We are not born unforgiving and conscious of our shortcomings. When we are kids, we are taught to ride a bike, hit a ball, or how to skate or maybe surf, with the expectations that we will fall and it will hurt but that we simply have to get back up and try again. Try and try and try again. The old adage “if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try, try again” comes to mind.
Most of us received unconditional love from our parents in these defining years, they encouraged us to keep at it, whatever “it” was. I want to highlight the term 'unconditional love', as it's crucial in our pursuit of fulfillment and yet lacking from our everyday toolbox. We experienced unconditional love as children, thrived because of it, yet can’t offer ourselves that same unconditional love that without question allowed us to persevere in challenging situations in our early days. We need to love ourselves unconditionally to thrive. We need to own our story, acknowledge the pain points and hurt, and love ourselves enough to 'try try try again'.
In our professional and personal lives, we give ourselves a limited room for failure. We are our own worst critic. I know first hand, I have been my worst critic for years and only recently, through conscientious practice, have I begun to tame that lizard in my mind. The one that hisses at me unrelentlessly! It’s unhealthy and in my humble opinion, it is the ruin of many.
In the last few years, I have become a bit obsessed with human behavior and why we impose so many harsh and difficult expectations on ourselves. Here are some standards or metrics of success I realized I imposed on myself, with the help of my parents and peers of course, and now question wholeheartedly with a solid 'why the fuck!!??':
- Go straight to university out of high school (because that was expected of me)
- Work in my father’s company (also a not so unspoken expectation)
- Get married and have kids (insider tip: you do not need to get married to have children!)
- Have Children (because that’s why I got married at all!)
- Put myself on hold because my children come first (really?? Is that what being a great role model mom is actually about??)
The struggle is real! I struggle with who I really am daily. On a recent trip to Spain, I spent a month working at a traveler's hostel in exchange for room and board. I cleaned toilets, made beds, set out breakfasts, all the menial things that need to get done. I have an MBA from Canada's top business school, I am a mom of three, and I have sat on the boards of charities, and there I was, cleaning floors! It was amazing.
After that month of tuning out the world I came from, where I was 'known' and reconnecting with the Robyn I loved in high school, that free-spirited I can do anything, Robyn, I made a commitment to have courageous conversations with the people closest to me and reconnect with myself daily. I re-integrated into cosmopolitan life but have remained disciplined in not becoming lost in it. I can't tell you the number of times I have been told I am 'refreshing'. Apparently it's refreshing to talk with me because I say things others would feel embarrassed to admit out loud and by doing that I create immediate safe spaces for others in our conversation to do the same. And I've been told that's refreshing. To feel safe to say what you really feel or desire. To admit to having fears or craving drastic change. Refreshing? Really!?! This needs to change.
In sharing my experience with friends, colleagues, neighbors, and anyone who would ask, it became clear that more people in this world should consider having courageous and tough conversations instead of putting their heads in the ground and hoping life corrects itself.
It’s why Radtagz exists, to find others out there, who like me, choose to work on giving themselves unconditional self-love and permission to say this person that I've become or pretend to be, just doesn't work for me anymore. I want to try again.
I recently read a funny post that said: "I want to be 14 again and ruin my life differently. I have some new ideas now." I don't want to be 14 again, but I do want to shape my life differently because I definitely have new ideas now!!
I want to build a mark of courage and bold thinking. An icon that acts as our daily reminder to have courageous conversations, get us talking about our real desires and what success looks like to us. To admit our fuck ups, failures, bruises, and share what our next is.
Radtagz is the first truly gender-free charm bracelet. A way of connecting people, and starting conversations.
I take solace in knowing that I’m not alone in this crazy entrepreneurial world and that there are so many others who face the struggle of self-doubt, questioning their ability to succeed, to be good enough. That what I am doing really matters and serves a purpose. But it does. And I am lucky to be reminded of this each time I am asked “So what do you do?” and get the response of “that is my story! I struggle too.” Radtagz keeps me accountable for showing up every day and not giving in to the patronizing self-talk. Every morning when I place my three becoming bead bracelets (gracious, free-spirited and tenacious) on my wrist, along with my Dare Greatly Radtagz, I do so with a deep inhale and the intention to start my day with positive vibes and my three reminders of how I want to be.
I was introduced to the concept of Be, Do, Have. I first have to be the person I wish to be, by doing the things I want to do, so I can have the success I want to have.
My intention for these journal posts is to freely share my vulnerabilities with you and invite you to share yours with the Say Hello community. I know I am not the only one facing the daily grind and struggling to keep it real. Prove me right!
On that note, I leave you with a quote that I encourage you to copy and paste somewhere that can be easily visited when a little extra courage is needed...
"Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
- Terrence McKennak