My name is Lynnette and I’m one of the founders of MoodWellth. I thought it was important to start off this post that way because though I’ve been working in the field of mental health and wellness for quite some time now, many may not be able to put a face to a name just yet. I started another mental wellness venture where I did decide to use my face and first name to promote the venture and it did really well. I got booked for speaking engagements after speaking engagements for a couple of years. I would definitely describe it as being booked and busy, but it also damn near broke me. I’ll explain why.
Somewhere along the way, I lost my why. I forgot why I started the mental wellness venture in the first place. I forgot why I was doing the speaking engagements. My mission and vision became likes and validation from other people rather than supporting the fundamental belief of the venture. I wanted to help people live well without shame and here I was living with nothing but shame. I was breaking but felt like everyone turned to me for answers, so I had to have them even though I had lost the answers myself. I wanted to help people heal, but I had completely lost focus on my own healing journey. I even started to feel like a hypocrite and imposter. I started living inauthentically, the way I was telling people not to live.
“Live your truth, be transparent, don’t feel like you have to have it all together all the time, it’s okay to not be okay”
…were all the things I would preach to the choir but it was falling on my “deaf” ears.
I started listening to what everyone else thought I should do instead of relying on who I am and what felt right and good for me to help me make my decisions. At several points during that time and even now, people try to tell me that it’s okay to be seen. “This is your time, the moment you worked hard for and you should be celebrated and seen,” they say. What I realized is that most people’s definition of being seen is completely different from mine and that’s okay.
External validation like awards, social media likes and followers can make some people feel trapped by unrealistic expectations, comparison and a false sense of acceptance. It’s very performative in nature where people are actually working so hard to prove or disprove something that it becomes sort of a form of entertainment rather than living authentically or fulfilling a sense of purpose. As a result, once the adrenaline rush of the initial praise, awards, likes and followers hits, performance anxiety sets in. We become obsessed with chasing after that external validation that we lose what led to the chase in the first place, all while living in a land of “likes” while simultaneously feeling completely lonely. At least this was my truth and at a certain point, I had to completely re-evaluate my choices. I had to remember who I was and return to her so that I could find what being seen meant to me again.
For me, being seen means that people know the “real” me, the me that loves the idea of living in a small town, surrounded by love and community.
- The me that loves music and finds solace in art or anything creative.
- The me who loves game nights with my family.
- The me who loves spending time with her husband doing just about anything.
- The me that requires unwavering loyalty.
- The me that is more of an introvert who likes having people around her, as long as I don’t have to talk to them.
- The me who gets anxious at a left hand turn stop light.
- The me who overthinks things, sometimes second-guessing myself and definitely doesn’t have it together all the time.
- The me who gets anxious every time I see a pregnant woman because it reminds me of my traumatic pregnancy.
- The me who was afraid to leave her house for almost a year due to anxiety.
- The me who got super anxious every time I had a speaking engagement that was more than an hour away from my house.
- The me who sometimes battled a panic attack right before I got up to deliver a keynote speech that was met with a round of applause and a standing ovation.
You see, people only saw the final outcome of my performance, but they did not see the hard work it took/takes for me to get to that point. And if you see one half of me without the other, you’re not really SEEING me. So, my goal as the founder of MoodWellth, is to live what we teach and believe; to be authentic, transparent and focus on being and taking care of your whole self. This is not saying that you can’t be that beautifully extroverted Wellthy Woman who loves attention and revels in social media likes and followers, but rather it’s making room for those of us who define being seen in another way. There’s room for you too, and you can be successful, great, powerful, inspiring and accepted even without one thousand likes per post and one million followers.
Wishing you love, light and guidance,