I knew it would happen, but I didn’t think it would be so intense so quickly…
I’ve always had a polarizing personality and over the last several years decided to stop hiding from that and instead step into it fully.
During the analysis of my decision about whether to file bankruptcy or whether to keep working a business model that required me to suck as much money out of the marketplace as possible so I could pay back $500,000 of debt (not a way I was willing to live anymore), I had to face the reality that if I decided to go bankrupt, I would one day be derided for that choice.
My decisions would be torn apart and I might even be villain-ized.
I decided to do it anyway.
I decided to ruin my reputation, kill my brand and withdraw into a two-year journey into “who am I if money is off the table?”
What I discovered in that space not only transformed me, but it allowed me to discover a truth I had suspected, but hadn’t actually lived, which I now understand as the path to financial liberation.
As a financially liberated being, money no longer rules your life. It’s a tool and nothing more. – Tweet It!
How much money you have or how you have chosen to use your resources is no indicator of your worth.
Money is a tool to use to do as much good as you possibly can in the world by living in alignment with the truth of who you are and how you want to be, your personal money map number and your entrepreneurial archetype.
As I went through the journey to my own financial liberation and dropped the old paradigm ways I was raised in and by, I became available for relationships, community, connection with my kids and myself. Those connections simply were not available when I was working 12-16 hours a day to hoard as much as I possibly could so I could one day be financially free.
I broke free and there’s a lot of people who not only don’t like it, they have decided they full on HATE me and have made it their job to try and make sure as many people know it as possible.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been hated before, but it’s quite the powerful experience.
For years, I avoided it. I did everything I could to be liked by everyone. And, I was quite successful at it. But it was so damn unfulfilling because there was a way I compromised to keep from pissing people off.
So I decided to stop and face what I was most afraid of, again. (I used to be most afraid of running out of money, so I faced that. Then, I was afraid of living alone on a farm with my kids, so I faced that. And, now, it’s time to face not being liked, and even worse, being hated.)
Facing my greatest fears and diving in has time and again proven to be my most direct path to liberation. – Tweet It!
So, here it is.
The thing I’ve feared (for eons perhaps), villainized and hated. They hate that I’ve filed bankruptcy, that I allowed my CA bar license to lapse for three years while I chose not to take on private clients or practice law. They say I’m a horrible parent. That I’m in an abusive relationship. I’m ugly, not aging well and … I’m sure there’s more. I’ve stopped reading.
Through this experience of facing my biggest fears and diving in and being willing to he hated publicly, I have learned that I am okay if not everybody likes me, I feel sure it's pulling me into an even deeper experience of life and I've learned how to handlehaters and why I’ll even welcome them in more in the future, even though it hurts.
How can you turn around the experience of being hated publicly into a positive growth experience instead of something to hide from and do everything possible to avoid?
First and foremost, see it as an opportunity to really look at the decisions you've made and the way you are appearing from other perspectives. I read some of the negative things people write about me so I can take in and digest what's true and as Nicole Daedone says, “poo out the rest.”
Try to read what people write about you that is disparaging with an open heart and mind, feel their perspective and see where there might be truth. Can you learn and grow from their perspective?
Once you've taken it in, let it go. I'll admit it, this is hard, but it's a powerful practice because life is all about letting things go and not holding on to what's yours.
Sure, some of what a hater says might be true, but it's not all true — master the part of your mind that is drawn to the negative again and again and retrain it to take that energy and fuel it into creative pursuits and endeavors you can control.
This is a powerful practice you can use whenever anything disheartening is happening.
I used it first when I was being audited on my 2005 taxes. I was devastated, in tears, beating myself up for two days. Until I decided to harness all that energy into building my business because I could control that. So each time I felt that energy of despair and self disdain, I asked myself — what can I do now that is within my control?
And I did that. Within a year, I had built another million dollar business impacting thousands of people with that energy. Far better than crying in my soup. Oh, and I handed the audit off to my accountants and it resulted in a no-change, no additional taxes due.
Make changes that feel appropriate.
One of the things I saw from what my haters wrote is that it was time to reactivate my bar license. I let it lapse by not submitting my CLE because I wasn’t practicing law or taking on one on one clients in anyway anymore, I needed to cut my expenses and this was one expense that simply didn’t make sense.
And, now that I’m back in the world of business, to avoid any confusion and now that money isn’t as tight as it once was, I’ve reinstated my bar license. Why not? All I had to do was an additional 2 credits of CLE and pay my dues. So I did. I wouldn’t have done that without the negative reflection. And maybe now I’ll even start to work with people one on one again. Maybe.
I’m even considering whether there is some benefit to paying back the debt I discharged in bankruptcy and if that’s the best, most responsible use of resources, when I do have an extra $500,000 on hand. I have no requirement to do so, but if it serves the message and mission more than using that money for something else, I’ll do it.
I won’t do it to quell the haters and not even because I think the banks who invested in me deserve or need the money back; I’d do it if that’s of greatest service to the world.
Here’s what my experience is of when I’ve “hated” in my own life (and it’s certainly never been to the extent these folks hate, so maybe it doesn’t apply), but when I’ve hated anything in the past, I was actually attracted and energized to what I thought I hated and secretly (it turned out) I really wanted what I thought I hated. I wonder if it's the same for you.
How does all this help you to build your life and business awake, aware and on your terms?
Ideally, you’ll stop compromising any part of yourself to avoid being hated or even just to make sure you are liked by as many people as possible. Instead, perhaps inquire into the possibility of what would you do if you weren’t afraid at all about being hated, but instead saw it as an opportunity for more impact? It doesn’t mean you have to act on it, but just asking the question could be a life-changer for you.