About that being too dependent part…. (Blog)

I was lying awake last night and kept thinking about this paragraph I wrote yesterday.

The second reason is that I think I had become too dependent (financially). Being so extremely invested in one thing made it hard for me to separate what I wanted to do from what I thought my audience wanted me to do

I was talking about so much more than what these three sentences can capture. I knew I had to write more about this. I felt the need to dig through the emotions and thoughts that made me write the above. (Welcome to my open therapy session!)

I think there are several things that made me say, in the end, I had become too dependent, or too invested.

  1. I always instinctively felt that I didn’t want to put my content behind a paywall. I knew it didn’t make sense business-wise, but I also felt an urge do things differently. I instinctively wanted my work to be about more than a transaction between a seller and a buyer. I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that until recently, though. I just *did* it that way and then struggled to explain why.
  2. When listeners started telling me they wanted to support me, I discovered that it was hard for me to accept their gifts. I was a horrible gift receiver, really. I always came up with new reasons why people shouldn’t have given me their money. I lead a comfortable life. I have had a lot of privilege in my life. I had not really done that much to deserve people’s support yet.
  3. No matter how many people supported me, I never quite allowed myself to feel like I was achieving something. Not fully. There was always a part of me that felt like I didn’t deserve it. Another part of me spoke from a sense of scarcity, though. I was convinced that I wasn’t successful as long as I couldn’t pay all my bills. I know, talk about a fucked up mix of contradictory feelings.
  4. This ties in with what our society often tells creators.  To “get a real job.” It took me ages to see the podcast as my real job, although I prefer to call it my work. When I struggled to keep going financially and asked the community for advice, one member said, “Get a 2nd job.” It propelled me back to the starting point. Indeed, “Who was I to think I could ask people for money?” I thought.
  5. This contant struggle of learning how to ask for help, learning how to accept help and learning how to truly value my own work… was hard. What made it much harder was the fact that I suddenly *needed* help. I had run out of spare energy and spare time. I was trying to keep going on listener-support only and it wasn’t working. I had given up my ‘real’ job too early.
  6. Which brings me to the hardest part to share. I let resentment get to me. I got frustrated. I got disappointed. Dozens of people supported me every month. They cherished my work. They encouraged me to keep going. But I somehow started to focus on the thousands of listeners who didn’t support me. And it was easy to get to that point. Very easy indeed.
  7. You see, when you decide you want to give away your work, people tell you you’re crazy. They tell you that people are greedy and will never give back. I told them I trusted it to work out in the end. That there are always people who would give back. Despite my struggle to accept gifts, I still instinctively felt that this is how I wanted things to be. A circle of giving and giving back and giving. I wasn’t very convincing about it, I’ll admit. I let people get away with calling me naive. And after struggling for a while, I started to believe the nay-sayers.
  8. Now, I’m very ashamed to admit this. I’m not even sure why I am doing this. As I write this, I question my intentions. Am I oversharing? Am I abusing you as a listener? Will you judge me for it? And I’m afraid. It’s funny: my fear might be the reason why I keep writing anyway. I have learned to see fear as a sign of progress. It’s like a road sign that says ‘Go there.’  I’m going there.
  9. Apart from needing the extra money, going back into consultancy and publishing bi-weekly episodes is a way to let go of the resentment. It’s a way to step back from the ‘needing.’ Not because I no longer want to engage in this wonderful circle of giving, but because I want to make room for it all to unfold again. I need to find my trusting, giving self again. I believe I’m already making great progress.
  10. You see, the good thing about letting myself being dragged down into the darkness of the nay-sayer world, is that I discovered I really don’t belong there. This negativity might have managed to make its way into my head for a while, but the trusting core of my heart patiently waited to make its big come-back as soon as possible. I always knew I wouldn’t stay in the darkness. I would find my way back somehow.

It took me a few years, and 10 paragraphs to summarize it here, but I believe I am finally coming at all of this from the right place. I see that I am not truly giving until I can accepts gifts myself gracefully. I see that I have to ask for help and accept ‘no’, or silence,  as an answer most of the time. I see that I have to keep trusting that it will all work out someway, somehow. I see that I have to focus on real value: the connection I built with so many of you.

It’s a weird way to live within our money and success driven society, to be honest. It will be a challenge and a journey in itself to trust people so openly. Some people will hate me for it. Some people will keep telling me I’m a fool. Actually, I myself have often asked Muriel, “Do you think people will call me the good kind of crazy or the crazy kind of crazy in the end?”

