I struggled to feel like I could really be myself.
I was desperate for approval and so I behaved in “nice” ways to avoid being rejected…
This mean I was constantly hiding myself — my needs, wants and desires.
I was stifling my voice.
I wanted a way out. But I didn’t like what I saw as the only other path — being “mean.”
Instead of passive, aggressive. Instead of considerate, selfish. Instead of meek, disorderly.
That didn’t fit for me.
Sure, from time to time that’s all I wanted to be.
I’d be hurt or angry or resentful. And the feelings would bubble up. And I wanted nothing more than to unleash the beast. (And sometimes I would. Playing hockey. Or when our house got broken into and I attacked the guy until he ran away down our street, into the black night.)
But mostly, I stuffed those feelings down.
For the last 20 years or so I’ve been slowly unwinding all of that conditioning.
It’s still a work in progress.
But recently, I’ve been relieved to find there is a third way.
Not nice, not mean. Taking the best of both worlds, and leaving the worst behind.
This is also extremely relevant to you as a marketer and entrepreneur.
Because if you’re too nice, you won’t achieve the results you want.
And if you’re mean, you’ll fall from the good graces of your market and perhaps the law.
But this third way allows you to become a leader — of customers and markets.
To create a massive impact, do well for yourself, take care of yourself, and help others live their best lives.
Today I reflect on these lessons and their relevance to life and marketing.