I was reminded today of an old TV commercial, I think it was for shampoo, where the model displays her luxurious hair and says, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” She then goes on to tell you how you can be beautiful, too, by buying whatever the product was.
This afternoon I received an email that was a response to a newsletter I emailed out yesterday. The sender was a potential client who had scheduled a session, but then had not followed through with actually meeting with me.
His email said, in part: “Great! You should find a new profession, build something for yourself rather than living off of others’ wealth.” Huh? I was shocked! Where did that come from? He hadn’t even met me, hadn’t even spoken to me by phone, yet here he is attacking me for my profession as a counselor and coach.
I immediately went into defense mode in my head. I started by picking apart what he had said. It didn’t make any sense, because every profession lives off of others’ wealth. That’s how we make a living. We, in turn, buy products and services from others, and round and round it goes. This guy was obviously an idiot!
Then I started defending what it is that I do (again, only in my head). I know quite well that my clients get value from what I provide. I have numerous testimonials to support this belief, plus I have a number of clients who have come to me multiple times. They wouldn’t do that if I didn’t provide a valuable service. And…he came to me to engage my services! Why would he do that if he thought my profession was a joke (as he alluded to in another part of his email)?
Next, I thought about the content of the newsletter to which he was reacting. In it I announced new services and ventures I had in the works. I immediately got scared that I was getting too big for my britches and this newsletter was “bragging.” When I realized that I was actually starting to believe I might be getting too big and bragging, it drew me up short and my racing thoughts came to an abrupt halt. I have worked too hard at overcoming keeping myself small to revert back based on this email.
I suddenly realized that I was on the other side of my issue of not being able to express appreciation for others’ accomplishments. I have been struggling with giving kudos to others who have accomplished something I want for myself. I feel envious and resentful, rather than happy for them.
I recently realized that I felt this way for several reasons, (see post: https://blueheronwisdom.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/why-do-i-resist-showing-appreciation-to-others/ ), but primarily because I felt like if they were winning, I was losing. I’m in the midst of a 30 day campaign to express appreciation to everyone I meet every day, to overcome this false belief.
I realized that this man felt like he was not good enough, or less than, and my email newsletter about my grand vision for my practice gave him an opportunity to place the focus, and the blame and resentment, outside himself and squarely on me.
This is what I have been doing when I have felt resentful of someone else’s success. Having the shoe on the other foot has helped reinforce for me that whatever anyone else achieves means nothing about what I am capable of achieving. Wishing others well and celebrating their successes does not diminish me.
Prior to this negative email, I received several very positive and supportive emails about my new endeavors. These are the people I want to model myself after. I don’t want to be bitter, resentful and blaming of others for not creating the life – and career – that I want.
I am grateful to this man for holding that mirror up so I could see what it looks like from the other side. It is bewildering, and makes no sense. Having been on the receiving end, I can see even more clearly that my resentment for others’ who may have already achieved what I desire makes no sense, either.
I won’t hate you because you’re beautiful, because I am beautiful, too! I will celebrate your beauty, because it inspires me to unwrap and share my own beauty.