Opening Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please I see an image of her rather glowing Kindergarten progress report. I am reminded that most of us need encouragement and so we look outwardly for other’s acknowledgment to bolster ourselves, until we learn to give ourselves our own gold star of affirmation that we need.
In truth I think we’d all like to stockpile and shellac all the beautiful words, comments and gold stars others have given us on the wall of our home as display trophies. We look outwardly for validation instead of resting inwardly in our already validated and inherent worth.
When I was fourteen, I wrote a song entitled, Little Star, from the perspective of being a heavenly star and looking down on the world. I performed it in my high school talent show. I recorded it in a studio and even auditioned with it to land my first paying gig in NYC when I was sixteen.
Sometimes people see the positive stuff I post on social media and imagine that I might not struggle with the same kind of fear, self-doubt, or insecurity that they do. However, I don’t post a lot of negative stuff on social media, not because I want folks to think I’m above it, because I'm not. But I believe we need to nurture and develop skills to find the star laden gold or pony in our own pile of manure as Reagan’s great analogy suggested.
Facing Your Stuff Down
The reason I do the work I do, is because in navigating the trenches through these things in my own life I have learned to give myself the gold star treatment and not look to others for it. My own “Why Are You Trying to Kill Me” tantrums, the words Poehler questioned her editors with, turned up my own victim mindsets or eyebrow scorching rants that were thwarting my happiness. In the coaching world this is known as Catabolic energy and we all have it!
I’ve learned to navigate my perceived failures, fears, and difficulties in life, because that has been the way through them. And I still do. They have to be faced down.
Most people run the other direction and spend the majority of their life avoiding inner work. It isn’t glamorous to talk about stuff no one wants to talk about or even think about. However, my insides knew if I didn’t talk about it, I wouldn’t survive. All of the professional training, retreats and workshops I've invested in over the years have been an investment in myself to do the work.
Presenting a sparkly exterior to camouflage the truth just won’t fly. Eventually you will land upside down with your feet over your head. Ignoring your heart will cause it to suffer. The only way to move forward is to get in the trenches and find the gold.
Doing Your Own Work
The kind of work I do with women has meant that I've first had to get into the pile myself to navigate my own stuff, before I could encourage someone else to do their own mining. There is gold in them thar hills, but we have to be willing to get dirty to find it.
When you discover and awaken to your own internal treasures, no one will be able to take them from you. You will be a collector of great worth and you will rise from your own victim or destructive behavior into the strength of owning all of the pieces of who you are.
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