So, what happens when you call out an entire industry to a higher level of mastery?
Well, there were some folks that immediately loved what I was sharing and teaching and offering. These were mostly my die-hard fans who already knew the secret sauce I was teaching, saw the results for themselves, and wanted more of it.
But everyone else….they didn’t like it so much.
I initially had a lot of opt-outs in my newsletter community (and honestly, I continue to have a steady stream of opt-outs). The new messaging was too radical and went against the grain of everything the industry was saying about success.
It’s been many, many years since opt-out notifications go directly to my inbox. I learned pretty early on that every time I’d get an opt-out notification, I’d get insulted, embarrassed, angry, guilty, self-judgmental and eventually totally negative about my business in a doomsday sort of way. (Have I mentioned I’m a dramatic person sometimes?).
So now opt-outs go to my assistant’s email, and I just take a look at my stats every month or so.
But even with all my learning about how to energetically manage opt-outs, seeing so many community members go when I changed my messaging felt hard and harsh. I had expected it, but still had to do a lot of inner work to not go down the rabbit hole of “everything is falling apart and I will become hated and destitute!”
The opt-outs weren’t the worst part, though.
The hate mail was.
Oh, did the haters come out of the woodworks! They called me a fraud, they called me a villain, they called me stupid and irresponsible, they made fun of my speaking voice (yes, I got called a Valley Girl!), they used every curse word you can think of, they told me I sucked.
Not just via email, but on social media too.
This really, really hurt.
I don’t care what anyone says about knowing you’ve hit success if you’ve got Haters, or what Taylor Swift means when she sings about “The Haters gonna hate, hate hate….”. All that may be true, but when you get hate mail, and especially hate mail about something that is so important to you….it stings. It’s like a gut punch.
Your fight or flight response goes into overdrive and your reptilian brain feels like your life is being attacked and threatened.
In short, it is not fun.
I read one of the absolute worst emails (the one about my Valley Girl voice) in my car, just as I was about to walk into a Board Meeting at Yael’s preschool. I read the email and then rushed into the meeting.
We started talking about packed lunch rules for the next year and I burst into tears, running out of the room and straight to my car to go home and be hysterical all by myself. Till today, I still wonder if the other Board Members think I am particularly sensitive about turkey sandwiches and carrot sticks.
I got home, snot already covering the entirety of my face, wondering how I had been able to drive in that state. I straight changed into my pajamas, got under the covers, and cried for another hour or so.
And then I calmed down. And I saw the truth: that the woman’s nasty email to me wasn’t about me. It was about her. And her insecurities. And her fears.
I saw that if I was going to be serious about standing up for what I believe in, if I was going to fully own what I was put on this planet to do, if I was going to lead my business with integrity….
I was going to have to grow tougher skin, I was going to have to feel the gut-punch pain when icky things came my way but let it go pretty quickly, I was going to have more faith & confidence in myself.
And I’ve had to learn that lesson over and over and over again these last 20 months.
So, what about now?