The world of content creation is saturated and potentially toxic if you don’t have the right purpose and principles. In this episode, Whitney Lauritsen opens up about her journey of finding clarity, confidence, and self-trust while navigating the industry. She voices her internal struggles and insecurities while socializing with peers and how it impacts her mentally. On the other hand, she shares how she overcame those negative thoughts while staying true to her core and purpose. Listen in for valuable lessons from Whitney as she introspects her growth and development as a content creator and as herself.
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Finding Clarity, Confidence, And Self-Trust
To be clear, every Monday, I do an episode on my own and every Friday, I do an episode with a guest. In a previous episode, I talked about these interview questions. I’m excited to share that after recording that episode and I submitted them for context. If you haven’t read that episode, I use that episode as an opportunity to reflect, share and verbalize some answers to these interview questions for this website.
Doing it that way was helpful. It still took me a ton of time to write out my answers. I took the transcript from that episode and copy-edited everything I said. It’s amazing how much time I spend on a task like that because I recognize that most people do not spend nearly as much time processing and working on things. That has been a helpful realization for me to have because I’ve spent so much of my life feeling different, which I wondered, does everybody feel different? Do you feel different? Do we all feel we’re alone and nobody understands us?
I wonder if that’s tied to our egos. Egos as in how our brains work? How do we see ourselves as separate from others versus when we feel the same? Something that people have pointed out a lot about me, but I hadn’t fully reflected on until now, which I tend to make things complicated. I overthink things. I do things “the hard way.” For me, I like doing things and thinking that way. There’s a reason behind it. I’ve spent so much of my life trying to change by myself but unable to. I am feeling a lot of shame because I felt unable to change in the way that people have encouraged me.
Now, in my life, I’m embracing it and saying, “What if I don’t need to change? What if I’m okay?” I think that is the answer for all of us. We are all inherently okay. It’s the benefit of getting older, which is also an update on an episode I did on my birthday about age. It’s such a joy to grow more confident in who I am as a person every day. I can look back on my younger self and realize how much insecurity I faced. I still feel a lot of insecurity. That’s one of the reasons I was inspired to shape this episode around challenges.
Navigating Loneliness And Criticism
Going back to those interview questions, I brought that up because one of them was about how do I keep going when things get tough? It is something like that. How do you push through challenges? In that episode, I said, “That’s easy. I don’t feel like I have to push through.” I forget what the exact wording is. I’m tempted to pull it up but it doesn’t matter so much what it was saying.
It was the idea of how you move through times when you doubt yourself. When times get tough, how do you stop yourself from giving up? I said that I generally do not feel like giving up. I usually just pause, and that’s absolutely true. However, the difference between that previous episode versus this episode is now I’ve felt more unsure of myself. I go through that period a lot.
It’s important to discuss this because somehow, we have this idea that other people who don’t verbalize insecurity may not feel it. Maybe we see successful people and because we’re not seeing them when they’re struggling, we might assume that they don’t struggle in the same way that we do. We’re coming to a time where people are more honest and vulnerable about their challenges.
Because mental health is discussed more often, we have more awareness that we’re not alone when we feel insecure, unsure of ourselves or doubtful. That’s a universal human thing but it’s still sometimes hard for me to recognize that I’m not alone and feeling that way. It’s the difference between understanding a concept versus deeply feeling it or knowing it. I understand that I’m not alone but deep down inside, I do feel alone. I’m curious if you do as well. I have some trauma around that. Maybe emotionally, I’ve felt a lot in my life feeling misunderstood and/or unsupported. When I don’t feel supported as an adult, I get very triggered into insecurity. I felt that before this episode.We are inherently okay. Click To Tweet
Part of what triggers that is when I feel like people don’t care about me. That must be part of this core wound. I mentioned this a bit in that last episode. It’s helpful for my mental health to feel valued. The way that I feel valued is generally through various forms of affirmation. If you are familiar with the Five Love Languages concept, one of mine, if not the main love language that I’ve discovered about myself, is words of affirmation.
