KMA: getting inside someone’s head

It’s time to kick Monday’s ass…

Last week I spoke on a friend’s call (Kevin Rogers – Chief Chat), and he invited me to share something I’d learned about what I call my “not-so-secret superpower”… empathy.

So… I’m not actually a naturally empathetic person.

I’m a naturally judgy person, usually ready with a snarky comeback within 0.2 seconds of anything you can say.

So to say it’s been challenging to practice empathy when my gut reaction is to jump down people’s throats? That’s an understatement. In reality, it’s been a journey and a half for me to figure out how to suppress that side of myself and genuinely connect with other human beings.

But once I did… oh man.

I can’t describe the sensation of being able to truly CONNECT with people in an age where we’re all constantly distracted.

I experience such deep joy, satisfaction, elation when the people I’m with are happy.

And I can feel the pain like a gutpunch when the people around me are suffering.

This ability has made me an amazing copywriter and salesperson, and I’d argue it’s something every good entrepreneur needs in order to understand and connect with the people they serve.

So for everyone feeling bewildered with what’s going on in the world, and like there’s no way to talk to someone/you can’t possibly see eye to eye – I’ve got a simple 2-question exercise.

This is what I used to get me from Judgy McJudgerson to someone who listens with mouth shut, ears and heart open.

It’s all in this week’s..

Kick Monday’s Ass Video

In case you’re skipping the video because you like to read (I know I lean that way myself), here’s the deal:

I ask myself two questions when I’m encountering a situation where my immediate reaction is kneejerk anger/frustration:

1) what if it were true/what if there was a reason?
2) what if it were me?

The video gives these questions a little more context, but in case you need an example:

When my reaction to someone’s story is to not believe them/dismiss them as making a mountain out of a molehill – I’m kinda being a dick.

I don’t have the authority to tell someone else how to feel and how to react, and to presume I’m some sort of god-like authority with the ability to tell people how to do “right” is outright laughable.

When I hit that wall of resistance, I ask myself, “What if it was true?”

What if the boss really said that outrageous thing to her?

What if that person really was attacked like they said?

What if that person really is sick and suffering even though I can’t see any evidence from where I’m standing?

That removes the automatic dismissal of someone else’s problem and moves it into a space where I have to take it at face value because it’s real, and there’s a reason they’re feeling that way.

Now it’s getting good – we’ve removed the judging dismissal component. Are you ready to have your mind blown?

Then I asked myself, “What if it were me?” (when you do this, make sure to do it with extreme compassion for yourself) 

Frankly if what happened to George Floyd or Breonna Taylor happened to someone in my family, I’d want to destroy everything in my path like a vengeful titan. Grief is powerful and gripping in that way – there’s no logic or sense to it – like a giant wave, there’s only riding it out and waiting for it to pass, then assessing the damage after the fact.

So I highly encourage you to try this exercise. For those of us predisposed to judginess, it’s going to be super uncomfortable.

But it’s also really a peaceful place – those days where I’d have kneejerk reactions that hijack my emotions for hours at a time? They’re much rarer – because I know there may be a reason I don’t yet understand. And to understand, all I have to do is ask questions and listen.

(here’s a link to the video in case you don’t see it embedded below)

Listening is just as important as being heard.
Self improvement is a long, hard climb. And the thing about it is – you can’t improve someone else’s “self” for them. You can only do that for you.

So if you find yourself in a situation where your brain is screaming, WHY WON’T THOSE PEOPLE JUST GET IT TOGETHER? WHY DON’T THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT I DO, IT’S SO FREAKING SIMPLE?!

Maybe the one you need to focus on changing is YOU.

Badass of the Week

My badass of the week is Marcella Allison of the Titanides, for creating an amazing space for women to speak openly about their struggles in business.

She had a “takeover” of her newsletter this weekend with three amazing Black writers. Their names are:

Jeniffer Mulu

Mercy Kay

Tepsii Thendo Lufuno Tshikororo

Their stories are not mine to share, but they were incredibly powerful. Talk about listening to a lived experience radically different from your own, and sitting with the feelings as someone who gives a damn.

On Repeat This Week
This is on my feisty-mellow spectrum – hard to believe it’s 25 years old (and yet still strangely applicable).

This week’s song is “Army of Me” by Bjork.

“If you complain once more, you’ll meet an army of me…”

It’s Monday y’all… get out there and kick some ass.

Rock on,

“Army of Me” by Bjork

You’re alright
There’s nothing wrong
Self sufficience please!
And get to work
And if you complain once more
You’ll meet an army of me
And if you complain once more
You’ll meet an army of me



If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.

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