Why I Like Other People’s Disapproval
There is a word that I’ve been living in the presence of for the last twelve months that has scared the shit out of me and also completely transformed the way I show up in the world in the best way possible.
That word is vulnerability.
I have said a LOT of things to people that I almost can’t believe I’ve said. I have done a LOT of things this year that I almost can’t believe I did. And that’s not slowing down any time soon.
I’ve spent most of the year living the phrase, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” Like for real.
It’s a simple concept, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it’s most certainly not comfortable.
So far I’m at a 100% success rate of having zero regrets about all the things I’ve been scared to do or say, and done anyway.
I could’ve gotten hurt. I risked not being liked, and not being agreed with. I sat in a lot of spaces where something I was doing or saying made other people uncomfortable or even upset. And I didn’t try to manage their emotions, but instead allowed them to have their own experience and navigate their way through it (or not).
My mom was telling a friend recently about a pretty big decision I’d made. In retelling me the conversation and how he responded she said something and it surprised me how much I liked it.
What she said was this: “I didn’t say any more about it at that point because you’d already gotten his disapproval.”
In the past that would’ve made me nervous. I would’ve wanted to explain myself and get him to a place where he would understand and/or be in agreement with me the next time I saw him. To justify my choice. And any time I’d have thought about it it would’ve made me uncomfortable.
Instead, my immediate reaction surprised me. I laughed out loud and took it as a massive compliment. I said something to the effect of, “That’s ok, I’m pretty sure it’s my life mission at this point to get everyone’s disapproval.”
Because it means one very important thing is true now that was not true for far too long: I listen to myself first.
I spent years putting what other people thought over me, and asking others opinions over mine in regards to my own life. And no longer does that ring true. Nobody wins over me in my own life. I get to be CEO of Netanya, Inc. And nobody can fire me unless I allow it.
That doesn’t mean don’t make deals or compromise or take other people’s thoughts and feelings into consideration at ALL. I frequently will still ask the opinions of people that I value. It just means I don’t take them at the expense of myself.
I’m going to keep being vulnerable.
I’m going to keep getting other people’s disapproval.
Because both of those things have allowed to be currently living a life I have never been more proud of.