Overcoming Sister Virginia

My success is not linked to others’ opinion of me. Why does this matter?  I am not interested in being oppressed by anyone or anything or any thought.  I am succeeding in business and building my future without regard to what others think.  Without this breakthrough I would have been in the dark ages and controlled by public opinion.  I have learned that the loudest voice is only that.  The loudest voice does not usually speak the truth.  

What’s important to me is not others’ opinions of me, but what’s important to me is my opinion of myself.- C. Joy Bell C.  

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.- Steve Jobs

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.-Katherine Mansfield

Sister Virginia

angry-nun3When I was in eighth grade I had the misfortune of have Sister Virginia as my homeroom teacher.  You guessed it, Catholic School. Sister Virginia was a bitter raving egomaniac, and used the students as fodder for her hurtful wit.  I had some kind of attention issue (no labels needed) and tended to stare out the window a lot.  I had no problems understanding the information, but I was really bored and had a hard time caring about school, until I had my first real science class which really got me interested in school.  I attended a school that had only one definition of a good pupil: sits quiet, speaks only when spoken to, obeys the teacher.  This simplistic definition of a good student pervaded schools until only recently, so I suspect this was a common problem.   I did not fall into this neat small minded category of student even though they literally tried to beat me into an acceptable submissive robot.  In fourth grade, one teacher smashed my head into lockers for bad penmanship!

Fortunately my wife, Nancy, is not a teacher like Sister Virginia! 


Sister Virginia picked up on my “non-conforming” personality type.  She was not the physical abuse type of teacher.  She enjoyed the harsher, more harmful approach– mental abuse.  As soon as she recognized my attention issues, she began her ridicule and public shaming.  She made up new words to describe my attitude, like “Carrollessness” (my last name is Carroll), which became a big hit. I later found out that the other kids thought I was pretty awesome at letting the abuse roll off my back because my only reaction (except to underachieve on purpose) to Sister Virginia’s rants was to look down at my desk and shake my head.  I was not going to let her win, ever, so I stuffed all my emotional reactions inside. Not healthy.  Because all the students laughed at Sister Virginia’s ridicules (of me and others) I assumed that they were on her side and put up a wall to all of them. I so much hated that class that I actually blocked out large portions of my memory about that time.  To this day I don’t remember much about grade school.

WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH …whining I know, whining will get you nowhere.  This is what happened and I’m moving on. Sister Virginia’s opinion of me pervaded my entire psyche for years to come, and I did not even know it. During high school, college, and my early work life, she was there in my subconscious telling me I was careless, and going nowhere.  I believed this for a long time. In my late twenties all this negative stuff reached a boiling point and I had to change.  I found out that many people had similar thinking and I was not alone. Thus began my journey to healing, I needed other people and could not change or grow as a healthy human being with friends and God.  I found out that I was accountable for my thoughts and actions, not a victim of them.

The Recession

recessionI was unfortunate to have been caught up in the recession and was without work for eighteen months.  I am a licensed architect and that industry was crushed in the recession.  I did not know what to do, no one was hiring, I did not have unemployment either!  We had dabbled in network marketing but I did not really understand how it really worked yet.  In late December 2008 we received a phone call from a leader that we had worked with in the past.  He invited us to a new opportunity that we jumped on immediately, achieving success right away and putting food on the table! Without that company and leader we would not have been able to keep our house and life would have been pretty awful.

I do not trust that my profession will have a job for me, so I took my future in to my own hands by working with a leader and company that offered monthly income and compensation unrelated to my chosen profession, in other words, security and prosperity for the future. Are you struggling with the age old corporate/oppressive goal of working 40 hours+ per week, 2 weeks vacation, doing the same thing all the time, and not having a secure retirement or pension?  I realized that there is no real good reason for most companies to keep 50+ year old employees around because they are too expensive.

Does this sound familiar?  Are you seeing a reason to search out a different economic path?

Overcoming the Past

breakgthechainsIn business, leadership cannot coexist with self-sabotage.  This weakness will be revealed and no one will follow you.  A leader will push forward to the goal (and have goals!) guiding the team to the finish. Self-doubt is inevitable, but the leader will not succumb to the negativity that follows submitting to self-doubt.  I listen to and read positive leadership and personal growth books and lectures every day to keep the blue meanies from entering my house.  Of all the things I have ever done to grow as a person, daily reading of personal growth has worked the best.  When negative thoughts do creep in, focusing on leadership and helping other have the most effective ways I know of to get me away from the pity party.

Nancy (my wife) and I have set goals for our life, financial, spiritual, physical, and professional goals.  Our business is successful because we keep the opinions of others at arm’s reach or further.  We listen to our mentors and their opinions.  Our success is directly related to doing what our mentors told us to do, therefore; we respect their opinions. We still validate what they tell us especially when it is not related to their area of influence in our lives.  We do the same with our spiritual advisors. We do not keep God’s opinions at arm’s length. His opinion lives in our hearts.

To Your Healing and Success, Kevin


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