When You're Invisible
I got caught up.
As much as I tell founders who I work with to take their founder stories and USE them anchors or even shields because contrary to what some of the world thinks, our stories MATTER. The battles, the wins, loss, near misses, etc., they all matter. But, I’m gonna keep it real with you, it’s hard to hang onto an anchor when under .02 seconds, somebody can say one thing or in my case, nothing at all, to throw me back into a sense of loss, confusion and second-guessing. And it happened at a professional conference to me recently and again, within .02 seconds I spiraled in my head from, ‘I’ve got this,’ to ‘I’m not good enough.’ Ugh…what an awful afternoon of feeling vulnerable and questioning everything. I was ALLL caught up in my feelings for a minute.
But then…I stopped and remembered…EVERYTHING and a sense of calm came back over me. ‘No mama,’ I said to myself, ‘let’s just do a check here of what’s really happening.’ Here is what was really happening:
I was tired.
My feet hurt.
I hadn’t eaten (I was hungry)
It was that simple. Then instead of thinking that it was THAT person who didn’t see me as valuable, and by extension my company, I thought about how I was taking responsibility fully for how I was taking care of myself. I mean, who the heck cares what someone does or thinks? This individual could have been texting about a family emergency or was nervous about their own position to say hello or acknowledge my presence and past work. I mean really, WHO CARES. The other thing I think I was seeking was validation from a person in power.
And THAT, my friends, was the another real problem/issue/achilles heel/etc. that I think haunts founders: seeking validation. As we discover our stories, the secret sauce, it’s like exercising a new muscle. You have to keep making the muscle stronger and it’s an ongoing internal process. Quite frankly, moments of being completely dismissed is an opportunity to exercise that muscle. It’s an opportunity to reconnect and remind yourself of your purpose and mission. Not everyone will or should be on your mission or will get your purpose. That’s okay. But it is important to be aware of what are considered triggers. I was reminded of mine recently and am grateful that I’m on the other side of it quickly.
It was important to pass on to my other founders who are currently digging and seeking their stories to also be thinking about their own triggers, achilles heels, etc. and decide early, what will be the coping methods that they’ll use or have in their ‘toolbox’ to move past it quickly.
You got this…