The Morning Mantra is available on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube and pretty much anywhere podcasts can be found. Transcripts forthcoming on the blog at www.coachedandloved.com
You don’t need to be sorry for who you are, for the way you laugh, for acting crazy, for BEING CRAZY, or for being annoying. Does a dragon apologize for breathing fire? Or do the villagers shake their heads at dummies who look in the dragon’s mouth?
Hi! I'm Coach MK, and THIS is The Morning Mantra.
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Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.
Today’s Mantra Is: TWEET TWEET MOTHERF*UCKER
Sara Seeberg. That name in my inbox could only mean one thing: I made a mistake. Sara catches every mistake. All of them. She reads everything we produce IMMEDIATELY, and responds with corrections even faster. It’s to the point I openly refer to work as “Seeberg-ready.” That draft might be finished, it might be finalized, but if it isn’t Seeberg-ready, then it isn’t ready. I have a feeling Sara is this person everywhere she goes. I wonder if Sara knows this. I have no doubt some people find this tendency of hers annoying, that they find HER annoying.
Women. We are SO ANNOYING.
This is a FASCINATING time to be alive. For 39 of my nearly 41 years I’ve endured the duplicity of American culture, living in that gap where the things we say can be used against us and the things we don’t say never help or protect us. Back then, we didn’t have the language to articulate these low-burning frustrations and even if we did we couldn’t discuss them with anyone. Back then, not always knowing how to navigate that divide was what made us SO ANNOYING.
Like the time I met the CEO of my Swiss firm in a large meeting and was invited to stand up and give honest feedback on the program I’d been hired into. This meeting was coming at the end of 2 weeks of orientation to my new company, enduring courses about how the Swiss are super-duper-direct and Americans are just NOT and if we wanted to succeed at this company we had to be less American and SPEAK UP.
So, I spoke up. I explicitly stated how much I LOVED my job and how I really wanted to make a career there then pointed out two gaping disconnects in the program’s structure that made me fear that a future wouldn’t be possible.
I’ve never told this story before. You see, this story would never be about the company or how the Swiss aren’t as direct as they claim to be. In this story, no matter how I tell it, I’m the punchline, the oblivious American, the silly woman who doesn’t know better. This story proves my lack of social skills or ‘street smarts’, that I am wild and uncouth and out of control and just ‘don’t get it’. Even if no one can explain what ‘it’ is, I’m the only one who missed the point. You don’t even know how the story ends yet you were likely cringing from the moment I said, “...So...I spoke up.”
“Oh my GOD that’s so LIKE YOU MK! Hahahaha GOD I bet he was really annoyed.”
For years I thought this was a class thing, that I WAS a dummy. I was ashamed. I read all kinds of self-help books and management books and leadership books about Getting to Yes and the Power of Positive Thinking and tried to change who I was, tried to develop better instincts. It didn’t work, I still don’t know how to navigate that gap.
You know what though? I shouldn’t have to change. I’m FIRE. I’m smart AND educated. I’m opinionated. I know my shit. I am quite confident that I know my shit because as a woman, I know I need to know my shit better than anyone else in the room does before I speak up. I’m also loyal AF and very, VERY direct. You’ll never have to wonder where you stand with me and there are no lines to read between. There is zero passive in my aggression and I am rarely cruel. When I speak up I’m not trying to tear anyone down, I’m trying to fix a problem or get shit done. I’m trying to make things better. I’m the canary in the coal mine. You don’t enter a coal mine without a canary, you guys. You shouldn’t need to read Adam Grant’s new book Originals to know that the person invested enough to point out a problem instead of sneaking out the door is the person you want to listen to.
Unless she’s a women. Sigh. we are SO annoying.
Does this sound like you? Is there something about yourself that you’d like to change, some aspect of yourself that gets in your way, some aspect of your personality other people find SO ANNOYING?
You know what? Fuck them. This is where the mantra comes in, Tweet Tweet Motherf*ucker. That thing you do that annoys other people for reasons you don’t understand? That shit’s fire keep doing that.
Sara Seeberg has been catching and calling out my mistakes large and small, publicly and privately, for 3 years. She pays attention to every word I say, reads everything I write. NO ONE DOES THAT. NO ONE!!!!! She doesn't speak up to tear me down. She is never cruel. She isn’t just the canary in my coal mine, she volunteered for that job. The person invested enough to point out a problem rather than demand a refund or unsubscribe from your mailing list is the person you want to listen to. When I see Sara Seeberg’s name in my inbox, I drop the baby to respond.
A few weeks ago I sent around a very rough draft of a marginally important document to three people: Sara Seeberg, Coach Sarah, and Susan. Coach Sarah’s comments on the document are three printed pages long. I wonder if they would have been as thorough if she hadn’t seen Seeberg’s name in the cc area. Fitness Protection’s June programs will be MILES better than May, because Seeberg is in the room. All I have to do is copy her name on an email to bring out everyone else’s A-game.
That thing you do that annoys other people, Sara Seeberg, that shit’s fire and I’m so incredibly grateful for your fire. Your fire cleanses and purifies. Your fire makes everything it touches, better. I hope you stand near me forever, I mean that. My goal every day is to be Seeberg-ready, to be worthy of the attention you give me. I will never, ever take that gift for granted.
Sara Seeberg is FIRE. I’m fire. I bet you are fire, too. Next time someone tries to tell you that you’re annoying because your superpower is just SOOOO annoying, or because you said something they didn’t want to hear, look them in the eye and say, “TWEET TWEET MOTHERFUCKER, I’m here to make you better with my FIRE and I do not care if I annoy you.”
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You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And you're definitely winning at life if you subscribe to my Nuzzel Newsletter, follow me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram. feel free to do all three!
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