I’ve noticed that for years in relationships and friendships. I’ve grown to feel more confident in saying, “Will you tell me that I did a good job? That means the world to me.” A lot of times, I struggle to ask that because it feels a little embarrassing. I associate that with some weaknesses, having to ask for positive feedback. That feels important but I also have an embarrassment of is it cringe-worthy that I have to ask for this?
A lot of times, I want to ask. What is also hurtful is when I do ask and I don’t get it. Mostly, this happens online over the years like asking for reviews on your podcast, asking for people to give you a thumbs up on your YouTube video or leaving a comment on Instagram. Maybe most people don’t even see or hear those words because they are so common. It seems like everyone is asking. There’s a difference between asking for the algorithm.
If you didn’t know this, people leaving reviews and interacting with you generally get you more exposure. Perhaps some people think, “I don’t feel like it.” They’re only doing this for their own personal gain. I certainly enjoy the gains of that type. I feel like, deep down, I’m asking for it for my emotional needs or self-esteem because if I receive validating words, I am more likely to continue doing something. It’s not about the money. It’s about feeling affirmed.
That’s probably tied to feeling like I wasn’t affirmed so much in my life. Criticism has been hurtful for me because I perceive that as the opposite of being affirmed. I’ll get into a place of doubt when I see information that I interpret as criticism. With the show, I generally will look at how many people are listening to the episodes. When I go through a period of low listenership, I feel insecure about this show. I have a number of shows. This show I have the most emotional tie to because I’ve been doing it for the longest. I’ve been most consistent here.
I always consider this my main show. The other shows I do are my client’s shows. They hold less weight emotionally for me because I’m removed from them. I still want them to do well but when they don’t do well, I don’t take it personally. The other shows that I do on my own, I feel less attached to them because they’re newer. It’s not that big of a deal, but this show reminds me a lot of how I used to feel about YouTube. My fear is that I don’t want my relationship with the show to turn into my history with YouTube, which I pulled away from.
Pulling Back On Comparisons
I don’t have a lot of positive associations with YouTube because it never felt it went anywhere. I reached a peak and then came down. I reached a peak in subscribers and viewership, and it was all downhill from there. Especially because I’m not active on there, I often lose more followers than gain them these days because people close their accounts or see the content and it’s no longer valuable to them. I felt sad about that. Leaving YouTube almost felt like a breakup because I’ve invested so much into it. I felt like I was asking in so many ways over and over again for the support that I never got. I saw a lot of other people getting the support I wanted. I felt it must be me.
This is a thing about this comparison trap when we can see how other people are doing. If we can relate that to ourselves, it’s very easy to fall into comparison. I started to shield myself from that, especially on YouTube and Instagram. It became unhealthy for me. One advantage of the last few years is that I was not going to as many industry events. Industry means in the social media world where I felt like I was constantly put in the comparison mentality.
I would not only feel comparison in terms of performance but so many other factors. People at a lot of these events that I would go to would hear how they were doing either directly from them or indirectly. Someone will walk in the room and be like, “That’s so and so, and they have this many followers.” You’re immediately put into comparison with them. Even I have been in situations where people look up my accounts right in front of me. I feel like I can read their face. They are now viewing me through the lens of how many followers I have, whether they think that’s impressive or not.
You hear conversations around how much money people make, what their content looks like, what they look like, and on and on. The thing about podcasting has been a lot less comparison in general, but now that I’ve gotten so deep in the podcast world, that’s starting to happen too. It’s scary sometimes because I’m terrified of getting back into that hole that I found myself in with YouTube, where I had no motivation left. I felt conflicted because I didn’t want it to be about numbers, but it’s hard to avoid that.
