Last night I got a slightly subtle rebuke on twitter that I was hawking myself too much. The following popped up in my stream, after I posted that tomorrow would be another day of shameless self-promotion: Maybe you are also doing original research in at what point it becomes counterproductive. Ever hear of a velvet hammer, Elissa?
Ok, that was more than slightly subtle. It was an outright dig, a call out that I'm pushing too hard, talking too much, that people are getting sick and tired of listening to me selling FLOW. That was my first reaction anyway. I'm so self-conscious, this whole shameless self promotion thing is like an elaborate Las Vegas show girl costume that I'm parading around in and don't really believe I can pull off. The hat is tipping too far to one side, the crystals are digging into my back and I'm stumbling around in the heels (no, I'm not speaking from personal experience). For someone who spent much of their adulthood wearing shapeless black clothes so no one would notice me, this is the polar opposite and it's not a comfortable fit. I often wonder if that ability to blithely put oneself in the center of attention is an extra thing you're born with or if it's missing the self-doubt gene.
Those look-at-me people are also the one's who don't seem to mind if they're late and keep everyone waiting. They're the one's who talk REALLY loudly on their cell phones so that the entire bus knows they had a huge fight with their mother and they saw a great pair of shoes on 14th street that they can't decide to buy or not to buy. They have pie-in-the-sky ideas that are completely not grounded in any reality, but that never seems to bother them. There are countless self-promoters on twitter, who, whether they realize it or not, are all selling themselves. In fact, just about everyone on twitter is self-promoting. That's intrinsically the point. To post something smart or inspirational or snappy enough for people to respond to. The more followers, the more popular you are. And now lists are the new followers.
That was the first snarky comment I've gotten. People either ignore me (which happens much of the time) or have tremendous enthusiasm for FLOW. I've done blog interviews with people I've met online, had amazing FLOW write-ups, discovered remarkable contacts and have this bunch of people who believe in and truly support me. At this point, I feel like my online self is starting to shape my regular self, as my confidence is growing and I can own what I'm doing. Yesterday I handed FLOW postcards to everyone I talked to. The woman at the juice bar looked quite stunned but we went on to have a lovely conversation about her engagement announcement posted on the wall. I talk to everyone—drives my kids crazy, but putting myself out there seems to be the way of my future. While I used to keep various parts of my life separate, I'm allowing edges to overlap. My yoga studio is throwing me a FLOW party. The principal of my daughter's school is bringing a crowd to the Rizzoli gig. Finally, at 45, it's starting to come together.
I went over that post a few times to make sure I wasn't reading negativity into it. Normally, I'd let it fester and eat away at my self-confidence until I'd be crippled in doubt, ashamed and frozen. But I didn't. Maybe the old me, the one who lived in men's extra large black sweaters is finally getting used to the feathers. I called her out and asked what she meant. And then I went to sleep, not caring what her answer was, or if I'd ever hear from her again.
Day 35 is not letting other people's stuff get to me.