Saturday, October 01, 2005
Whew! I found you!
Posted by Chalene Johnson
Thanks for stopping by my BlOG! I wrote this piece this week and thought I would share. I hope it makes us all realize the value of being who we are.
Get really good at being you…
The truth of the matter is, most people aren’t going to think you’re “the bomb”. At best, most people will find you likeable, tolerable, nice, efficient, a good worker, a decent person, helpful neighbor or maybe a friendly acquaintance. Yet when it comes to choosing their all time favorite, it’s probably not you. It ain’t me either! Don’t take it too hard. In fact, we should be contented. Think about it. We only have enough time in our day, week, month, year, life to devote meaningful time to a small group of amazingly important people. Too many people live their life desperately controlled by their need to have not just approval, but the adoration of everyone they meet. Some are certain others will reject them if they are “just” who they are. I suppose we’re all guilty of meeting someone so remarkable that we find ourselves in some small way longing to be more like them.
When we held auditions for the cast of Turbo Jam™ I asked people whom I know and adore to audition for the director. I invited people who I would want to spend time with. I think 40 auditioned. There was room for 8. It was difficult to help those I know so well, understand it was “nothing personal: if they were not selected. I assured friends that we may have needed a certain look, a white 40ish female, a muscular black male, tall, but not too tall, a red- head with pierced ears or a petite green-haired alien with high kicks. It wasn’t personal and there was nothing for them to do differently. Yet, I found even the most self-assured of my fitness friends questioning their physique, their experience, the outfit they wore, their hairstyle or energy level that day. Quite simply, they weren’t what she (the director) was looking for and there was nothing anyone could have done differently to be selected.
The point is most of the people who cross our paths in life have their own agendas. They are looking for someone other than us. For them, we are too short or too tall, too quiet or too loud. We are too young or too old, the wrong sex, or wrong body type. They are looking for someone easier to dominate or more intense. They aren’t looking for us. The solution:
Get very good at being exactly who you are.
This principal applies personally and professionally. 8 years ago, when people started hearing about my Turbo program, I got a lot of unsolicited advice. Most told me I needed to be more drill like, more like Billy Blanks if my classes were going to have mass appeal. I tried for a while, but that didn’t fit me. I like to groove. I can’t help but dance when I hear a great song, and I knew there were others who felt the same. I watched a hundred fitness videos trying to figure out what traits I could pick up on. I didn’t much look like any of the tall, lean, graceful beauties I had come to know in fitness videos. I’m short, stubby and a bit of a spaz. Each time I heard a critque of my programs or my style I jerked to attention and wondered what I could do to change so that I could appeal to that “one” person. I started to drive myself crazy. Somewhere in those early years I came to terms with the notion that I was not going to be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay!
Have you ever got a haircut, or picked out a new outfit or just gone out of your way to do something nice and received dozens of compliments? You can tell when compliments are genuine and it feels good. It feels great. Yet the one person who says even remotely negative can haunt you for days. Have you ever felt insecure because people gravitate toward your friend and not you or self-doubt because you were overlooked for a promotion or a second date? So what! Two things you need to remember 1) that person has their own bizarre agenda and 2) you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea!
t's a valuable lesson to teach our children. Too often we try to shield them from the realities of life rather than teach them how to handle with confidence anything that comes their way. They might not get invited to every party, picked first by the team captain, or be liked by every girl in their class. Pretending that these things don't or won't happen only sets them up to feel "devastated" and take it personal when it does.
You don’t even want to be everyone’s cup of tea! Believe it or not, I know people who don’t like Oprah (shocking, I know, and trust me, I’m reconsidering my relationship with these people). Think about it though, if everyone was looking for you, you wouldn’t have enough time to devote to the people important in your life. If it were possible to please everyone, there would be only one type of workout. There would be no Pepsi, only Coke. Once I figured this out, I was totally cool with people deciding my workout wasn’t their cup of tea. What a relief! But the same principals apply on an interpersonal level as well. So how do we contend with these momentary or sometimes lengthy bouts of doubt? Simple. Be you.
You need to know who you are not, to know who you are. Be you times two! Don’t doubt yourself, or hold back. Those who operate in fear of people rejecting them are tolerable, nice, average, boring, nondescript but not memorable. I’d rather have a legion of critiques if it meant I could connect with a modest group of people would find in me or Turbo Jam “exactly” what they were looking for. Hooray! We found each other! Think of your all time favorite people; those who really leave their mark on you. Picture the quilt of characters that forms in your mind, each person wildly different than the next, but each uniquely engaging. As amusing as you find them, you’ve probably introduced them to others who are not sure what you see. Don’t change to be more like anyone other than you, just get better at recognizing the best parts of you.
Boldly be you, the real you, even at the risk that many may not care for “your type”. Be the person you are when you’re around the people who find YOU amusing. Those who are looking for exactly what you have need to be able to recognize you when they find you.
at 6:04 PM