That’s the place that I’m getting to at this show. It’s very fresh in my head because I was examining the numbers. I usually look at it every week for this show. I don’t know if it’s serving me anymore, so I want to stop. The reason I was doing it is numbers are helpful for moving forward and getting advertisers. I occasionally bring on a sponsor for the show and they always want to know these numbers. I like to know the averages, the context of things, and get into the analytical standpoint.
The pro is that you collect this data so they can share it with somebody else and determine how or if they’re going to work with you. It feels very businessy. My brain will obsess and that is challenging. I didn’t mean for this episode to quite be about this, but to give some context, it might be helpful to hear. It’s the same thing with YouTube. It was always about the numbers. Deep down, I wasn’t doing it for that reason. I wanted sponsorship because, in my head, that would allow me to dedicate more time to YouTube.
In hindsight, I sacrificed so much joy because I started YouTube out of passion. I started it because it was bringing me joy. I got more into it because I felt supported, the viewership went up, and people were complimenting me. For context, I started my channels very early. The Eco-Vegan Gal YouTube channel started either in 2008 or 2009. I had already done some experimenting with other channels on YouTube for a year or two before that.
I remember that turning point of like, “There are opportunities here,” and how exciting to be able to do something that I’m passionate about full-time. Back then, which I shared a bit about in the last episode, I was working full-time at a 9:00 to 5:00 job and a part-time job. I thought it would be amazing if all I could do were YouTube and blogging. It then did become about the numbers, but it still felt very positive for a while until that comparison trap came in where I was trying to learn from other people, but in order to learn, it felt everything became a comparison.
Unmasking And Being Okay With Not Fitting A Mold
Everything was like, “How many numbers do you have? You want to charge this much money? So-and-so charges this. You should lower your rates,” which would be very common. It’s this trap where you want to bring your numbers up so you can generate more income to support yourself, but at what cost? I found myself starting to change into a person that I didn’t relate to anymore.
That goes back to my original statement that I don’t want to change. There’s so much pressure in the business world to change. I don’t want to be a different person in order to make money. That has become very clear to me. It feels sad and heartbreaking. I’ve ended up in a few industries with few meanings in the digital content world.It’s such a joy to grow more confident in who you are as a person every day. Click To Tweet
When I was working in the film industry, it was that same thing. I got into filmmaking out of passion and love for the art. I deeply resonated with it. I had been making video projects practically my entire life, which is much more common now. When I was growing up, it was very uncommon. I was one of the very few people I knew that knew how to operate a video camera. I studied it and understood the business. Every angle of it, I was so in that world but the industry of it did not suit my personality or working style.
As I talked about in the last episode, that led me to start my own work in business. A large part of the work that I’ve done has felt deeply nourishing and satisfying. Seeing me move away from content has been the result of not wanting to put myself in a box that I didn’t fit naturally. It took me a while to even admit it. It even feels hard to admit now because there’s so much mentality around. In order to succeed, you have to do X, Y and Z. Even sharing that statement at this moment breaks my heart a little bit because I feel like so many people go about life, changing themselves in order to get something.
It also seems that many of us, towards the end of our life, realize none of that was worth it or mattered. I see it in all sorts of different ways. Another example is I went to this big Hollywood private party, but for a private party, there were a lot of people there, including celebrities. I could do a whole episode on that party experience. I was invited through somebody else who works in the Hollywood industry. I was going as a guest and excited to treat it like a fly-on-the-wall experience.
It was fascinating because I love witnessing people’s behavior and the nuances in it. One of the people there I’ve known for a few years is a very successful person in the Hollywood world. I don’t want to give the details about who this person is. I’m not saying that to be mysterious. It’s purely out of privacy for them. I see different sides to this person. I’ve seen deep kindness and sweetness in this person. The way I observe other people, I can pick up on things about them quickly.
I don’t know if that’s a common thing. When I’m talking to other people about how I observe others, it seems like I observe people a little differently than most people I know. People often remark, “I didn’t notice this about that person.” I am almost obsessed with these details of who somebody is. I’m deeply curious about who someone is at their core. The person at the party, I have vivid memories of their faces, voices, postures, and how they shifted throughout the party based on the context of what they were doing or who they were with.
