I’m a Gatekeeper – translating ideas into reality for others
This morning I woke up with an incredibly clear idea of what I wanted to write about (personality profiling). And then when I sat down, everything I wrote felt superficial.
So here I am, drinking Japanese green tea on a Sunday and looking for creative inspiration. The question I’m asking myself is, what can I share that is authentic and real, AND also valuable to those who read my blog.
The words that came when I asked this was “being a gatekeeper and messenger”.
And then I thought, crap. I don’t really feel like talking about that *sigh* … *deep breath* … So here goes…
My definition of a Gatekeeper
The word gatekeeper has been a relatively new word for me. I attended an event with Dr Kim Jobst last December about health and disease and I asked a question and suddenly found myself declaring “I’m a Gatekeeper” – a word I had never used to describe myself before. But the reaction from a couple of people in the room who knew me, were like “of course you’re a gatekeeper” (my head was going, “what the?!”). So I went home that night and asked myself what does that actually mean? And this is what I wrote…
“Tonight I discovered I’m a Gatekeeper. On one hand I help business owners translate their vision and ideas into material and physical reality. And on the other, I help business leaders heal. Both are opposites side of the same coin. I also get I’m not everyone’s gatekeeper. But when I meet someone and hear their vision or idea, I intuitively know what I’m suppose to do next.”
I’m finding it rather hard to share the above. It kind of makes me want to throw up. It feels a bit too self righteous. Who am I to say I am a gatekeeper?
I’m actually not an expert …
And yet, people constantly come to me and ask for my feedback on so many things. Their branding, websites, book covers, brochures, logos, videos, products, blogs, photographs, pitches, ideas … everything under the sun. Essentially what they are asking me is:
“Do you think this translates and captures who I am and the difference I want to make in the word?” … “Will this land?”
The truth is, most of the time I actually don’t know. And I wonder why people trust me so. I’m always only sharing my personal opinion and experience. Nothing I say is THE truth.
But what I promise you is, if you ask me for my opinion, you will always get “my truth”. For better or worse. Direct, honest feedback is the frequency of my channel.
I’ve tried to tone it down slightly. Pad it a bit more. Use the sandwich technique. But ultimately, it’s pretty clear and direct. Whether I like it or not. And sometimes, I really don’t like it.
I always feel awkward…
There are moments where I wish I didn’t have to say, no that doesn’t land. That logo is off brand. The website needs to be completely redesigned. You’re wearing the wrong colours in this image. This should be landscape not portrait. This headshot won’t work for your positioning. Your writing style needs to change. I’m confused with what you’re trying to do. I don’t believe you.
I’m using all the words I personally hate: doesn’t, should, need, off, wrong, won’t, can’t, don’t etc-
Those words and statements totally suck.
I hate delivering these messages. Yet I know it’s essential and it’s the role I play as the messenger. People who know me well, will accept that’s why they come to me. It’s not personal at all. But those that don’t, are sometimes left in a bit of shock (I wish I had more finesse!).
Accepting my role
I chucked a little mini tantrum in my bedroom last week. Declaring, I don’t want to do this. And then Danielle, said to me “just watch what life keeps throwing at you”. And that’s when I threw in the white towel – accepted once again, I’m a Gatekeeper and messenger – often a translator – to help people bring their visions to life.
Despite the how uncomfortable I sometimes feel. I trust if they’ve come to me for feedback, it’s cos for someone reason, they actually want. And if I’m saying something they don’t want to hear, on some level they obviously want to hear it – even if it’s to disagree (I rarely give feedback unless I’ve been asked to). Ultimately, what they do with the feedback is up to them. As the messenger, I’m unattached to what happens next.
Open honesty is my policy
So if you ever ask me for my feedback, just know I will always be honest and if it’s not 100% amazing, I’m doing my best to deliver it with an open heart and I’m feeling equality uncomfortable inside. And when I ask you for feedback on my journey (cos I will), I want your honesty in the same way. I might have clarity when it come to others, but my blind spots feel deep and dark.
And so … my journey continues. Watching what life throws at me. Currently a Gatekeeper for others.
Photography credit: Amanda Clarke
ps. I randomly texted Avni this week (not knowing I was going to write this blog) and asked her: “What’s my life purpose?” and she responded with “to ‘Thao’ people – knife like clarity for others”. It made me laugh. If only I had this clarity for myself!!
pps. If you’re wondering where the ‘healing’ comes in, I find growth and self awareness goes hand in hand with business growth. Not always, but the types of businesses I’m interested in, they always do : )