can use to help people, and you start to make those plans to put this new life into place. If it’s something that you’re not there yet, and you’re holding back because of these fears, really to assuage those fears you need to make a plan. Because nobody goes from being worried about teaching somebody what to eat to writing a book about what to eat. You just don’t go from point A to point Z without going through the rest of the letters in the alphabet. You have to get through every stage. And it takes time, and it takes work.
I think it’s easy to look at someone like me, or any other author or blogger or anyone who’s got a business that you see as successful, it’s easy to look at someone and think, wow. They did that so quickly. Or, that looks really easy for them. Or, wow that happened fast. I think it’s just a huge misunderstanding that everyone has about how long it’s taken, and how much hard work it has taken for people to get to where they are. By the time most of us are talking about something a lot, or we are more recognized or prevalent in a certain industry or field, we’ve been around for a long time before.
Even this podcast, I was stunned to see the response to the podcast. I was kind of stunned to see that it basically debuted in this management and marketing category at the top of the charts in iTunes podcasts, and I’m stunned by that. But I’m also not scared of it. Because I realize that despite the fact that I just started this podcast, I’ve been an entrepreneur since I’m probably 18 or 20 years old, and I’m 36 now.
I’ve spent the last decade and a half of my life trying to figure out how things work for myself. Take a skill, take a product, take something that I love that I’m passionate about, that I want to do for other people, and turn it into a career. And that’s something that I’m extremely passionate about sharing with all of you guys. I absolutely want to help you get through the fear stuff. I’m going to talk about a lot of different topics in the coming episodes.
I just wanted to lay a little bit of foundation on this fear topic, and I’ll probably come back to it later because I know it kind of keeps coming up. As I discover little different nuggets that I think will help you, I’m definitely going to talk about them.
But now, regardless of your faith, and whether or not you believe in god, I want to wrap up with this quote from Marianne Williamson from her book, A Return to Love. It is so, so good. And I think it’s important to listen to it over and over, and to think about it. So, Marianne writes:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Ok, the final thing I want to have happen here is you taking some action steps. Name the things that have happened in your life that have maybe been issues of criticism, or expectation put on you, or just judgment that’s out there. Write it down, and just look at it on a piece of paper, and say, ok, this is not the stuff that matters. This does not define me. I’m here to do the work I need to do so that I can help people, and that’s all there is to it.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode, and drop me a review and let me know what’s speaking to you from the show.