I would see these moments of purity, a vulnerable, sweet human being, and then moments where their posture would completely change because of the context of what they were saying or who they were with. Suddenly, they were a different person. Given what I know about this person’s work in Hollywood, I imagine that they are showing up so differently in order to achieve what they have achieved, which is amazing. There’s almost a sadness that I would assume about this person in that it feels like a facade.
I’ve noticed that a lot in Hollywood because through my work and connections in Los Angeles, I know a lot of actors or filmmakers who have been successful. Yet when I’ve had down-to-earth conversations with them, most of those people don’t seem deeply happy or nourished. It’s because, in my opinion, the Hollywood industry is all about putting on masks and shaping yourself in order to fit the mold.
The similarities between being a content creator and Hollywood, there are tons of overlaps now, more and more so. Part of me is like, “Maybe this is why I’ve been feeling uncomfortable.” It’s because I simultaneously feel excited about the correlations between content creation and mainstream media and how they’re merging so much. That terrifies me because, to me, that signals not being true to yourself.
I have seen so much of the content creation world become about fitting a mold and doing it as a business versus the core of doing something for a passion. That’s where the conflict comes up in me. To go back to this idea of giving up at this moment, I realize that’s where my trigger is. Maybe it’s not just about support. It’s triggered because I feel like I can’t be myself. I felt depressed after that Hollywood party. It’s interesting.
I knew that I was putting on a mask to go to this party. As soon as I heard about this party, I wanted to go. I was like, “This is going to be cool.” There was a whole reason for this party happening. It was related to a project that the host was doing. I was like, “I want to see this project.” I think it would be cool to be there for it. It was an exclusive event for friends. It wasn’t a red-carpet type of event. It was a down-to-earth network or community-focused event.
I’m like, “This is the type of thing I want to go to because I won’t have to wear a thick of a mask,” versus a lot of Hollywood parties that are all about networking and people. It’s hard to verbalize this, so bear with me. Especially if you don’t work in Hollywood or haven’t worked in Hollywood, I want to make sure that I’m setting the ground for this. It’s very similar to any industry. A better example that everybody can relate to is when you go to a work party, where the context is everybody is there because it’s about work.
It’s like a holiday party for your job, or even in college, parties you would go to that were designed for networking. You’re probably going to show up differently there than if it’s a casual birthday party where people from your work may be there or college is going to be there. You’re not there to think about work. You’re there for a different purpose. The latter is which this party that I went to was.
I was like, “At least the people that are going to be there are a little bit more relaxed.” Because every single person at that party works in Hollywood to some extent or another, I knew that there would be that level of networking and who’s who type of a thing. I felt like I had to go there with a mask on. My mask was clothing, makeup, hair and my whole appearance. I went to lengths that I have not gone to for so long. I went shopping because I didn’t feel confident about it in my clothes.
I went and bought myself a new outfit. It’s out of character for me but I like getting new clothes once or twice a year to freshen things up. It feels rare for me. I spent an hour doing my makeup, which was absurd for me. I’m a five-minute makeup application type of girl. I have my set way of doing my makeup when I do makeup, which is rare in itself. I put it on quickly and moved on, but I was determined to do a great job with my makeup. I watched a makeup tutorial and went all out. I loved the way it turned out. I felt so confident in my new outfit. I didn’t do much to my hair.
That was my mask, wearing new clothes that I didn’t have and putting on literally a lot more makeup than usual, which felt like a mask in its literal sense. I went to this party thinking about how I was going to show up. I thought about what I was going to say to people if they asked what I did. Everything I was doing was strategic. Why? I don’t know. It’s the old way of doing things from being in that industry. There were photographers there and videos being made. I’m literally next to people I’ve seen on TV and having conversations with people.
