Episode 47: The Influence of Others – Leadership Arts Associates

Episode 47: The Influence of Others

The Transcript

Hello there and thank you so much for tuning in and hitting the play button on The HRart of It, the official Leadership Arts Associates podcast. I am Samm Smeltzer, your host. Let’s talk about this podcast, because this podcast is new to me. We’re kind of in this transition phase and change is … I think it’s safe to say that change is never easy. It always has its hurdles, and most of us don’t even know what those hurdles or obstacles are until they hit. Even something as small as rebranding the podcast, I mean, something that I knew that I wanted to do.

For those of you that don’t know, this podcast used to be called Random Ramblings, so if you go back into the archives you’ll hear the Random Ramblings podcast episodes. The reason for the rebranding is I finally found my, I guess what you could call, podcast voice. I finally found what I wanted to talk about. I finally found the purpose of this show, and really what resonated with me and what made this podcast important to me. What really resonated with me is the things that were at the heart or at the core of who I am. Those mostly really relate to people and finding other people’s purposes, helping them find their purpose, helping me find my purpose. And then also just talking about the realm of possibility, being able to keep that optimistic point of view of positivity.

And so, I launched this new brand – I was so excited to share it and where it was going to go – without really thinking through what do the shows look like? What do they feel like? What do they sound like? What am I talking about? And then I jumped right into programming, just like Random Ramblings. What I found was I kept procrastinating. I didn’t want to record the episodes. What a backwards thought process when you put out there that you’re going to put this podcast show together that’s about your passion and things that you really want to share with the world, and then you can’t find time to record the show. So it was quite a wake up call.

Now, after lots of reflection, which is what I want to talk to you about today in today’s episode, I’ve come to the conclusion that The HRart of It really, truly is as close as you can get to a podcast journal. Like you have the video blogs, you have the blogs, you have the vlogs, and now this is the plog. Yeah, you’re listening to my plog. But yeah, talking about those things that are really important to me, resonate to the core. One of the main purposes of this podcast is I wanted to use it as a resource and a tool for myself to keep me aligned and keep me on that path, because there’s so many things that impact us on a regular basis, some things that we have no idea about, and that is what I want to talk to you about today. I thought it was a perfect beginning.

I know one of the things that I’ve learned very quickly as interacting specifically with my coaching clients or those who are showing up for my workshops is that the people who feel called to come and learn from me want to learn the lessons that I am slowly learning myself. And so, I believe life is teaching me the things that I’m supposed to be passing on and helping in this realm that I am helping in. So, with all that being said, we’re going to talk about the most recent lesson that I have been going through and I hope it served you. We’re just going to jump right in here.

I’ve been going through a lot of personal searching, trying to stay in alignment. I’m very fortunate that I can see the big picture of my purpose, or at least recognize that I have a purpose. I’m pretty good at knowing the arena that it’s in. I’ve kind of gone all over the place as to what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like. And really over the last six to seven months, I have been really diving in and getting deeper.

It’s very interesting because just the other day my really good friend and colleague Tony Hernandez of Reflective Wisdom, who utilizes a tool called Points of View and he’s … not Points of View, Points of You. I don’t know why I keep calling it the wrong thing lately. But Points of You, which is an amazing tool, an incredible tool for coaching. But I was just chatting with him and we have a really good relationship of trying to help keep each other in tune and on task with what we have already determined that we want out of life, and trying to help each other limit the distractions or shiny objects that would easily send us on detours or derail us from what we have already discovered for sure and for certainty.

It was really funny because I was talking to him and he threw out there, he was like, “You need to do this work. You need to go back to finding your why.” My initial gut reaction was almost like an insult, like, “After all this work, after three to four years of really deep searching and understanding of myself, I have to go back to my beginning and my why?” I was like, “And I did that at the very beginning and I articulated that and I knew that, and I know it.” I know you can probably hear Ally in the back. This is why I need to soundproof this room, because Ally likes to add her commentary throughout my podcast. My apologies, Miss Ally Chacha likes to add her tone into my podcast.

