It’s so great to feel external validation sometimes: Having people sign up for your event, buy your product, like your Facebook post, etc.
But what happens when they don’t?
What happens to you inside when the external results don’t match your expectations?
Some common reactions might be:
Quitting - because it must mean that no one cares or wants what you’re sharing
Hitting the downward spiral of self-doubt and beating yourself up for what you did wrong or for not being good enough
Pitying yourself via pints of ice cream and “wa-wa” sessions with your friend
Shitting on someone else’s success because you’re bitter that they are making it happen and you aren’t
All those make me scrunch my nose in disgust. Mostly because I’ve been in depths of each of them and it feels really crappy to think about being there again.
Quitting, Hitting, Pitying, Shitting = Not Prettying.
I’ve recently been challenged to go back there, though -
In both the dance classes and workshops that I’ve recently taught, I’ve averaged 1 or 2 people who have shown up to participate. My goal was 10 or more.
I could easily have made it mean that I’m just terrible at what I do, that I’m a bad business person for not being more proactive about marketing, that I might as well let other dance classes just take over the world because mine doesn’t really matter.
What stopped me from hitting that downward spiral?
Although I came close, and definitely started to hear those voices in my head, here are some of the things that were present for me and helped avoid it:
Emotional breakdowns. (I’ve been surrendering to cry sessions much more lately and learning that releasing emotions is an extremely powerful tool.)
My support network. (I have a coach and friends who have helped me stay true to who I am and recognize my value.)
The people who do show up. (When that 1 person walked into the dance studio, I just loved her up. I was in awe of her bravery and dedication to the process, and I learned so much from her as we went through the class.)
Here’s what I’ve learned from all of that:
Your internal state of feeling worthy, valuable, and loved trumps everything else.
Your internal state is responsible for the external results.
I still had that deep part of me that felt unworthy, unable to receive love/money/etc, disconnected from own value. I felt like I was trying so hard but not getting any results. The pushing/forcing energy was exhausting me and causing a lot of frustration, pain, and confusion in my life. It was almost as if that internal unworthy belief was creating the external results to reinforce it.
I don’t think something that deep can be removed in one moment, but I do think the shift has been put into motion in a powerful way. I already feel 10 times different: re-inspired in my work and excited to see what happens in the next month from this new energy.
It’s now my job to stay aware of when I shrink back into unworthiness - which is usually indicated by trying too hard, comparing myself to others' success, or feeling sorry for myself - and to take actions to love and accept myself more and more each day.
The same goes for you.
If anything in your external results is not matching your expectations, take a moment to examine your internal state. Is there a part of you that feels not good enough or unworthy? If you were worthy of greatness and success, how would you act? What would you do differently?
Take a moment to share in the comments below:
Tell us about a time when something you created didn’t receive as much external validation as you had hoped for. The more we out ourselves about this, the more we can all just chill out, stop comparing, and start creating from a more authentic and loving place.
Sometimes all it takes is one person who believes in you to create and grow something amazing.
Let’s stop pushing and forcing results, and instead start believing in ourselves from the depths of our being.
As Janis Joplin once said,
Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.
from my inner world to yours,