I don’t even know what they do. They probably are some big wigs. I felt like I had to show up in a way that would impress them. This is something that is fun every once in a while. After the party, I felt bad. Once the high of it wore off, the high of like, “So-and-so was at this event, that’s cool. I’m so lucky to have been invited.” Once those little things were off me, I found myself in this little temporary crisis because I went into the comparison trap to the other girls that were there. They look prettier than me. Their makeup and their clothes are far better than mine. They look better in photos.When we can see how other people are doing, if we can relate that to ourselves, it's very easy to fall into comparison. Click To Tweet
I was sent a couple of photos that the photographer took and I couldn’t even look at myself. Despite all the time I spent putting into my appearance, I still didn’t feel good enough about how I looked. There was that level of not feeling great. There were podcasters at that event and heard some of the numbers that they have for their podcast. They’re astounding. It’s 40 times probably what my show gets. That’s an extreme because there are celebrities involved with their podcasts. They’re going to have much higher numbers than me but still, I found myself wallowing in that comparison trap of I feel not a failure but have such a long way to go and may never get there.
That’s the dark place my brain goes. I could do a whole episode about that party, but it feels unnecessary how much it triggered me despite the joy that I’ve found. I could also go on and on about all the perks of that party. I was probably there for maybe three hours or a little less, but the impact that it had on me has lasted days and not in a positive way. I’ve had to sit with that and think about like, “How do I get out of that negative headspace? Does that mean that I don’t go to parties anymore?” Not really.
I still think that the high of that event was enough to keep me going back, but is that an addictive cycle? That’s the other thing too that I reflect on. I was invited to a very different type of party a few days after that one. I said to the organizer that I wasn’t sure if I was going to go because I have a lot of social anxiety. In order for me to overcome my social anxiety, I tend to have to do a lot of masking, as I did at that Hollywood party. Masking is exhausting, but also the mental preparation I have before I go to a party and the potential consequences after that. Now that I have become more self-aware, I realize a simple 2 to 3-hour party is a multi-day experience for me.
Generally, that causes a ton of stress on me. I’m so glad that I have that realization because that helps me make decisions. I don’t think I was aware of that. It’s so clear given that I don’t go to many parties now. The natural products event I went to in mid-early March 2022 took me 2 or 3 weeks to recover from that four-day event. I’m curious how many other people experienced that recovery time. If you do as well, I would love to hear from me because this is where I started to feel like the odd one out.
Speaking of masking, I wonder how many people have experienced these things but have no awareness of them. How many people went to that Hollywood party that I went to and felt like they had to mask? I would guess most of those people, at least the women who feel like they have to wear a ton of makeup and do their clothes. The fact that I spent an hour doing my makeup probably wasn’t uncommon. Who knows how much money they spend on their outfits?
I felt like I was wearing something I knew was relatively inexpensive. Thinking about how much work goes into showing up as a woman at an event like that is interesting to me. I don’t know how much time men spend. Do they just buy and have a nice outfit that they wear, show up, and never think about the event again? That’s a fascinating gender disparity, especially in Hollywood. I wonder how many people left that party feeling like their self-esteem was impacted too.
Processing Your Experiences
Without giving you the details, there were high-level people there that when you see and hear about them, and see what they’re working on, it’s very easy to feel bad about yourself. You’re exposed to people who are in the top X percent, whatever that would be for projects, fame and notoriety. It’s like, “Am I ever going to be a household name like them? Am I going to be that recognizable? Does it even matter for me to look at what all this person has achieved? Will I ever achieve that too?” It’s that comparison and the ripple effect on your self-esteem.
I imagine so many people experience that, but they’re used to experiencing it that they don’t even fully process it in the way that I’ve taken in the last few days and this moment. For me, processing it leads to the answer that I wanted to circle back on. How do I keep going? How do I decide whether or not to give up on something? I spend all this time reflecting on it and understanding the why. When I can identify why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling, I can usually attribute it to something that doesn’t have the significance needed for me to quit something.
