“The decision to stay or to go was a private agony that will be publicly judged.”
This is a dispatch from Indianapolis, Indiana.
I fled Hurricane Florence ahead of the storm, expecting my house to be a total loss. It’s a mile from the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway as the crow flies. What was forecast to be a category 4 storm at landfall came ashore as a cat 1 a few miles north at the beach where I learned to surf. Then it sat, as you know, flooding virtually everything in its path from Charlotte to the Atlantic Ocean.
Before the storm even hit, the armchair quarterbacks were at it. As the news showed interviews with people who had decided to stay, social media blew up with 1,000 variations of: “Why didn’t they just leave?”
Let me tell you. The decision to stay or go in the face of a hurricane is difficult and regardless of what you decide, people who have no understanding of what you’ve gone through and the life circumstances that led to your decision will publicly take you apart for it.
The easiest thing in the world to do is to judge other people.
Their clothes, their home decor, what they plant in their gardens, their hobbies (I speak from experience on this one *cough* Harry Styles fan *cough*.), whether they eat meat or strictly vegetables, how they cut their hair, and whether they go to church.
Everybody does it. I do it. You do it. And it’s holding back our businesses.
I had to get back to business. After all, it’s my “somewhat weekly but only if I feel like it” business newsletter.
We stop ourselves from offering up what we have to share with the world because we’re afraid of people judging us.
This is especially true if most of your self worth is wrapped up in your work, but that is an ENTIRE email for another week.
Fear of judgement is what stops us from offering a service at the price we know we need to charge. We don’t want someone to say, “That’s too high.”
Fear of judgement is what stops us from being our authentic selves on our Instagram feeds. “What if someone thinks I’m weird? What if someone tells me I’m ‘too much’?”
Fear of judgement prevents us from pitching ideas. “What if they think I’m stupid?”
Here’s my radical idea:
We try to stop judging our friends and neighbors. We try to stop judging ourselves. We put our best foot forward and let the people who need what we can give take it and ignore the rest.
I think I might be less afraid to be my best self in business and in life if I worry less about what other people think of what I do.
I think I might be less afraid to be my best self in business and in life if I worry less about what other people are doing.
Hit “reply” and tell me what you’re going to stop judging about yourselfbecause, as the greeting card manufacturers tell us, “Change comes from within.”
Bookmarks of the Week
This isn’t your usual bookmark of the week list. This week is dedicated to helping my home, Wilmington, North Carolina, and surrounds recover from Hurricane Florence. As I type this, the floodwaters are still rising and many people have lost everything and won’t recover. There are people who don’t yet know they’re about to lose everything.
Many of you reached out to ask if you could help me, and I was incredibly fortunate to not have the catastrophic damage to my house that I expected. You could help me by helping put my community back together.
No judgement from me if you don’t click.
Here are some ways to get funds directly to those affected:
Pamlico County Community Foundation
A client of mine is on the board of directors. This foundation serves one of the hardest hit areas, around New Bern and Oriental, North Carolina.
Provides food security for school children and is also currently working to get emergency food to flooded individuals and first responders.
World Central Kitchen
Is currently feeding tens of thousands of first responders (including linemen, swift water rescue personnel, and public safety professionals) and displaced individuals from Hurricane Florence.
Holiday Shopping for a Good Cause
Metalsmith Sara Westermark has been my friend for years. She’s an artist in Wilmington, NC, who will lose months of income from gallery closings and event cancellations. Purchasing from her Etsy store kills two birds with one stone: puts money directly in the pocket of an individual family and finishes off your holiday shopping!
Bonus Bookmark: Stop Showing Your Art to Your Boyfriend
A blog post from Amy Stewart that relates to what we’re all thinking about here.
My sincere gratitude to everyone who reached out to me as we were preparing our house and evacuating. Thank you for your patience this week as I resettled and got back to work. I’m getting there.
You’re truly the best, and I’m grateful for you.