I got a phone call a couple of weeks back from a gentleman I'd met at a conference over 5 years ago.
"You won't remember me, but we had a conversation over drinks, you explained your work, you asked me some questions, and I laughed at you. I promised to follow up and potentially do some work together, I didn't."
Wrong... I remembered him.
"The reason I'm calling is 3-fold. First, I wanted to apologize and say thank you. Second, I wanted to tell you that it took me a while, but I started following your work, and then I started implementing little pieces into my business and marriage, and it's worked -- things are different in a really good way. And three, would you be interested in speaking at one of our events?"
Ha! Who knew. I had no idea he'd been so busy...
Breath of air. Cool. A bit of flabbergast. Gratitude. Again, cool.
We dove into a rich conversation.
He thought I forgot. Funny.
I remember that conversation. I remember what he shared. I remember seeing things from an IEP standpoint that were slowing him, his organization, and his marriage down. I remember offering some food for thought. I remember the funny look and the laughter as he dug into the bowl of bar mix and sipped his bourbon. I remember the feeling of the flinch in my chest. The spark of invalidation. And then the release... "This work is not for everyone. It's cool. Let it go." And then the love and the gratitude. And the switch to another topic.
I remembered he didn't call. And I remembered choosing not to take that personally. Phew.
And that was it.
This happens more than one might think. Not just for me, for everyone -- it's a human being thing. I see versions of this all the time in my work, in fact just last week I got the good 'ole "We think your body of work is the secret sauce our programs are missing, can you please help us do things differently? Oh, but can you do it without talking about 'energy' or 'vibrational presence', and we're going to need lots of stats and hard proof on how all this soft stuff works." Love it.
It goes a little like this... You have an idea or an offering, maybe it's a bit "crazy" (and btw, I really hope it is if you're trying to innovate and create different results than what you've gotten so far). You put it out there, it's either poo-poo-ed, laughed at, or ignored, and you have a moment of choice: 1) be invalidated, lower your vibration to "meet" them and their poo-pooing, dive into doubt, give yourself away... or 2) stand in your truth ("truth" with a little "t"), hold the line, hold your space, offer your idea or offering without attachment, and breathe. And trust.
The trick? Stand strong. Offer freely. Stay present. And, if there are guffaws and push backs, be open to learning from their resistance --but don't let it define you. And, whatever you do, don't give yourself away.
Even more fun for people is when an hour, a month, a year or five years later, the same idea or offering comes up, from someone else no less, and now it's "brilliant". If, in the meantime, you give yourself away, or invalidate your beliefs, this is going to sting even more. So stay true, keep going, breathe. And consider the possibility that the only difference between when you offered the idea and when it's now "brilliant" as offered by someone else is that people are likely a bit more ready for it NOW (you were way ahead of the curve), AND the person who offered it might believe in it even more than you did and conveys that energetically. Think on that.
Go forward, lead, have your crazy ideas, offer them with love, stay true, don't be attached, breathe, and keep going. The world needs your heart, your crazy ideas, and your vulnerability. And it needs you to STAY.