If I break down the tough emotions, the comparison trap, it’s like I’m comparing myself to somebody who’s completely different from me in a lot of different ways, not just literally a different person. To compare this show to a show that probably has a huge budget to advertise has big partners and celebrity names. That is not me. I can continue to process and remind myself of that. When I do that and remind myself over and over again, “That is not me. I’m in a different position and a different person. I have a different story and needs. The context is different.” All of that is a comfort.
When I notice that I feel unsupported, two things come up for me. One is, can I ask for support? It’s tricky with stuff like this. When I feel unsupported with this show, for example, I know that by asking for support, a couple of people will support me. They’ll come out and say something supportive to me. I could reach out to close friends and say, “I’m feeling insecure about my show now.” They’d probably say something kind. I could reach out to you and share vulnerably.
Maybe you or someone else will reach out. A few people will do that, which is nice. Sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough, honestly. Deep down, I have this desire to please the majority. That has also been tough for me as a content creator. I don’t need to please everyone. In an ideal world, I would love to be able to please everyone. If I can please the majority, that feels nice. I’ve noticed through my work. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt like I’ve pleased the majority.
It’s hard to even know. Sometimes all I have are numbers, and going back to the numbers saying that’s where this all becomes a tough cycle. It is like the only way for me to know if the majority of people like what I’m doing is to look at numbers and assume. Am I growing? That’s also interesting, numbers-wise. In this industry of content creation, there’s a lot of emphases placed on growth but deep down, I don’t know if I need more all the time. This is something worth considering. Why do you need to grow? What if you could just be happy with what you have or the average?
When I talked about what success means to me, that’s an important reminder too. Do I have my core needs met? This probably gets a little complicated. A core need for me is passion and enjoyment. Do I enjoy doing this show? Yes. You could strip it and start examining why you enjoy it. That’s where it becomes very nuanced and complicated. Why do I enjoy this show? I enjoy talking. I process out loud. Talking is therapeutic to me.
Finding What Fuels Your Purpose
I enjoy feedback. It’s obvious at this point. I love when somebody writes me an email and says that an episode that I did was helpful to them. It boosts my ego a little bit. My core desire is a need to help others. I’m going to put it more in the desire category. I find deep joy. My reward system gets triggered of I help somebody. Honestly, when one person sends me an email and says specifics about an episode, that email does feel enough to me, even though it’s not the majority.
The small percentage is not the majority. It’s not like 50% of readers. I have no idea who they are. I will never hear from them statistically. That is sometimes tough but if 50% of readers wrote me emails every week, I would be overwhelmed. Technically, one person is sending me an email, one that is written with intention and detail. That fills up my tank of satisfaction that I helped one person. That’s what I mean by enough.
This is what helps me get out of that comparison trap. If one email is all it takes for me to feel enough, I don’t need these huge numbers. The downside to celebrity, and I think I’ve shared this before, is you can’t connect with your audience on a deep level that I want. Even though a few hundred people wrote me emails frequently, I would not be able to keep up with them. I don’t have the bandwidth but a celebrity probably gets that many messages all the time.So much of the content creation world has become about fitting a mold and doing it as a business versus the core of being of doing something for a passion. That's where the conflict comes up. Click To Tweet
When we get back to the comparison trap, we can look at it from a positive standpoint. This person might have however many people listening to their show. Let’s say I got 40 emails. I would estimate that this show has 40 times my listenership of mine. If one email feels good to me, let’s say I got 40 emails, and they were all equally as good. What would happen is responding to 40 deep, thoughtful emails would be tough for me if it was frequent.
