I’m a little behind with my 50 to 50 journal, but I’ve found that writing these are just a bit more difficult than I thought they would be. It’s one thing to write about makeup and quite another to write about more intimate topics. I’m doing my best to write MY truth while still making sure I don’t say the wrong thing and wind up upsetting someone— when have I ever cared about that before?!
And there’s the point of this week’s blog post. As I approach 50, I’ve stopped really caring what other people think.
One of the greatest gifts I ever received was gleaned during marketing training. What was that amazing gift? Learning I don’t have to and shouldn’t try to appeal to everyone as a business. Instead of shooting for generalizable appeal, you narrow down your target market. Your job is to figure out who is your tribe and then appeal to them! Don’t worry about the rest of the folks out there. They are not your people. Wow, did that ever free me up as a business owner and as a person! At Authentic Beauty, we have a certain woman who likes to come see us, and they are our tribe. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a member!
As a younger woman, I remember turning myself inside out to be liked and respected by others. I had been taught from a young age by societal pressures that the goal for women was to cast a wide net, have a huge network and do what you needed to do to be liked and respected. You know what? This strategy worked for me. I have SO many friends. I have nearly 4,000 friends on Facebook, and I personally know nearly all of them. Okay, maybe I added a few in the beginning I didn’t know, but we had 50 friends in common so…
Now, as I am “getting on with age,” I’ve finally settled into my own skin. This is one of those unexpected yet tremendous endowments that comes with having some extra years. I am not apologizing for who I am. I am no longer looking for approval. I, personally, only want to be around people who inspire me by giving back, fighting the good fight, having a prosperous mindset, and live their lives as adventurous and globally minded citizens of the world. These people are not victims. They own their personal histories and have risen above it. They don’t blame anyone for where they are in their lives. In short, they own their shit. They are like me, and that’s why they’re my friends. I have drastically reduced the amount of energy vampires in my world, and I’ve gotten A LOT better at being a good judge of character.
Ever do one of those tests that tells you what kind of dog you would be based on your personality? I’m a golden retriever. I LOVE everyone. I really do. I look for the best in everyone I meet, and I do my absolute best to release any judgment I may have. I will follow you around and wag my tail and be a great companion. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, however, I’ve realized you need to give people 60 days to see their true nature revealed. I learned this as a business owner and definitely in my personal life. Here is the philosophy:
EVERYONE is on their best behavior when you first meet them. You see all the shiny happy because that’s what they want you to see. It’s human nature. By the time you reach day 60, however, you’ll start to see the cracks and glimpses of the edges that may not work for you in your life. This doesn’t mean I’m going to remove the person from my life. It just means I may have a reality check about someone I thought was going to be a lifelong friend. This holds true for intimate relationships as well, by the way.
So, my point is I am now being FULLY who I am as I approach 50. All my quirkiness, passion, self-expression, loudness, sometimes inability to stop myself from sharing my life and forgetting to ask about yours, drama, temper that lasts for 15 minutes, spontaneity and wine drinking. If who I am is someone you want to be around, than great. If not, then so be it. I’m good, and I’m not toning it down— for anyone.
This may mean I might have to apologize every now and again, which I’ll do if I was inappropriate or flat out in the wrong (as we all are from time to time). But if you know who I am, you also know I’m committed to being the best person I can be and to helping you be the best person you can be. I’m committed to doing the right thing, to empowering women to love themselves when they look in the mirror, to always seeing a higher perspective and to believing that dreams can and do become realities. I believe in the goodness of people and that you can change your situation if you truly want to. Sure, I have my shortcomings. I OWN THEM. Ask my staff— I occasionally will have a moment where I lose it and yell. Yes, it happens. But, I will ALWAYS apologize.
Long story short, we are only human. If we’re going to have a life we love and leave this planet better than we found it, we need to figure out who we are and why we’re here. This allows us to focus on learning to love, to forgive, the be the best we can be. In so doing, we also learn how to rise above the hard times and the times that people are cruel (and there will be those times). This is because learning to manage our thoughts and stress allows us to become mentally strong. Through it all, we need to get along, to encourage one another and to build strong communities.
The greatest joy in my life is being loved exactly the way I am and knowing my friends accept me as I am. I never have to worry about where I stand with them. There is SO much freedom in this.
To my younger friends— Start looking forward to having the BEST relationships of your life as you add some years. You’ll begin to know who your friends truly are, more immediately recognize your tribe and be far less concerned with those you don’t connect with. You’ll also stop trying to please the people who aren’t your “target market,” which is a really fantastic place to be.