It was 10 minutes in SOBCon Friday morning, and Liz Strauss was already crying. Intense.
That’s kind of what this conference is like, though. So much of it was business basics, and yet, I found myself struggling to answer so many questions. For the uninitiated, SOBCon is a unique conference in that it is small, intimate, and whether you like it or not, you get to know many of the people in the room – because after every presenter, you mastermind with your tablemates. And it works.
A few hours in, the ridiculously tweetable Liz said something that affected me in a way I didn’t expect, though.
“Find the people who won’t let you fail.”
I only had to write down three… and I froze.
Oh god, who wouldn’t let me fail? Do I even know three people that well? Who cares enough that they would be sorry if I failed?
You know when you feel so small and inconsequential you could disappear? Yeah. That.
One of the most stirring pieces of researching Rebel Mama was how so many of us feel isolated, even though there are more tools than ever for us to connect. Why? There were a few common answers. “I don’t want to bother anyone. There are so busy. Nobody has time for me. I’m in a rough place – I want other to see me at my best.”
No matter the response, it comes down to vulnerability. “I am afraid to be vulnerable.”
I am afraid to be vulnerable.
This weekend, that fear of being vulnerable came up more than once. I spent Saturday evening at Departures with some of the group from SOBCon. On the Portland rooftop, we were blessed with one of those truly gorgeous days the pacific northwest occasionally bestows on us. The sun was going down over the side of the hills while we talked about life and business and that wonderful place where the two coexist. Ric and I were discussing the weekend and my struggle to identify my big vision.
Big visions are a hard one for me. I love taking other people’s big visions and distilling them down into actionable plans, but when it comes to my own, well, that’s a little different.
That’s a level of vulnerability I’ve been fighting with. It’s not that I don’t want a vision to aspire to – it’s just I’ve never been able to see that far. The big dreams I had before becoming a mother weren’t dreams that had much lasting power. Because I was 20 when I had my daughter, I didn’t have time to explore what a bigger future might look like. And to be honest, I’m terrified of failing. What if I don’t make it? Meet my own expectations? What if I’m forgotten?
And what’s everyone around me doing in the meantime? I am friends with best-selling authors. World travelers. Revolutionaries. People who have made it.
And what am I doing? Who am I really? It’s always the actual question at hand when there’s a big decision waiting to be made. Is this a decision my most ideal and true self would make? Do my values, desires, and work all form something worth achieving? Do I have a dream worth pursuing where I might just fail?
I think I do.
So here’s my big vision. I want revolution. To change the way we think and talk about motherhood. I want to be a champion for rebellious women who refuse to be less of themselves to be more of anything else. I want a paradigm shift. I want a movement fueled by dreams and passion to achieve a level of freedom in motherhood that we can only have when we truly know ourselves. I want to give so much back that everyone’s busting at their seams with gratitude and wholeness.
And I know I can’t do it alone. I would never have gotten this far without everyone whose helped me, believed in me, connected with me, and so much more. I can’t do it without you.
So How to Find The People Who Won’t Let You Fail
Look. They are probably already there.
And if they aren’t, that’s okay. You don’t have to know them personally yet. They can be your mentors from afar. Start with a stream of consciousness riff and see who shows up for you.
As for me?
Nina won’t let me fail.
Alicia won’t let me fail.
Elisa won’t let me fail.
Shannon won’t let me fail.
Rachel won’t let me fail.
Charlie won’t let me fail.
Justine won’t let me fail.
Jay won’t let me fail.
Danielle won’t let me fail.
John won’t let me fail.
Liz won’t let me fail.
Penelope won’t let me fail.
Ric won’t let me fail.
There are so many more that belong on this list.
Make your list.
Who are the people who won’t let you fail? Your partner? Your close friends? Who would you like to be on that list?
Make it happen.