If it was 40 emails a week, it doesn’t seem a lot but I would want to connect with each one. I would want to give each person my gratitude and response. What I would likely do is either read but then never respond because I would be too overwhelmed to respond or I would get someone to help me. When someone helps me with emails, there’s always going to be a disconnect between that person who wrote it and me. When I come back to that standpoint, I would so much rather stay small. Staying small does feel enough to me. Maybe the financial opportunities are going to be far less.
The nourishing relationships, the lack of overwhelm, and the connection are at the core of my needs and joy. That’s probably how I can stay centered when I feel thrown off balance. When I get myself into a mentality based on feeling disappointed because I think that disappointment is outside of me. Sometimes I want to deconstruct every piece of information I get and examine it bit by bit. What I mean by that is when I find myself feeling sad, depressed, low self-esteem, vulnerable, not enough, insecure or whatever emotion, and contemplating my work and thinking things like, “It’s not worth it. Maybe I should stop doing this.”
I’m not just talking about the show but anything I do. I go through those emotions all the time. Sometimes I’m amazed at how often those thoughts come into my head and wonder what it would be like to slow down more and take in less information. One thing I’ve been practicing is not using social media like TikTok as frequently because of the speed.
TikTok, even Instagram, Twitter especially or any of these platforms, you go on there and you’re bombarded with information more so than a lot of what we’re often very aware of. Our brain is taking so much information all the time. It’s making connections in ways that we might not be conscious of because it’s happening so fast. It’s very likely that every time I go on TikTok, I fall into the comparison trap and do it on multiple levels. How do I look in comparison to this person? How is this person’s career in comparison to mine? Those are the two big ones for me.
I’m sure there are all these other factors. I’m thinking either they’re better than me or they’re worse than me. It’s bouncing around constantly to the point where I’m rattled and losing my sense of self. That’s the other big realization I’m having as I talk through this. My core need is to feel like myself. My core desire in life is to feel true and authentic. It has been that for many years. I remember in college noticing how triggered I would get around people I didn’t perceive to be showing up as themselves.
It’s like I said at that party with that one guest I mentioned. I saw different variations of this person throughout the 2 or 3 hours I was there. They were shape-shifting. I couldn’t see the difference between when they felt authentic to me versus when they felt like they were putting on airs. I’ve been triggered by that when I notice other people putting on airs. It feels disconnected to me. My core desire is to feel connected to myself and others.
Spending Less Time Receiving Input From Others
I’m glad that I shared this out loud. I feel like this episode has been a bit all over the place but it has helped me a lot. My core desire is to help you too. I hope that it helps you. This is where my vulnerability comes up too. I’m constantly second-guessing myself and that sucks. If I could change myself, that would be that, if there’s a way for me to stop second-guessing myself. The answer to this entire discussion comes down to spending less time receiving input from others. It leads us to make assumptions, put ourselves in the comparison trap, and take information that may not resonate with us.
I’ve spent so much of my life taking what other people say as more important than what I feel deep down. I would like to switch that where I have more self-trust. What do I feel? What do I think? What is best for me? What does success looks like for me? If I can stay rooted in that, then life feels much more balanced. Life maybe feels more joyful because it’s not about other people. To me, that is my life’s work, I would assume.
Based on how my life has gone thus far, my biggest challenge has been that self-trust. I feel a lot of other people have that too, despite what they look like from the outside. That Hollywood party is a great example because I saw it happening and felt it too. I feel uncomfortable pointing out some things I’ve noticed about myself. If I am a neurodivergent, this is one of those qualities. It falls in the autism spectrum of you can read people well. When you walk into a room, you can feel people.
You notice details about them that maybe other people don’t. There is probably the biggest celebrity at that party. I did not interact with this person, but I saw them from across the yard. It’s an outdoor party. I observed them a little bit because I was curious about this person. I was like, “Interesting.” I don’t think I’d ever been around this person before, not to my recollection. I’m observing them subtly. By a few subtle observations, I could feel this person or at least what I felt from way across. They were probably 20 to 30 feet away from me among the crowd.
