Don’t Let Other People’s Version of You Define Who You Are

Eavesdropping at Starbucks is a past time I enjoy. You get to hear some interesting shit when people don’t think they have an audience. Or maybe that’s what they want. I don’t judge. I just listen.

Today was a doozy and my heart went out to the lady. She was what appeared to be a stay at home mom. I came up with this conclusion because she went on a tirade, with her baby in tow, about how just because she’s home that doesn’t mean she’s not working.

She was lively and frustrated. She looked drained. As if this was something that had been bothering her for a while.

What people perceive about you is their version of you, not YOURS.

This was a difficult lesson to learn and it took me years. I still have moments where I forget. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you get to define who you are but it’s a double edge sword.

Those around you may not be into this new version of who you want to be. They may want to keep you small in their tiny little box because it’s safer that way. We’re creatures of habit so change is usually disruptive.

The first pill to swallow is that you have to let go of whatever validation you need from the people in your life. This includes family and life long friends. You may find that some people who you hold dear won’t be around for your entrepreneurial journey.

Some people will fall off and it hurts and it sucks but it’s a necessary evil for you to evolve into the best version of who you want to be.

I wish she was still here but the lady left with her child. I wanted to tell her that it’s OK.

It’s no one’s responsibility to “get you.” It’s your responsibility to “get you.”

When I look at entrepreneurship, I realize that this is my life. This is not a job.

My BFF posted a question about whether teaching should be a 9-5 job. I internalized that question because in my bubble when someone asks those kinds of leading questions, there’s usually something deeper at play like introspection. In answering the question for her I answered doubts I had for myself.

This is my life and not a job.

Another conversation with my friend Ana Lydia today about what constitutes a lifestyle blogger and it was that much more clear – my career is my lifestyle. I’m trying to sort out some issues I have around that but I’m not apologetic about it. I love what I do even when I feel like I don’t. I love the people I work with and wouldn’t trade any of that for the highest paying 9-5.

Identifying as a lifestyle blogger is new to me because I used to despise the term blogger. I’m still not quite sure what changed but when I hear it I don’t cringe because I am much more than just a blogger and my site reflects that.

In hindsight I want to go run after that lady who was venting in this random Starbucks to tell her that it’s not the voices on the outside that you need to be angry at but the inside ones.

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