Anyways, what I’m talking about is I felt so insulted to go back to what potentially is stage one of what I need to figure out because I thought I was so advanced. But then, as I look at it and take a step back even further, I’ve been working with another coach who’s helping me figure out and sort through, just like people come to me for. She challenged me with some homework that said basically if I had all the money and resources I ever needed, what would I do in regards to my health and career, which is going back to visioning activities, dreaming big.

It’s funny because I don’t usually ask my clients this question because I don’t know how I would answer it, and so I never in any kind of coaching space or workshop space, even when I’m doing leadership or team development in a corporate environment, I will never put out there anything that I would not want to answer myself. It’s just an internal rule that I have. And so this is a popular question that’s out there, just like the other one that I heard the other day about in terms of legacy. So, when you die, what would you want put on your tombstone? I don’t ever ask that either. I don’t know if it’s my perception of it going to a negative place or putting me in a dark place, but I don’t even want to explore it so I don’t even know how I would answer it, so I don’t put that out there either.

But this question, once again, is very basic. It’s visioning and it’s why purpose, it’s that foundational piece. When she told me about it, I didn’t see it in that insult because it’s one of those questions that I couldn’t answer. Now, when Tony brought it up, I had found a why-seeking process that I was comfortable with and I was able to articulate that.

Now, also, the person that I was three or four years ago is probably not the same person talking to you now. The whole podcast change kind of resembles that. I mean, three or four years ago, even though I could articulate that why, there’s no way I would be talking like this on a podcast, no way I would be putting out an episode talking about this topic or putting out as much vulnerability as I have been doing on these podcast episodes. I started to think why would my why be so distorted from the last time to now? Why wouldn’t it be as clear as what I thought it should be?

One of the things that I have been uncovering a lot is … not uncovering this about myself, it’s probably something that I have been in denial and hiding from the world, is that I’m a very sensitive person. Super sensitive, highly sensitive. I was the girl that cried all the time as a reaction to anything, because almost everything was just so overwhelming in regards to emotions that all I could do was cry. That was the only way I could process it, especially as a little girl. And then, as life went on, I taught myself that it was a sign of weakness and so I needed to toughen up, and pretty much my goal for majority of my life was don’t cry. And if you do you gotta go hide somewhere so no one ever sees you crying because that means you’re weak and incapable of handling life. That was the story that I told myself.

And so, what I didn’t realize was happening as life was going on is that as I was trying to, in my mind, make myself stronger, I was actually allowing myself to be heavily impacted by other’s thoughts and opinions and feelings of me. Because the story that I started with was it’s a sign of weakness. That’s not a sign of weakness or a story that came internally. It’s not something that I was born with, that, “Oh my gosh, you cry. That’s because you’re a weak person.” It’s because of things that are out there in our culture and our society and my family structure, how they were raised. Things that are passed down through generations are things that cause me to have that story. That’s basically the influence of others that initiate that story.

As time goes on, and I’m trying to be what I believe I’m supposed to be or what the narrative that is being told to me should be, I realize that my path of going astray started much earlier on that I assumed. I go back to when my professional career started, and that’s probably not the case. It’s probably when I first started hiding who my true, authentic self was, which was tears, yes. But why did the tears exist? Did they exist because I couldn’t speak up about a feeling that I was getting that was so strong in the moment? Whether it was being afraid, being hurt, having anxiety, which all could be funneled by fear and that category.

But even as a girl I can remember fear that somebody doesn’t want to be my friend, fear that somebody’s talking about me, fear that my homework’s not good enough, fear that I forgot my homework and my teacher’s going to be upset with me, fear that something as simple as I need to go to the restroom but it’s not recess and I didn’t go when I was supposed to go and so now the teacher is going to be upset with me if I have to ask. And so, those built up emotions that are very strong to me as a little girl would just materialize in tears. And then a lot of the time when people would ask what was wrong, the responses were, “Nothing.” “I don’t know.” “I just have to cry.” That was really the starting point of me starting to adjust myself, modify myself to be what I believed was satisfactory or appealing to others.

