I was watching Frozen with my friend’s kids the other day. It’s great. Elsa, the young boundary-less, emotional doormat princess character kisses the prince and falls in love all in one day. Her older sister, Anna, the powerful and graceful, but cold, queen is not having it. She refuses to let Elsa marry a guy she just met and the whole story is about how they find a solid middle ground and save the world together—sans any need for a prince.
Girl power, yeah!
It’s interesting, though. I’ve been thinking about how the movie portrays the two sisters as two extremes.
Elsa has a timid personality. She has been sheltered and controlled her entire life, being told what to do always, never given an iota of independence or space to do anything but try to please the people around her. She desperately wants to be with people and to love everyone and everything. She’s just waiting around for anyone to give her attention.
She never had an opportunity to test her own boundaries, her own power, her own potential, and lacks a backbone to be able to stand up on her own. She is naive and clearly has the potential to be taken advantage of by anyone who will give her the time of day. She’s a textbook example of the child of a helicopter parent!
Anna, the other extreme, is cold, closed, stern, but powerful, strong, energetic and confident. She’s so confident and powerful that she doesn’t even want to be around people (even though she’s the queen), because she knows that being around people means dealing with people. She’s intelligent and brave; has an incredible potential to be the best leader and teacher ever, but declines because she knows how difficult it is to get mediocre people motivated to better themselves. So she runs to the mountains, builds herself an ice castle and decides she’s going to live there forever.
Whether it’s a Disney movie or the real world, neither of these extremes are going to work. The queen doesn’t want to teach the princess how to be more confident, and the princess doesn’t understand why the queen is so cold.
Does this sound familiar?
I see so many parallels in the business world. So many intelligent leaders are mean and cold (because they’ve become jaded and uninspired), and the boundary-less pleasers, who usually end up working for those cold leaders, sit around desperately waiting for someone to notice them.
At the end of the movie, Elsa has gone through quite a transformation. She finds herself. She builds confidence. She realizes that true love can’t exist in a day and that standing on her own two feet is exactly what she needed to do. She becomes a boat rocker. She finds her voice (and sings that incessant song that has become the anthem of little girls everywhere).
And, Anna, the cold, jaded queen becomes inspired by Elsa’s transformation. Spoiler alert: the two sisters meet in the middle to rule the kingdom with their combined grace, strength, softness and intelligence.
Now why can’t this happy ending happen in 89 minutes in real life?
The Short answer: It all requires transformation, no matter how you look at it. For business to run smoothly, jaded leaders have to soften and find their passion again. And softies have to build some confidence and learn that to become great and inspire their leaders, they’ve got to stop trying to please everybody.
So let’s say for today, it’s all in the hands of the one tip-toeing around trying to keep everyone happy when really what they’re doing is raging inside just wanting to be seen.
You know, the ones without boundaries. The ones who are really good at making everyone like them. The ones who are always easy. The ones who are always unhappy because they spend their lives making other people happy.
Newsflash: making other people happy will never make you happy. Making other people money will never make you money. Making other people get off your back will never free you of the monkey on your back.
Doing things to NOT upset someone else, doing things to NOT lose someone money, or doing things just to keep your boss off your back (even if your boss is you) is negative motivation, and the only people who operate this way are guilty, shamed, boundary-less doormat types. There’s no leadership or skill or passion in doing business in this way.
And as long as you are negatively motivated, you’re going to have negative results. Why?
Because it takes passion and pizzaz to be a boat rocking queen. It takes real guts! It takes a lot of gusto, a lot of love, a ton of confidence, a lot of energy and a healthy dose of arrogance. Why? Because you are SO good at what you do that you KNOW that sharing your goods with the world is worth making a fuss about.
You WANT to rock the boat because you KNOW that it’s worth rocking. The status quo just isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got something that’s going to make the world better and you just can’t stand NOT offering it.
Okay, okay. Many people are simply not that confident and can’t see how they might be that good at anything. Not your problem. They’re the boundary-less princesses lacking in confidence that really don’t have any other choice but to work from negative motivation. Some really do just get in, get out, collect their paycheck, and try not to tick anyone off.
When you’re in business for yourself, you just can’t do that. You can’t just work for the sake of working. You’re working for YOU. You’re working to live, not living to work. And if you can’t find the passion to work for YOU, then finding your passion is first learning how to rock your own boat.
We all get stuck in a rut sometimes. No doubt, it’s part of being a grown up. We can’t all be the transformed princesses and queens in the Disney movies, and we’re definitely not doing it in 89 minutes. But, that’s not to say that we can’t be incredibly inspired most of the time. In fact, if passion (for anything! for whatever rocks your boat!) isn’t your motivator, then how can you be effective at anything you do?
So let’s say that you’re falling into a confidence rut. Why? What’s at the basis of it?
So often, we become the naive princess hiding in the bushes because something has thrown us off of our galloping, silvery-white Clydesdale. And sometimes we can’t figure out how to get back on. Most often, it’s too much thinking. We can’t feel inspired when we analyze and think things to death. We just can’t. And so our horse saunters on without us hoping that we’ll catch up.
And sometimes, when we’ve lost our inspired passionate boat rocking mojo, we become cold, callused and jaded, and resign to become paper pushers and irritating bosses to naive princesses lacking in confidence. Not okay!
If we’ve got “it,” somewhere along the line, intervention can take place. On any given day, passion and fire and creative energy can be lost, but it can just as easily be gained again! Being inspired is as easy as shutting down logical thinking and turning on the fun button. Truly!
You’d never believe the power in getting up and gazing out the window at something marvelous for a few minutes, if for no other reason than to distract your weary mind from all its silly worries. And with mindful distraction can come motivation and a recollection of what brought your incredible highness to what you do in the first place.
So, you pull yourself up by the bootstraps, you get back up on your horse, you get some strength (physical strength = mental strength = emotional strength!) and endurance, and you find motivation to transform. Sometimes it takes a few hours and sometimes it takes a few years.
No matter where things are, we always have time to become inspired, and we all have the capability to expand our current capacities.
In the movie, these women do a complete 180. And they don’t just save the day, they kick butt and taking names in the process, and they clearly enjoy every moment of it. Part of being a boat rocker is not being polite when it comes to displays of confidence. It’s mindfully kicking the right people off of their high horses and inspiring others as you unapologetically strut your stuff.
And yeah, sometimes it’s fake it ‘till you make it. Sometimes. But not for long, ever. Because when you talk the talk AND walk the walk, you inevitably inspire yourself as you go along. And being your own passionate motivator is the best thing you can do to succeed at being the queen of your own castle.
Talking the talk but not walking the walk? Or just learning how to talk? Or just needing a ghostwriting queen who struts her confidence and kicks the right people off of their high horses to inspire and walk the walk daily? Give me a call. We’ve got lots of places to walk and topics about which to talk :)
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