I’m on the other side of a very big week, a week that has loomed not only on my calendar but also very heavily on my mind. My book was released (YAY! And more details below), but I gave a new workshop and had some client deliverables.
My energy level was on a slow but growing trajectory as the week grew closer, ultimately peaking at a sort of untenable level of anxiety only to crash and burn on Thursday as I lay in a heap wondering how it all went.
This brings me to today (writing this on Friday), in my moment of calm and contemplation, and I’d like to talk about cheerleaders (our own) and flipping the narrative (the stories we tell ourselves) and of course, I’ll be pimping my book so stay with me for a few more moments, won’t you?
You have to want the thing on the other side more than what it takes to get there.
I wrote this statement in my notebook without any reference or attribution, and Google didn’t help me, so please reply here if you happen to know. It sums up why the graph above looks like it does. The energy grows, then dips after the moment and then shoots back up in the moment of accomplishment.
As it so happens, this is the definition of Type 2 Fun and it’s something I talk about in my book (Did I mention my book?) Type 2 Fun is when you set an objective to climb a mountain or register for a race, and it sounds great at the time, it sucks during the work, and when you’ve finished, you have a feeling of massive stoke.
Being our own cheerleader – flipping the narrative.
A friend once asked me how I want to lead my life, and after several moments of reflection, I told him I wanted to lead my life in a way that gets thank-you notes every day. (Having received three thank you notes that week made me feel good people appreciated me and I love being in service to others.)
My friend thought that was odd. He said it relied on extrinsic rewards and I received that with a slap in the face. Wow. Good point. I should find gratitude and appreciation from within.
Here is a great example. After a fitful night of sleep, I awoke the morning of my workshop with the carbonated feel of cortisol racing through my body. To make matters worse, it was a typical November morning – dark, wet, and kind of lonely. I had two hours until I fired up the meeting and turned myself on. I needed something more than my morning ritual to get me in the right mindset.
But I could only rely on myself at this point. Nothing anyone else would say would help. I stopped. I was really tired of this feeling. You know what? This is just downright boring being this worked up about something. <—- and just like that, I defused the thought in my head.
Thoughts are clouds, said Joseph Goldstein, my favorite meditation teacher. You are not your thoughts.
Being our own cheerleader is a start. But having cheerleaders in our camp is vital.
Not only do I have a spouse who supports me and the work I do, but I have a community of like-minded individuals I can turn to. I also engaged with someone to help me level up my instructional design and delivery. Hey, I also hired an editor and coach for my book. So we need a combination of paid and built-in support and cheerleaders.
I ended that workshop uncertain about the outcome. I think the attendees found value but did they? There were several things like great engagement and several thank you’s in the chat as I signed off, but you turn off the Zoom and you’re left there sitting in the booming silence of your home office second-guessing yourself.
When the survey feedback came in two days later, I knew it had gone well. And my energy shot back up. External validation matters! So listen here, friend from the story above; I’m going to enjoy a thank you note when I receive one!
Ahhh, Type 2 Fun at its finest. But now, I get to enjoy the aftermath.
My conclusion is we need a variety of cheerleaders: The one inside us and the ones outside. We need to know when to call on whom and when to flip the narrative. Cheerleaders and flips.
Which brings me to my book. (Worst segue in the history of segues). If you work in the mission-driven sector, this book is for you. It’s for people like you working hard to get others on board with your idea of change. By communicating with impact and telling an effective story, you can take your community on a journey from “so what?” To “so funded!”
Here is what a few others have said about it:
When you write a book about storytelling, you’d better be a good storyteller. And Lisa Gerber is most definitely that. The reader learns not only from the process she describes, but also from the example she sets. Yet this book takes you beyond telling a good story to making sure you have a good story to tell. Every mission-driven leader has witnessed moments of impact and transformation — Lisa’s work helps us to weave those golden threads into a coherent tapestry that will be both useful and beautiful. And like any fine storyteller, Lisa gives her readers a glimpse of who she is at her core, which leaves us wanting more. The good news is, there’s more to be had when you work with her. Lisa’s book is an example of a dynamic she describes within it: “I finally stood out by showing up as me — and people loved it.”Dr. Rebecca Sutherns, collaborative strategist and adaptability expert, CEO of Sage Solutions, author of Nimble: Off script but still on track (2019) and Sightline: Strategic plans that gather momentum not dust (2020)
As Executive Director of a nonprofit that collects and shares first-hand refugee stories as a means of influencing policies and public perception, I was delightfully surprised at how Lisa Gerber’s book made me think more carefully and deliberately about how our organization tells its own story. Filled with practical guidance, illustrated through poignant real-life examples, Gerber has written a practical guidebook that will empower organizations to engage more effectively with clients, donors and community members and she’s done it in a way that feels like a candid and encouraging conversation with a close friend.”Kristen Smith Dayley, Executive Director, Their Story is Our Story
And with that, I’ll link you up for more info.
If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking around. I would love to know what you think. (Because I need external feedback.) I would also like to know what you are curious about. I want this blog to serve you and your challenges. Let me know what’s on your mind. Maybe I’ll write the next one about it.
Take care out there,
Some ways I may be able to help you and your team:
Need Guidance And Accountability? Take a big leap: I advise purpose-driven individuals who want to make a big change, level up their career, start a new chapter, or launch a thing. I still have a few spaces available in November for my Take a Big Leap Advisory program. Respond here, and we can schedule a time to discuss.
Help Non-Profit Team Members Level Up their Storytelling. In this three-part series, I can work with your team to help you elevate your organization’s communications and storytelling skills. Want more details? Respond here to schedule a time to talk.
Digital Transformation. Need to bring your work online? I’m here to help. Contact me for details.
Stay in touch.
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