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  • Writer's pictureTiffany Marlink

Learning to disappoint others

Earlier this week, Spirit sent me a phone call. I don't typically answer my phone if I don't know the number, but my intuition told me to pick it up. On the other end of the line, the sweet woman told me that I had been nominated for the top professional women category in a Who's Who publication.

Woohoo! My ego instantly perked up and did a little "I've arrived! They see my value!" happy dance. Then my heart came back online. She told me to pay attention and listen with all of my senses.

I went through the interview process and was incredibly proud of myself for clearly stating who I am, how I got here, and what I'm doing to make a difference in this world. I felt like I had aced the interview and thanked Spirit for this opportunity to practice. I could also sense her genuine interest in what I was sharing and wasn't surprised when she told me that I would be a perfect fit for the publication.

Then she pitched me the membership price. I could sense that there would be a catch. This was the whole reason I avoided these types of calls in the past. I hated having to disappoint people by telling them "No." As you would guess, this has created problems on multiple levels in my life, and it is learned behavior that I am in the process of changing.

Seeing the opportunity to practice, I gently said that it didn't feel aligned for me and hoped that was the end of the conversation. It wasn't. She was a good salesperson that was trying to meet a quota. She did the next thing in her script and offered me a reduced price.

Once again, I had to speak up for myself, and instead of being firm, I found myself saying I would need to sit with the decision. Not hearing my "No" (because I wasn't giving one), she dropped the price one more time. This time I asked her about the results that people had experienced after signing up, and she didn't have an answer. Seeing my window of opportunity, I told her I would do some research and asked her to call me back later that day.

After I hung up, I reflected on what had happened. I could see where I started to shrink instead of staying in my power. I noticed what had happened with compassion which allowed me to tune in and hear what I to do next.

I did my due diligence and confirmed there was no way I would pay to be on some directory that would very likely be a waste of my money. I had fallen for a similar trap 3 years ago when I was just getting started in my business. The circumstances were a little different in that I was asked to be a special guest on a podcast and was talked into paying for it. (side note - DO NOT EVER pay to be on a podcast) At the time, I was so caught up in wanting to reach more people that I couldn't hear my own inner wisdom. Essentially I learned the hard way how to spot a scam, and I could sense this Who's Who nomination was similar.

When the saleswoman called back later that day, I missed the call because the pest control guy had shown up at the exact same time. A coincidence, I think not. Instead of avoiding the conversation, I decided to be a good human and call her back. I wanted to offer her the same respect that I would want to receive from a potential client, and I also knew this was another opportunity to practice standing in my power.

Our conversation was light and engaging, and I confidently shared that I was not interested. I thanked her for considering me, and I could tell she appreciated not being ghosted.

As much as I would like to claim this as a total win, I can see that I am still learning. What I know for sure is that this is progress. My younger self may not have made it through the first call without being talked into all the "amazing" benefits. If she did make it through, she likely would not have had the courage to call back and say no. She would've avoided the conversation because she didn't have the courage to speak up or risk feeling like she had disappointed someone who needed her.

In writing this diary entry, I am finding myself drawn to the word disappointment. I don't know why telling someone "no" feels like I'm disappointing them, and I'm sure with that curiosity already planted in my awareness, the Universe will guide me to an answer in the hours or days ahead. You'll have to stay tuned for how that unfolds.

As for now, I'm taking this as another example of why I am so grateful for all of the inner work that I have done. I have so much love and gratitude for the younger version of me who didn't know that it was ok to be herself. And I have even more love and gratitude for the current version of myself who is learning how to speak up even if it means stumbling a little bit along the way. As one of my manifestation teachers says, it's the small steps that become quantum leaps.


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