My feeling was this person did not feel confident, based on their posture and their outfit. It felt like they were scared of what others were going to think about them. If you knew who this person was, one thing I’ll say about them is that they had been in the spotlight for a lot of criticism based on some of their choices. I don’t remember all the details. This was years ago. It’s an older celebrity who has not painted very positive pictures of them publicly.
I wonder how much trauma that person carries around and fear socializing. How much social anxiety does someone like that have? That person seemed happy to be there and proud of the reason that they were there, but maybe a bit scared. That would be my guess. There is one other that’s not as well-known celebrity, but someone I know based on their work, who did interact with me. I was also fascinated by how quiet this person was compared to who they’ve played on screen. The assumptions we make about actors versus who they are, the characters and the roles that they play.
The second person or the second actor was so laid back, quiet and sweet. If you didn’t know who they were, you would not know that they played these roles of a completely different person. Maybe that’s why I like going to those parties. I love observing who somebody is. That might be part of my life’s work/curiosity and passion. I love knowing who people are. I like knowing who I am and who others are. I like helping people reveal their true selves. It’s interesting to me that our lives aren’t set up to support us in that. So much of our lives seem to revolve around that shape-shifting and those masks. I don’t know if there will ever be a place where people feel they can consistently be their authentic unmasked selves.
Maybe I want to place more emphasis on my workaround, helping people find it and stay in that mode as frequently as possible. That’s where I’d like to be. That’s at the root of why I created Beyond Measure, the private community that I run. I yearn to connect with others as my true self, with their true selves, their authentic selves, without us putting on airs. It’s been so nourishing to have that. I’m starting to promote Beyond Measure more because I realize how important that is for me to show up that way and offer that space to others.
At this moment, I feel so deeply connected to it. I want that to be at the root of all my work. To come back around to the original question before I end, I keep going by getting rooted in not just my needs but rooted in my big mission. It’s easy to lose sight of that because my mission is something I haven’t even been fully clear on. Even in this episode, I’ve verbalized it in ways that haven’t frequently stated out loud.The downside to being a celebrity is you can't connect with your audience on a deep level. Click To Tweet
I yearn to be more clear about that if I can make that my life’s work. There are different levels. My life’s work as a person versus my life’s work as a career. My life’s work as a person is about self-trust. My life’s work as a career is about helping other people trust themselves but revealing the truth of who they are. I’m going to go ponder that more.
Thank you for reading. If this resonated with you, I’d truly love to hear from you. I started working with somebody who’s assisting me with emails. I’m so excited about that because we created a whole method in which this person will help me respond ideally to everyone. We’re doing it together so that I retain that connection that I mentioned but have a system in place so that I don’t get overwhelmed.
I bring that up because I feel like maybe I’ve had an energetic block sometimes with people where I simultaneously want people to message me but I’m afraid of getting overwhelmed and not being able to respond back. If you’re somebody who either has reached out to me and I haven’t replied, please know that it’s always my intention to connect with you because I deeply value that. It means the world and makes me feel supported, but it is back to that root of connection that I crave.
If you never write to me because you didn’t feel compelled to or felt some energetic block that maybe I inadvertently put up, I want to reopen that for you and know that I’ve worked hard to figure out a system to achieve the level of connection that I desire with you. Please feel free to reach out. I’ve also set that up as a way of making those regular connections. We meet every Saturday. It is so wonderful to hear people’s voices and sometimes see their faces. I’m working on a live chat feature of Beyond Measure, which I don’t know when that’ll be out yet, but that’s a new feature of the platform that I use to run the community.
There’s so much in development, and it’s all about connection. I would love to connect with you in whatever way resonates with you through email, through the Beyond Measure community or on social media, even though I try not to be on there too much. I love the messaging elements of that. Please connect if you feel compelled. If not, I appreciate you reading this. It makes a difference. Thank you. I’ll be back again with a special guest and I wish you all the very best with your life, journey and self-compassion. Until next time.
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