That is one of a few of my favorite quotes from Pauleanna Reid, my guest on Episode 46 of the Breaking Labels Podcast.

Pauleanna is one of those women I have always been drawn to. She exudes an air of confidence and self-assuredness that you can’t help but want to know more about, not to mention hope a bit of that confidence rubs off by association. But the best part of the conversation with Pauleanna was her willingness to admit she’s scared and nervous, too.

I spent many years thinking that if you were courageous and had the audacity to ask for what you want, you did so without any fear or concern for what others might think. While that may be true for some, over the years I’ve spoken with other women like Pauleanna who are bold and unapologetically driven but still willing to admit that, yes, they too have moments of fear and doubt. The difference between them and those who forever wonder how they could possibly do something they’re scared to do is that at some point, they just do what they’re afraid of, repeatedly.

It’s really that simple. And sometimes, the worst happens: someone accuses you of the thing you’re most afraid of or you look just like the amateur that you are. But somewhere between brushing yourself off and shedding a tear of frustration, you realize you’re still standing. While the experience may have sucked, you now know you can experience your worst fear and the world won’t end. YOU won’t end.

One of the toughest lessons I learned cold calling was that the moment that defines you is not actually the moment you fear the most. It’s what you do after the moment has passed. My success was not defined by the countless rejections I faced, some of which stung more than I feared they would. My success was defined by what I did after those hard moments when I wanted to call it a day and go home with my head hung low in shame and embarrassment.

Truth be told, there were absolutely days where I stayed in that low moment and felt sorry for myself. But eventually there were more days and moments when I chose to get in my car, listen to an audiobook on sales or put on some work out music and head to the next cold call, determined to not look or carry myself like the mess I felt like after the last rejection.

That’s the secret. You don’t have to feel perfect or be perfect to show up. But you have to show up. When you’re scared. When you’re tired. When you don’t feel like it. When you’ve been told ‘no’ and you just want to call it a day. When you’ve had an argument with a loved one and you’d rather sit and stew about what they said and what you wish you’d said. You show up yet again.

I wish I’d understood years ago that the Pauleanna Reid’s of the world that have sass for days and that aura of “I WILL do what I say I will” have mess in their lives too. But in Pauleanna’s case, she persists no less. She makes damn sure she shows up as her best self every time and without looking like her mess.

You can listen to the full conversation with Pauleanna here:

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