My dear friend Carly and I were co-questing together last year. We called each other every week to unpackage various aspects of our Leadership Quest and inspire each other to stay strong, keep moving forward, and make discovering ourselves fun!
One of the exercises we came up with was to write letters to our childhood selves. It felt eerie to write this to my 7-year old self... telling myself what I wish my parents would have told me... parenting myself or rather, re-parenting myself.
Montreal, Canada 1989 © Ellany Lea
Dear 7-year old Ella,
Kids are mean. They are f***ing mean! They can be relentlessly and mercilessly mean! You're going to meet more and more mean kids who will do everything they can to put you down. They will point, they will tease, and they will laugh. They will make you feel so small that you'll want to crawl into a small seashell and disappear into the ocean.
Do you know why they do that? It's because they're hurting on the inside. They're hurting so badly that they take it out on you because you're sensitive and kind to everyone, and so they target you because they know you won't hurt them. It's not right. It's not fair. And you don't deserve to be treated this way.
Try your best to understand that people aren't their best when they've been deeply hurt. Maybe their parents are mean! Maybe they don't have enough money to eat. Maybe their parents are getting a divorce. Maybe they're embarrassed about a learning disability.
Try your best to understand that their parents are doing the best they know how, with what they have.
Every time you understand others, you get stronger. And one day, you will be so big that NO ONE will walk all over you. Until then, keep making awesome art projects, building LEGO mansions, and hanging upside down on monkey bars.
Emprisoned by Others' hurt
Women entrepreneurs tread on eggshells, terrified of offending or hurting others. They hold themselves back, they don't even try to be great. They become permanent prisoners of what others may think of them.
No guarantee that others are actually thinking poorly of them, but they're afraid anyway. They have in fact become emprisoned by others' hurt.
The world is full of haters and critics. The world will always be full of haters and critics. J.K. Rowling says it best:
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.
– J.K. Rowling
Let the critics criticize. Let the haters hate. And let yourself live.
My six-figure mentor once told me, "You know you've made it as an author when you get your first 1-star book review on Amazon.com!" I burst out laughing. It's so true!
When you've played a bigger game with your business (and your life), when your name is out there and well known, you're bound to brush up on a hater or two. It's actually a big milestone to be celebrated!