Now, jumping forward and being challenged to answer this question that’s a very basic question about visioning, or even Tony telling me that I need to go do some why work, I haven’t done it yet, so now you guys can hold me accountable to it. And I actually, right now, we should be doing this on video because right now I actually have a journal out with a post-it note from the coach about this question that I’m going to journal. Actually, I’ve been putting it off, but I’ve been thinking that I need to journal because she told me do that journal and get it out and answer this question.

But, I also want to go and pull the work that Tony recommended to do it and see what comes up, because my speculation right now is that my why from three to four years ago is heavily influenced by others. That there is a chance that my authentic voice speaking, even though the way that I designed it, and there’s even a workbook that I use today with clients to do it, was meant to start uncovering. But sometimes I uncover to a level, and I talk about this, it goes five-deep to finding out your simplistic why. But, at the same time, going five-deep maybe is not deep enough. I’m thinking five-deep is fine because I’m thinking about my professional career that started a dozen years ago. But now I’m telling you that I think that modification and things started to happen for me and I started to adapt who I was, my true, authentic self when I was like five or six. And what a powerful statement.

And then, even taking that and now … and you’ve heard me say this time and time again, but now looking at my children. My oldest is six-years-old, going into first grade, and watching her, and she definitely has an emotional side to her, as well. I don’t know how to process it. I don’t really know how to handle it. I know I ask questions and she looks at me very perplexed ,and just trying to be there and be supportive. But I even find myself routinely wanting to go to that place of the story that I’ve told myself for so long of sometimes you gotta suck it up. Sometimes you just gotta hold it together. But am I slowly now adding to that story that I think now is instrumental in my life?

I know that it’s instrumental because it keeps coming up, and that’s been a lot in the last six to seven months that I’ve really been digging deep and working with some individuals to do some really hardcore heart work, is finding out that that moment, that side of me, really represents an authentic voice that I have hidden for a long time, and almost turned it into an internal voice that I thought was not worthy to see the light of day.

So yeah. That’s my thoughts for today. That’s how I really want to do these episodes, is talk about what’s really happening, what I’m really feeling. Hopefully it resonates with you. Hopefully, if you feel called to listen to whatever the episode title is, I don’t even know what I will call this one yet, that you feel what I’m feeling because I know I’m not alone in that. If there’s anything that I have learned is that I’m not the only one experiencing certain things. There’s so many of us that are. It’s just like with the tears and the overwhelming feeling and being super sensitive in all those situations is that I don’t … I hid it from the world and I didn’t think anybody else was in that same bucket, and I know that others are.

I’ve done episodes that I’ve been more vulnerable and the emails, text messages, the people who stop me and talk to me after listening to the episode, is so incredibly powerful because it does a lot to assure me that I’m not alone and that I’m not the only one that feels these things and it is reaching somebody.

One of the things that I always love to do, it’s actually rooted in a journaling technique, but I love to hear any thoughts, feelings, wants or needs that come out of this episode. So as you were listening to it, any random thoughts that you had, how did it make you feel? Did it make you feel like you needed something and what was that? Or wanted something? When we’re doing work on ourselves, those are things that kind of bubble up to the surface that we want to pay attention to. And so, I would love if you would share those with me, if you feel comfortable, doing it as a comment. If not, send it in a email to me. My email is samm@leadershipisart.com.

But yeah, other than that, if you love what you’re listening to this podcast and you think that it could benefit others, please feel free to share it on any social media channel that you’d like. Also, the best way to get us out there on iTunes and really get some traction is to leave us a review. So if you have a few moments and you are listening on iTunes, if you could go ahead and leave a quick review and even share something that you’re thinking, feeling, wanting or needing as a result of this episode. It’s a great kind of review to leave out there.

Other than that, I will talk to you next week, and the next episode, as I hit whatever is really resonating in my heart at that moment. Thank you and have a great day. See ya!

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