As I've been advertising and promoting my class "Reversing the Shame Spiral, Breaking the Mask," I’ve noticed an interesting trend. I assume people friend request me because they have seen what I’m about, pursued my content, and want to know more. So I reach out, and in this instance, I send a direct link to my free class.
The first thing I've noticed is that most people just don't respond. Very few people take a firm, direct “no” stance (other variations include but are not limited to “that’s cool, but no thanks,” and “screw you; fuck off”), opting to simply ignore the message (more on this thought in the next video). Even more interesting to me is that about 50% of the people who do respond and actually request to join my class don't have any interest in participating or learning what I am teaching.
That is absolutely amazing to me! When we step out of shame and trauma, we are stepping into a space of our own autonomy. Doing things out of obligation or for quid pro quo is the opposite, so it’s a bit ironic that the perceived obligatory action is happening regarding a class that teaches the antithesis of obligation.
Part of me gets it. You want to be nice. Then there's this whole thing in sales psychology that you’re responding to - where if you give someone something they're going to feel the need to give back, even if it’s something really small like a link to a class.
Yet, how much of our lives do we spend in this place of obligation? We sell out our time and our energy and our attention to and for things we do not want. It's one of the social nicety things that actually perpetuates trauma states because we're telling ourselves that our desire is less than the three seconds it took for someone to send you a link or a picture or a hello. We are telling ourselves that where we want to be is less important than what another person thinks we should be doing - including me. The phrase “everyone is selling something” is often used with a derogatory (or occasionally resigned) energy. Really, it is simple fact.
We are pitching ourselves all of the time: our ideas, our products, our desires. We are visible in ways that we never before have been. And it’s an awesome thing how much entrepreneurial spirit is in our world because of this exposure.
The problem is not that we are selling, but rather how often we sell out.
We sell out when we trade our time to be nice, to be polite. We sell out when we agree to do something purely quid pro quo. We sell out when we discount and cheapen equal exchange.
Equal/equivalent exchange = seller/speaker offers a something, buyer/listener accepts.
These rolls do not need to be flip flopped to provide equal value i.e. we do not need to become the buyer if we were the seller, nor do we need to become the speaker if we were the listener.
Yet, there is pressure to swap places. Especially in transactions involving money or time. (Which actually makes a fair amount of sense when you consider that time and money are the same, and money lives in the same energetic center as identity. For most of us, our identity is tenuous and easily influenced by outside forces, making that pressure to “reciprocate” much more acute.)
Consider the time you marketed for a group with the sole focus on number
When you studied something because someone else told it would make you money
When you went to school because your family insisted
When you took that job only to feel security
Whenever in your life you did something specifically for attention, praise, approval, safety
Those are the ways we betray ourselves and sell out.
That is how we keep ourselves stuck, overwhelmed, unhappy, and unfulfilled.
Our commitments matter because they are an expression of our self value.
We cheapen our value when we do things purely out of expectation of return on investment or out of a sense of obligation.
You are the only thing that determines your value.
Stop telling yourself you are worth less than you want to be.
Place your clear boundaries. Stop accepting “opportunities” just because they are in front of your face. Do things you want to do, not that you feel expected to do or that you wouldn’t do if you didn’t think you wouldn’t get something in return.
You can be worth more than that. Go be worth more than that.