What do you want to be when you grow up? This was a common question we kiddos were asked by adults who towered over us and grinned. I’m not sure if you heard it too during your childhood years, but it’s one of those weird conversations that has incredible staying power.
This pressure to lock ourselves down into one role is something we are taught from a young age. The pressure continues as we become adults. When you meet someone new, chances are, they will ask you: What do you do for a living?
It’s kind of a bizarre question to ask someone. Because we all do lots of things in our lives, don’t we?
Back in the early days of adulthood, I did a lot of odd jobs and this was such a turnoff in the job market. Job interviews felt more like judgment hour. Why have you done all of these different jobs? And, why do you want this job now?
Until I got into content marketing, I was treated like I was some sort of loose cannon. In content marketing, storytelling was in vogue for every business on earth and writers became in-demand.
My fiction and my personal blog were seen as a major bonus instead of a distraction that would take me away from my job. My years of teaching yoga and dance (even, performing) were more skills that worked in my favor.
All of these “non-professional skills” demonstrated that I had plenty of creative bones in my body, along with experience in:
As a blogger, I ended up gaining a ton of website experience by default. I have years of WordPress skills under my belt and I can publish blogs in my sleep.
My dance and yoga teaching showed that I cared about helping others and that I understand how to explain and break things down. This helps with everything from training to writing useful content.
From writing to dancing, I’ve put thousands of hours into perfecting my technique. I lose myself in my work, I find time to create when I don’t have any time to spare, I tinker and adapt and constantly learn to get better.
By choosing to share my creativity with others, I have had to develop a thick skin. I put my most vulnerable self out there for others to potentially judge and ridicule.
I would never have finished one novel, let alone several, without a certain amount of drive. This is the difference between people who want to write a book and those who publish them.
In B2B marketing, we talk about differentiators all the time. Every company wants to differentiate itself somehow to stand out from the competition. I think it’s really important for all of us to think about differentiating ourselves too. If we all take a vow of sameness, we will never stand out.
Instead of seeing all of the different roles you play—or all those different skills and experiences you have—as being something negative or random, see them as a way to differentiate yourself.
All of these skills and life experiences help us bring more value to the table. So even if things seem like they aren’t related, they are because what they have in common is you. It’s a huge differentiator when we know how to channel those skills and experiences. As long as you have the courage to embrace being a multi-dimensional human.
For me, the courage to embrace being a multi-dimensional human comes a lot from an ability I’ve worked on attaining over the years…not giving a damn.
Earlier this month, I wrote a bit of an anthem for creative introverts. It was an emotional piece that I had to get out of my system after a soul-stomping online bullying experience where I was on the receiving end.
Not giving a damn has never been my strong suit. Being sensitive and receptive to the world around us is an occupational hazard for creative types. When conflict inevitably arises, we hurt deeply and it’s that much more difficult to pull through.
I’ve learned to not give a damn quite so much. But, it’s a regular practice that doesn’t come easily to me.
Where I’ve landed is that “not giving a damn” isn’t about not caring, it’s about not trying to please everybody. When it comes to your passion you’re focusing on, you just do it. You do it for yourself—not for others.
An important realization I’ve learned over the past few years is that other people won’t care about your passion as much as you do. Think about how you squeeze that passion into every available nook and cranny of your schedule. Think of the hours…the blood, sweat, and tears…they aren’t on that same level.
It’s great to share what you love with other people and it’s human nature to want to connect with other people. But, you can’t expect other people to care as much as you do. And if you expect that of others, you’re in for a great disappointment.
If you’re doing what you love for yourself…you’re not getting caught up in a certain image of success and you’re staying true to who you are.
Being a multi-dimensional human being and learning not to give a damn were a couple of things I discussed on a recent podcast with Bobbi Kahler on her awesome show, UnYielded. This was my first time as a guest on another podcast—a big deal for this introvert.
Other things we talked about that you might find interesting:
- Finding Your Tribe – Since launching the Britt blog back in 2012, I’ve learned the value of having a tribe and building up a community of like-minded people who support one another. I talk about how I built this tribe and how important this step is—especially as we all have become more and more isolated.
- Self-Awareness – Even in 2020, I had a strong sense of what I needed to do with my time and energy to avoid falling into a pit of anxiety and depression (an old tendency of mine that I have figured out how to manage). I talk about throwing myself into my creative work as a form of therapy and how my upbringing influenced my creativity and my creative drive.
- Moving Forward – I talk about dealing with losses and how we need to take the time to sit with things and have time to mourn rather than pushing forward. Although I am famous for my impatience, I understand the power of pausing and reflecting—it’s something we don’t do enough.
- Being Authentic – I also talk about what it means to truly be ourselves, not the Instagram version of ourselves. And how a strong sense of self, an unwillingness to hide, and courage coming from our passion all play into authenticity.
You can find UnYielded on your preferred podcast listening app (Google, Spotify, Apple, etc.) or visit Bobbi’s website to see the show notes and listen there.
I first met Bobbi Kahler when she was a guest on my podcast, Love Your Enthusiasm. I instantly connected with Bobbi, so much so that I actually came out of my shell and asked to be a guest on her podcast.
Most people haven’t heard a doctor tell them “You shouldn’t be alive.” But, Bobbi has.
In this episode, Bobbi shares her personal story of rebuilding her health and becoming a vibrant athlete. Now Bobbi helps others live more fulfilling and authentic lives and she offers some great techniques for you all to put into action.
I know you will learn a lot from Bobbi’s experiences. I highly recommend checking out Bobbi’s episode of Love Your Enthusiasm.
Sometimes our bodies are telling us we need rest and that’s okay. That’s part of healing and being well. It’s not being lazy.
Last thing is a quick (and exciting) announcement that transcripts are now available for all past, present, and future Love Your Enthusiasm episodes. In case you were at all curious, transcribing the entire backlog of 34 episodes came to a grand total of 294,655 words.
Transcripts great way for people to enjoy the show who need/prefer written content over a strictly audio experience that comes with the podcasting territory. If that’s something you’re interested in, you can find all transcripts here or linked at the bottom of the show notes for each episode.