“Don’t you dare get a tougher skin!”
That’s what my partner, Michael, said to me yesterday when I was worrying over a project that went sideways on me. Okay, it was expected. I’d had red flags right from the start and even 10 years into this gig, I still sometimes ignore those red flags.
Yesterday, I was feeling all the feelings: angry at myself for not trusting my intuition, angry at the client for being human, upset that I was so upset, glad to have a clear resolution, nervous for drawing strong boundaries…the list goes on.
I said to Michael “I need to grow a tougher skin. Other people who have been in business this long don’t get so floored when the occasional project goes south“.
So I’m going to stop the story there for a second to call bullshit.
Any time EVER that you hear yourself saying “other people…”, it’s bullshit. Other people are exactly that, people. There is no limit on how long it takes to get used to a thing. We are all human with human feelings and human baggage. When we’ve put our energy into something, it makes sense that we would feel upset and disappointed. Don’t burn it down until you’ve given yourself a) a break and b) some perspective.
Back to the story. There I was feeling like I am too GD sensitive…again.
What Michael said back to me was what I want to share with you today:
Don’t you dare get a tougher skin.
Your beautiful open hearted sensitivity is gorgeous and rare. Don’t let anything take that from you.
One of the things I know about you is that you want to have a positive impact on the world. Having a positive impact means that part of your job is to remain open. Sometimes that’s going to hurt.
Another thing I know about you is that you’re resilient. When you get hurt, you get back up.
The third thing for today is that you know when to reach out and ask for support. Good support will champion you and they (we) will make sure that you are staying true to you, the real you, so that you can grow in the ways you want.
There will always be those projects, the ones where you saw the flags and ignored them or the ones that unexpectedly surprised you. But you and I will remain fiercely true to ourselves: open, sensitive, rare, and fucking badass for it.
I appreciate you.