I get blamed for a lot of things in this world. And, I mean a lot. Being an entrepreneur and the Founder of a company, you get used to it. Or, at least I like to tell myself I do. I get blamed for systems not working, promotions that didn’t work, low class attendance, hard days, long days, not-enough-hours-in-the-day days. I’m often blamed if people don’t achieve their fitness goals. I’m blamed when people feel inadequate. I’ve been accused of not fulfilling promises, not supporting enough, not doing enough, not being enough. And some day, some days, Mamas…it just wears you down.
I wake most morning at 430am so I can squeeze in everything that needs to get done. Honestly, if I wake later than that I know that I won’t get everything done and I start my day feeling behind. So, on days when I hear that I’m not doing enough, I seriously question how much more I can give. I’m just not sure how I could fit more in or how I could reorganize my day.
Yesterday was one of those days. I woke at 430 and wrote an article, which needed editing and pictures and blah dee blah blah. I then did a workout, got my kids to school, worked on an SEO course to help drive traffic to our Hot Mama sites. I worked on a few surprises for our franchise owners (shhh), then I shifted to a podcast course I’m taking (yup, I’ll be podcasting soon). Then I wrote an outline for my book. I answered franchise owners questions. I answered questions from our Hot Mamas. And on it goes. That’s the life of an entrepreneur.
I love it all, I truly do. But how can I fit more in?
During all of that, I had some feedback about lacking in a particular area. My initial reaction was to crumple, hide under my desk, have a good cry and then fold my company. HA! No seriously, that’s usually always my initial reaction. I quite business every day. But instead of letting this information take my power, I took a deep breath and tried to find a solution and learn something.
Here’s what I came up with: as hard as I try, I will never make everyone happy. This, I know. And people will always have expectations that I simply cannot meet. HOWEVER, what I do with criticism? There’s power there and that’s the important piece. I could get mad and rage and feel hurt…or, I can show compassion and empathy and understanding. I can come at it from another viewpoint. I can take a deep breath and accept that the issue isn’t about me, it’s about how another fellow human is feeling and their perception of events.
(I also continue with the deep breathing.)
I can re-frame the critique and find a way to help without compromising my own worth and value. I can be grateful that I can learn from someone’s experience and hopefully grow. I can find gaps in our systems and in my life and I can strive to do better, be better.
And then I can let it all go and not accept blame.
I’m trying to learn that for every negative thing said about me, my efforts or how I’m lacking, it’s not me. It’s a reflection of an issue. Learning that in business has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. It’s easy to take everything personally…my business with Hot Mama is extremely personal. It’s my baby and I’m so proud of all we do to help and support. So, when I hear that I’ve failed someone in that area, it hurts. BUT…if I re-frame it…it helps.
I haven’t failed. There’s an issue that needs to be resolved, a remedy needs to be found. It could be something I need to work on, or…and luckily this is more often than not, it could be something that both I and the person providing feedback can work on.
There’s always going to be negative events or comments directed at you in your life. There’s always going to be people in your world who don’t wish you well or want to blame you for things that aren’t truly your fault. And, that’s ok. How we frame that within our own lives, well now, that’s your power to use as you so choose. You either let it crumble you…or you force it to make you stronger.
I choose the latter. I choose to get stronger. I choose to not accept blame when I shouldn’t but I choose to show empathy to the person who is speaking. I will put myself in their shoes and I will take deep breaths. I will learn.
And, I will be grateful for the experience and the lessons. I take each one with me. Some I learn a great deal from. Others I let go. But, I choose to empathize and I choose gratitude. That is a big switch for me. No crumbling. No crying. No whining. Just understanding and acceptance.
I’m not able to do this every time yet, but I’m hopeful that someday I will. I still have moments each day when I quit business. But recently I’ve been taking those moments and using that energy to propel me forward.
Everyone is on their own journey and we need to remind ourselves that their journey is not ours. We may play a small role in it, but ultimately, it’s theirs. Take what you need to grow and learn from a situation then release it back.
It’s not yours to hold on to.
Be a good person, do your best, be kind always. I’ve learned that from my own Mama and if at the end of the day I’ve done that I know I’m going to be okay. Rock on, my fellow entrepreneur. Rock on, my fellow Mamas. Rock on, my fellow women!
You will be okay, too. I believe it. I have to believe it. xo
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