Shift Your Focus: When So Many Love You, Why Focus on Those Who Don't?
It's been a while since I've posted a blog, but now that the book is finished, I'll be back at it again!
This topic has been on my heart lately because I've not only seen it present is so many lives of my loved ones, it was also definitely a recurrent theme in my life as well. No matter how many people genuinely cared about me, supported me, and selflessly gave me their unconditional friendship and love, my focus would remain on those who had either rejected my love, dismissed me for not being "on their level" financially, or didn't consider me enough of a success to be regarded as relevant or worthy to be acknowledged.
One particular experience sticks with me and to this day I still cringe when I think of it. (Hey...God ain't through with me yet! #workinprogress).
I reached out to a radio show at the suggestion of a friend to inquire if I could be a guest and discuss my books and upcoming projects. Anyone who is chasing a dream and hasn't made a large name for themselves understands that getting a foot in the door is the difference from speaking and writing to an audience of one (yourself) and being able to bring your positive message to the masses, so this is something I'm constantly striving to do. Just a TOE in the door would help!
Thankfully, the show hosts were receptive to me and actually invited me to be a guest on their show. I was SO excited! I told all my friends and family who were supportive and affirmed that "my time had come" and because they are all so completely unbiased (wink) I believed them. But what I didn't know was that my experience would be anything but positive or promising.
When I arrived at the station, not only was I not acknowledged by anyone there even after several attempts to get someone's attention, but the hosts didn't even remember that I was booked as a guest! There were two other authors there who are well-known in the Atlanta area (neither of whom acknowledged me either after I greeted them both), and the host commenced to speak with the two of them for the majority of the time, allowing me about 45 seconds to quickly plug my book and try to tell who I was with the speed of an auctioneer (which was an EPIC fail!).
During the commercial break, I heard the host tell one of the authors, "I don't even know who she is anyway...she's not on the schedule. But what am I supposed to do when she just showed up?"
At that moment, I was even more happy for my chocolate skin, because I could feel my face growing warmer by the minute. I had about three email confirmations for the interview, along with a detailed instructions to the studio, the call time, and a brief bio the show. But they still didn't know -or care - who I was. I got through the show, and dipped out as the host took "after show" pictures with the other guests for the website and social media pages, having already forgotten I was there in the first place. I walked to my car, head held up as high as I could thinking to myself, one day I'll be a bestselling author and instead of chasing down interviews and being dismissed because I was unknown, people will be calling ME to ask about new projects, etc.
That thought got me to my car but when I was safely inside, the feelings of being disregarded turned into a few tear drops stinging my eyes and making their way down my cheeks. People who I didn't know from Adam and would never have to see again if I didn't chose to had hurt me more than the people in my life that actually loved me. I was so angry at myself for even caring what they thought (or in this case, what they didn't think) of me, and even more disturbed that those feelings followed me for weeks afterward. Intellectually I knew that their actions had no bearing on my life, but emotionally, I wanted to be regarded as someone of interest to these radio hosts so that they could help me spread my message to a larger audience. But after sharing my experience with those close to me, the more I said it out loud and confronted how I was feeling, the more ridiculous it felt allowing it to affect me. I knew that I was the only one responsible for acknowledging my worth and I also knew that anything I was devoting my life to was worth pursuing relentlessly. When one door closes or only opens a crack, either another one is waiting WIDE open or I could tap into my own strength and create my own door.
Focusing on the rejection instead of giving power to the positive aspects of my life was draining my spirit and not serving me well at all. As I let go of those feelings and made the effort to focus on the love and support that DID exist in my life, I began to create the energy needed to draw more promising and productive opportunities into my experience. And this was just the shift I needed to restore my faith in my purpose.
Shift your focus, and breathe new life into your dreams. Keep your focus on those who promote goodness in your life, and release the negativity of those who don't receive you. There are so many who love and support you, so don't diminish the love by focusing on those who don't. There's a quote that I love that says: "Everyone doesn't have to love you. Not everyone has good taste."
Nuff said. :-)