Why I learned to just say, “Fuck it” and be myself…

“Bliss can be mistaken for anxiety,” is something my Life Coach tells me all the time.  For the past four years I have been studying the process of marketing, sales, persuasion inside and out to help me succeed with my goals.  I’ve also been doing a lot of inner healing so that my own emotional blocks will not hold me back.  When “Tricks” started to take off strictly on word of mouth, a part of me became very afraid – was I ready?  What if I connected with people who tried to strong-arm me in the way they wanted me to go and not in the way I wanted to go?  What if I got so determined to do it my way that I would dismiss opportunities right in front of my face?  What if I met people who told me “Tricks” wasn’t good enough and rejected me?  Well, I’m happy to say, I encountered all of this.

I had people who were extremely supportive, who were inspired, who were ecstatic, who were thankful that I told “their” story and there were some others who were jealous, some who turned on me and some who felt it was their God-given duty to point out all of the flaws of the film to me and to anyone else who would listen.  I’ve been rejected a number of times because of the subject matter of the film, but it sold out at the majority of screenings, on my website and in stores so I had a feeling I wasn’t that much off base.  Of course this made it somewhat difficult because it was tough to know what to keep and what to discard when faced with criticism.  What was genuinely meant for me and what was strictly about that other person’s own projections?  To this day, that is tough to call.

Then I started doing what I always do when I conclude a project, start working on the next one.  But this time, I was way more armed and less green than I was when I started out with “Tricks.”  My family and I decided to move some of our content online to build up awareness and a following while we work on our main projects.  I didn’t realize how much I had learned over the past few years and my knowledge directly correlated with some of the success we’ve been recently having.  My sister’s  cover songs are gaining momentum, her rendition of “Motivation” secured a solid 900 views in less that one week.  That’s small to some people, but we’re just starting out, so that was like hitting a small jack-pot on a scratch off ticket for us.  My ideas were working, I wasn’t as naive as I thought I was and we haven’t even started to implement 10% of the marketing we are planning to do.  I was ecstatic!  So ecstatic, I got sick.  I mean literally sick.  I started having various body pains, a constant sore throat, migraines, chest pains, and anxiety attacks about my mortality which landed me in several doctor’s offices for a few weeks.

When I finally dealt with this with my Life Coach, I realized that I was not afraid of failing, I was afraid of succeeding.  Deathly afraid.  Failing, I’ve done enough of that to know what it feels like, what to expect and what my distractions would be.  My imagination would whisk me away and I would go into its incubator until I was healed enough to come out and try again.  Although it was disappointing, it was comfortable.  I didn’t have to worry about ridicule, criticism, unjust personal attacks, losing friends or relationships, rejection, expectations, or trying to appease people as a way to apologize for my ambition – as long as I was at the bottom I was comfortable, I was not a target.

This is still something I am making peace with.  I have had my equal share of successes and failures in life.  One thing that I think is innate, a part of my DNA is that I never stop.  I didn’t even notice this, it was my Life Coach and my father who pointed this out to me.  I’ve been going full speed ahead since I graduated from college and what I have gained over the years is the power of patience, clarity and perspective.  I learned that if I am brutally honest with myself at all times, beyond the sky is the limit for me.  I learned to trust my instincts and to account for chaos.  Just like casinos factor theft into their bottom line profits, I have to factor in being let down, deceived, betrayed and rejected into my own.  I have to factor in I will also let some people down and I too will make mistakes along the way.  It’s just the nature of the beast and there is really no getting around it.  The best I will be able to do is hold myself accountable when I do fuck up, forgive myself and move on.  And that’s the best I can and will do for other people.

In knowing this, much of my bliss is truly bliss again.  And my change in perspective was recently tested when I got attacked on Twitter a few weeks ago.  Somebody who I’ve never met (I don’t think), who was not even my friend sent me a message saying that my film flopped and flung a host of insults at me.  This out-the-blue over a comment they claimed I made about Beyonce (which I didn’t, at least not on Twitter).  Initially, I attacked back.  I got completely hijacked and insulted this person with equal venom.  Then something clicked in my head and I realized, I have professional contacts on my Twitter page, this is not the type of reputation I want and who cares what some person who was blatantly hiding their identity thought about me or my work?  Of course I encouraged this person to have a talk with me face-to-face, but in reality, I’m not trying to fight anybody.   Although I am a trained fighter, I fight so I don’t have to fight, not so I can rise to the occasion of every idiot who feels empowered because they are hiding behind a computer.  So I blocked this person, removed all of the exchanges between us and let it go.  I had never felt as empowered as I felt in that moment that I decided that was a no-thing.   I didn’t have to defend my decision, defend my work, defend who I was – I just said, “Fuck it.”

Through the work I’ve been doing, “Fuck it,” is becoming a motto of sorts for me.  Stress is the number one killer in America.  It causes heart disease, cancer, stroke, premature aging and all around a very unhappy life.   I’m not perfect, but after going through all the medical roller coasters I’ve gone through this year, I really have to guard my psyche.  Some things I cannot afford to give a fuck about anymore.  And that includes things and people I cannot control or change.

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