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President Howe: Don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides

October 8, 2020 in Guest Columns

Welcome to the third installment of a five-part series based on my keynote address, Lessons from The Other Side. In case, you missed it, this keynote was developed by watching my mom, a top producing REALTOR® in our community, achieve triumphs and suffer tragedies in our industry and ultimately end up taking her life. It is my sincere hope that at least one of these points hit home with you so you can create a healthier and more positive life and mindset.

Lesson #7: Do not judge your insides by other people’s outsides

Facebook syndrome is real. Like really real. Everyone in your Facebook feed is living their amazing Pinterest life with their model spouse and their 2.5 perfectly behaved kids in their home that’s staged to look like it’s right out of a magazine. (Or they are those people who are crippled by drama on the daily). And you know what, that’s not real life. Somehow, we see these people and what they pretend their life is like and then tell ourselves that we are less than. Or that we are not worthy. Or that we will be as good/awesome/skinny/successful as they are if we just change the right things about ourselves.

The truth is that everyone is facing a private battle. What we see on the outside tells us nothing about what is going on internally. It’s keeping up with the Jones but on a mental and emotional level and not just a materialistic level. One of my favorite images to use for this is called the iceberg illusion. What we see about the ice for someone is their success, but what we don’t see is below the surface: persistence, failure, sacrifice, disappointment, hard work and dedication.

So, stop with the negative self-talk, realize no one’s life is perfect even if it appears that way on social media, and be grateful for who you truly are and what you have in your life. Because it’s yours.

Lesson #8: The struggle is real

Speaking of the iceberg illusion, let’s stop pretending our own lives are perfect and that we aren’t hurting. We need to become more vulnerable and transparent in our lives and speak up when we need help and support. I’ve found that when I’ve done that, the people who deserve to be in my life do one of two things: 1) rally around me to give me the support I need and/or 2) share their own struggles. We have a duty and obligation to come together as a people. The more we pretend to not have our own struggles, the more divided and alone we become. Allow people into your life who know your truths and can be there for you.

Lesson #9: It takes a village

And speaking of becoming more transparent and vulnerable, it doesn’t just take a village to raise a child. It takes a village to be a whole human. We all need a village. All of us, whether we can come to terms with that or not. And there are two parts to your village: 1) who is in your village – who is there for you when the cards are down? Who is there for you when no one is looking? Who is there for you unconditionally? And 2) whose village are you a part of – who are you there for when no one else will show up for them? Who are you raising up and showing your love to regularly? Who knows that they can always count on you no matter the circumstance or time of day?

We certainly need both elements in our village. If you don’t have one or the other, start working today to build your village. In 2020, we need our village and the ability to stop judging now more than ever.

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