This is a pretty intensely personal post. I don't usually post anything like it, but maybe some of you have dealt with similar issues and will be helped by it.
Let me start off by saying I'm an introvert. I recharge by being alone. So it's a measure of how enthusiastic I am about Young Living that I want to grow my business. Selling anything is challenging for me, but as my wonderful mentors have said repeatedly, there are many different ways to share. At this point, I'm choosing to teach classes about essential oils online. The classic method is to teach in person; I'm not opposed to that, as I've taught library instruction and WordPress for years. I'm also blogging about essential oils and topics related to emotional and spiritual aspects of life.
Honestly, my fear of rejection is great. I want people to like me, whether it's in person or online. In fact, sending Facebook messages to friends personally inviting them to my essential oils classes freaks me out just a little. Okay, a lot. It's not just the fear of rejection, though, but wanting to be authentic. Jumping into someone's life out of the blue doesn't feel right to me. It's made me examine my socialization and how little I interact with even people I know virtually.
One of the aspects of Young Living I've found particularly enchanting is the community of godly women involved with it. I'm always struggling with spirituality. I've been a churchgoer all my life, and I'm a firm believer in God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but it goes back to authenticity. Or overthinking. Or something. I have trouble settling down into faith all the way, like I can't just plop all the way into the bathtub. (If that makes any sense at all.) A very meaningful experience to me was reading and following Monique McLean's 21 Days of Prayer for Your Business. Monique is in my upline (sort of like being my great-great grandmother in the YL scheme of things) and is a Royal Crown Diamond, the highest rank you can achieve. She attributes her success to God and isn't afraid to say so. I was inspired after the twenty-one day experience to continue to really pray about my business. Plus I've had some spiritual experiences that convinced me God is helping me on my journey.
In my quest to develop a team with Young Living, I even began praying specifically for a group of women I mentally refer to as my “dream team.” I won't tell you their names. All but one I know in real life. But I pray for their wellness, that they'll become the women they were meant to be–and that when the time is right, they'll join my team and help me share about the joyful oil life. I've never done anything like this before, pray so specifically and so protractedly for a group of people. Shows you how I'm really trying to do things differently than I have in the past.
All that is background to something that happened the other day.
All that faith, all that confidence just evaporated.
Because of a few words from my even-more-introverted husband.
“You're about as good at sales as I am.”
Yeah, he said it, but he wasn't trying to be mean, just brutally honest. It was in the midst of a conversation about finances, and how I shouldn't reach Star rank all by myself.
The past two days I've been so despondent. What if he's right? What if I can't sell anything to anyone? I haven't so far. Why should I keep trying?
YIKES. All those months of building up my confidence gone in a flash.
Today I'm better. I remember there are always times of doubt. I've been so focused and confident that things would keep going great. But I take away two (or maybe more) lessons from this experience.
- Be careful what you say to someone. Be kind. We don't always need brutal honesty.
- In some seasons, faith can be a tenuous thing. Strengthen it all you can when you can. In my head a voice keeps saying, “Well if your faith can be blown away that easily, it was a pretty pitiful faith.” But that's not Jesus saying that. We have ups and downs. Don't let the adversary mess you up during the downs.
- Step out of your comfort zone. You can do things people don't think you can do. Challenge yourself. But be ready for the pushback of those who think they have you figured out and categorized. And be ready for your own self-doubt to redouble its effort to push you right back to where it's safe.
I could go on, but you've been kind to read this far. I'd love to hear how you cope with challenges to your faith, and challenges to the confidence you've built up for yourself.
(Note: In yesterday's post I said I'd talk about Young Living business, but I'll save that for a later date.)