Warning: If you’re the type who’s like, “Never talk to me unless you have incredibly value-packed, money making, money saving tips, tricks and hacks in an article that starts with a number,” then you probably won’t like this blog post.
This past week I got diagnosed by a therapist and my primary doctor with depression. I wasn't surprised.
Mostly because I walked in and said, “I think I have depression,” having catalogued all the symptoms, taken all scary self assessments that came up in Google, and well, just knowing because I’ve been through this before.
I’ll spare ya the details, because chances are HIGH that you’re going through some crap right now as well.
Have you been having a rough summer, too?
If so, let's talk about how your current struggle can help you!
You may find it helpful to read this message I posted on Instagram last week:
View this post on Instagram
My heart and prayers go out to everyone who's finding it hard to cope today. Whether it's the anniversary of 9/11 or just life in general causing you grief – remember that you're beautifully complicated and allowed to grieve, be upset, disappear, recover, and live in any way that you choose. It has been a rough summer for the majority of people I know, and that's okay. It's okay now and things will be okay in the future. You can push or you can be sad. Or you can do both. There are no wrong choices, because you're being led in exactly the way you need to grow. Things are being set up for you, and you don't have to do a thing to earn it or prove your worth or level of commitment. If you're having a hard time, remember that we live in a world blessed by the internet and social media. You have an entire network of caring people willing to help, even if all you need is an encouraging word or an explosion of gifs and emojis. Ignore the mean voices and less than positive experiences you've had in the past, have faith that every interaction happens for a reason, and ask for help if you need it! Honoring everyone today! Take care of yourself!
In an effort to honor my “talk to myself in the mirror lovingly every morning like a crazy but enlightened person” work, I’ve committed to facing this beast as bravely as I can and get out of it.
Part of that recovery process is telling as many people as I can. Even if it makes me uncomfortable (hence the mass email to my marketing list and posting it publicly on my blog, yo. How crazy am I!).
And to be honest — it feels SO embarrassing.
I've got all the thoughts about how this shouldn't be an issue, I should keep this hidden, I shouldn't be telling anyone until it's done and beautifully edited and placed in my X-Figure success story a year from now.
What is GREAT about telling everyone who'll listen (despite my unfounded shame around needing help) is that many of you have come out about the rough times you’re going through, too.
Life is definitely throwing you all kinds of weird challenges, right now.
I can’t think of any single person I’ve crossed paths with who has said, “This has been a great summer for me. Things really came together.”
Not a one!
Every. Single. Person.
We’re all going through some shit and apparently no one wanted to talk come out about until September 2018.
(Maybe we were all in denial about the what-was-it, like, seven planetary bodies in retrograde and all the spammy warnings people kept reposting? Who knows.)
Family members in trouble. Mental health challenges. Questioning your path and purpose. Natural disasters. Realizing you actually DON’T know what you’re doing. Financial burdens getting out of control. Unexpected emergencies. Loss in general, literal or not.
Let us all join hands together and say, “Who the hell ordered this and how do I sign up to slap them and request a damn return mailing label.”
The good news is that finding good company when life is somewhat crappy is easy — you share it.
And the sharing speeds the coping process, which, let’s face it — isn’t that great anyway.
So let’s move this thing along.
Yes, take downtime to process, but always keep in mind that healing happens faster when you share what you’re going through.
That’s what being genuine and REAL in your brand, marketing, and message is all about.
I’ve never been a fan of people who claim to be completely authentic and transparent and consider me “family” as a follower or client, but only open up about truly life-altering, life-changing (maybe even life-threatening) circumstances until months, or even years after the fact.
If you’re a non-salesy, truly heart-centered entrepreneur who’s here to serve, there’s nothing transparent about having a hard time but appearing otherwise on social media.
It’s hard to relate to someone’s struggle from long, long ago. Yes, it makes for great storytelling and an impressive life resume or guest blogger bio.
We humans build relationships when we get to know one another. We connect (and spend our hard-earned money) when we relate to the person and the story behind whatever the thing is that we’re buying.
But I don’t think anything can help your audience (no matter what size it may be) more than sharing your journey WHILE it’s happening. I’d even dare to say that the impact you can make by sharing a challenging situation actually diminishes with time that has passed since it got resolved, because so much of marketing is based on real connections and emotional investment.
It’s like the movies. You may feel an incredible connection to the story, characters, and conflict, but you’re unlikely to feel all the feels at that level in remembering the movie, months later. Or even INSIDE the movie — you don’t feel that heartache for someone when they’re re-hashing their backstory. You connect with the current moment. Whatever is happening on screen.
(And yes, I did consider the idea that an email where I announce a tough time, in an effort to feel better, but to also connect, because it builds my brand, and relating it to marketing and sales may, in fact, be considered salesy, so why do it? Because oh, yeah, I need to share to heal, to build that connection, to feel better, to connect … and down the spiral I went. #metaspiral #justtrustmeonthis)
Here’s the gist.
Share what you're going through, even if it's not particularly inspiring.
You don’t have to share the nitty gritty details.
You don’t even have to say what it IS.
You can be uber cryptic, if that’s your style.
You can even share it with some humor to diffuse the “Serious Situation Level 10 Red Alert” feeling. 😉
But if you truly love your followers and consider them family, I think the most family-oriented thing you can do is be open about how things aren’t as Pinterest-Perfect as you’d like, but that your message for living a life of freedom, filled with joy and delight every damn day still holds true.
And maybe even throw in a “Can’t share this now, but looking forward to telling you about my depression shit storm when it’s passed.”
So, hang in there, my friends!
I hear you.
I see the struggle you’re going through.
If you feel like you could use a friendly vent on your own unexpected shit storm, I’m an email away and that “Reply” button is incredibly easy to tap. 🙂
Take care of yourselves!
And also, for the record… life isn’t Pinterest-Perfect for me, right now, I still believe you can live a life of freedom, filled with joy and delight every damn day. I can’t share the details, but I’m looking forward to telling you all about my shit storm when it’s passed. 🙂
(And that’s more true than you realize. I’m documenting the shit out of what may be the biggest upper limit, upleveling challenge I believe I have ever faced in my life. So stay tuned!)