For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
My biggest fear in life was being seen as high-maintenance. Snobby. Elitist. Difficult. Particular.
So I’d go with the flow all the time. I’d say yes even when I meant no. I’d say I didn’t have a preference when I very well did. I’d downplay my feelings or emotions just to make things easier for others.
And I did a good job of justifying it to myself, too. I told myself that my emotions were just really strong, and other people couldn’t handle them. That I wasn’t as fragile as other people, so I could take a backseat and let them get their way. That I was being a helper, and this was how I gave to others.
But the truth is I was terrified. Terrified of being so sensitive and different and high-maintenance. I just wanted to fit it at any cost—even if it meant my own happiness.
We visionaries grew up more sensitive than the other kids. Maybe we were overwhelmed by big crowds. Or sensitive to certain foods. Or felt criticism just a little bit stronger than everyone around us.
It seemed like everyone else was just easy-going and chill and could go with the flow. And there we were—tired after socializing for too long. Or hungry and needing to eat with the next hour to prevent a major mood decline. Or really, really not wanting to go to this party but trying our hardest to will ourselves to be fun.
It’s one reason I hated opportunities. Because, even the “good ones” still meant someone was asking me to do something. Imposing their will upon me. And I told myself I already should have been grateful—how dare I be so high-maintenance and demand my own needs back?
I began to fear and resent my e-mail inbox—and even Facebook. Because they represented unsafe spaces where people could ask more from me. And where I struggled to say no or to counter with what I really wanted.
Declaring desires is hard for anyone. But, for us visionaries who’ve felt different our whole lives, it feels crippling.
And, if I did actually muster up the self-awareness and courage to declare my desire, I’d usually drop it the second I faced any adversity.
If I suggested a restaurant with many gluten-free options and others weren’t interested, I’d immediately make a plan to order the one or two items I could get where they wanted to go. And, many times, I was so afraid to inconvenience a waiter with alterations that I’d get something I didn’t even want just to be easier.
Or I’d mention a plan that sounded fun—like a murder mystery. And, if people didn’t seem interested, I’d slink away in shame and do what they wanted.
Or, even when it came to business, I’d have this great idea that I wanted to offer. But, when one person said no, I’d tweak and alter it and maybe even lower the price to make it what they wanted.
I rarely had conviction around my own wants and needs. Because it brought up all of these stories about being selfish and demanding and high-maintenance. That it’s somehow snobby to know what you want—especially if it clashes with what someone else wants.
So I spent a lot of time trying to be the easy-going guy. And being really undernourished and dissatisfied.
I have all kinds of plants in my house and outside. And I’ve never once been angry or resentful at their needs. Some need lots of sun. Some need more shade. Some need plenty of water, and others barely any at all.
They’re all different. And they have different needs to help them thrive—to realize their genius. So, if I want them to access that genius, I give them what they need.
Let me repeat that: If I want them to access that genius, I give them what they need.
We visionaries are experts at knowing what happens when we don’t get what we need. Because we’ve lived an entire lifetime of that. We know that we very quickly wilt away from our genius. So much so that we stop believing we have a genius in us at all.
And then it happens—maybe in a deep conversation with a best friend, or a trip to Europe, or hiking in nature. We get what we need. We have a small taste of the essence we’ve been after for so long. And we feel like ourselves again.
And those moments are maybe too far and few in between to really access our genius. But they remind us that there’s something more, something better, than we’ve been feeling every day.
And the only way to get there is to ask for what we need. Which starts with feeling worthy of it.
Feeling worthy of being nourished. Feeling worthy of minorly inconveniencing someone to get what we need. Understanding that fueling ourselves with what we desire is the only way we can access our genius—and share it with the world.
We’re all wilted flowers desperate for water. And only we know the essence that will spring us back to life.
Our sensitivities—our experience through our senses—always give us clues on how to access our genius.
If you’re tired after a long day of socializing, honor that sensitivity. Pack it in before you get exhausted. And, if you turn into a raging psycho if you don’t eat every three hours, really, really make a big deal about needing to eat (I’ve learned this the hard way—and still do about once or twice a year).
If you want to plan a retreat, but one person isn’t interested, reach out to more people. Declare that desire. Tell everyone. Run Facebook ads. Talk to friends. Do whatever you’ve got to do.
I’m not saying every one of our desires will work out. But I am saying that, if we feel something strongly, it’s a sign that there’s genius there. And refusing to pursue it is denying our genius—again.
So go for it. Fucking go for it. Even when it feels high-maintenance or different.
Because you’re damn right we’re high-maintenance. There’s a lot to maintain here. We’re goddamn geniuses.
I don’t judge luxury cars for needing premium gas. I honor that quality things take more to maintain. And they’re worth it.
You are a genius. You’re worth it. You’re worth giving yourself what you need. You’re worth discovering that genius. And the world is worth getting access to the magic you’ve got.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Do you ever worry about being too high-maintenance?
— Do you ever worry that you might come across as high-maintenance, demanding, particular, or snobby? Do you sometimes downplay your desires or needs to be “easier” or “go with the flow”?
— Have ever you shut down one of your desires or pivoted the second one person disagreed or was uninterested? Have you created stories or justifications about why it’s not a big deal or why you don’t need to be so unyielding when it comes to your needs?
— What if you are a genius—like a gorgeous, delicate flower—and you just have specific needs to access that full genius? What if allowing yourself to receive what you need is the only way to access your genius? What if your sensitivities are always pointing you in the direction of how to access your genius?