I’m going to answer my own question from now on. It’s the good kind of crazy. It’s the loving kind of crazy. I think I’m finally ready to own that kind of crazy. I’m ready to bust open the doors of my heart and let everyone in. In short, I finally fully and consciously understand what my instinct was telling me me all along.

This counts as another step in my journey, right? I’m shaking as I type these final words so it must be.

Several of you have been here for me from the start. Whenever I doubted myself, you didn’t. When I sucked at accepting your generous gifts, you forgave me and kept giving. You listened to me and you kept pushing me to this place, gently. Thank you.




14 responses to “About that being too dependent part…. (Blog)”

  1. 10a 💜🇧🇪

    Thanks for Sharing Sigrid, it is wonderfull that you present your work openly and freely. All contribute to their possibility. And I feel you have found a better balance for yourself a more healthy one in more ways than one which I greatly admire. It show great inner strength ✊🏻

    1. Sigrid

      Thank you, Bettina! 🤗

  2. JDavis💚

    Wow…. So much to say!!!! But first is that you continue to amaze me in so many ways. Your willingness to look inside, to examine and assess honestly and then share so much that you hold dear. You are a true example of living an authentic life with all of the bumps, bruises and ultimate successes that it brings. I love you so much Sigrid.

    You said something that really struck me….”A circle of giving and giving back and giving.” This is a brilliant description! To me this is the perfect name for your business model. While not conventional it is accurate and I think it is great. To openly and proudly say, “I am doing things differently; a way that embraces the world as I want it to be.” So we your fans don’t have to push through a pay wall but you are also welcoming our support for those willing to give it.

    And I am glad that you are comfortable with a biweekly schedule regardless of funding level. Again, your ability to recognize your truth and act on it is amazing and inspiring for me to do the same.

    Thank you so much for sharing and allow us the privilege to listen and comment.

    1. Sigrid

      Thank you for all your kind words. In this comment and the one on the first post! I love you too and I am so grateful to know you.

      I think I need to give credit for the circle concept to Amanda Palmer. I read her book and she’s big on the circle of life or giving concept. I highly recommend the book.

      What her book did for me: give me a language for concepts and beliefs I already had. Having a language is crucial to fully embrace them, though. Or to fully express them!

  3. Melgrj7

    It can be hard to view work that isn’t typical work as… work. It makes things weird. I’ve been dog walking and pet sitting for like 10 years and I still have to remind myself that it is indeed a job. It took me years to not feel weird about people paying me. I still struggle with it. I used to sell prints of my artwork and had the same hang-ups.

    And I try to run my business in a way I can feel good about. For example, I don’t charge for emergencies. Like when a client called me in a panic because her wife was in a city an hour and a half away and was rushed to the hospital after sustaining a head injury. I went and stayed with the dogs and I don’t like to make money off the misfortune of others so I didn’t charge them. People tell me I’m dumb for doing things like that. Business is business and it’s too make money. But it doesn’t have to be and I can do my best to live in a way I would like the world to be.

    So different situation but I guess I’m trying to say that I can kind of empathize and understand a little bit. I dunno if any of that made sense or conveyed what I’m trying to say 🤦

    I love your work and I love that you are doing things in a way that you feel good about. I think it’s awesome that you put it out there for free for all to enjoy and that that is something that is important to you.

    1. Sigrid

      Ooooh, I totally get the not charging! I think I would feel and do exactly the same.

  4. Sarah

    Thank you Sigrid.
    You share kindness, understanding, and joy in dialogue that proves this over and over again. A trust you continue to earn. Big understanding zen hug available electronically when you need one because you walk the path of my belief.

    1. Sigrid

      Thank you. *big smile*

  5. Stewart

    Wow you a woman of wisdom. This is your road and who knows how it will wind up ahead, but you will always walk it with pride and not shame. If you were in the same city/country as me, then I would definately enjoy meeting for coffee becuase most people don’t impress me but I enjoy your work and your words. In essance, I enjoy you. So thank you for your work and giving attitude.

    1. Sigrid

      *blushes* Thank you for those kind words. I hope we get to meet for coffee one day!

  6. Meg

    You are all kinds of beautiful, talented, loving, intelligent, spectacular crazy 😜! I have, really, I have never, ever, thought during my entire time
    on the TLR community any thing but kindness, thoughtfulness and honesty! I’m not trying to blow smoke up your a** here but as an older 😉 individual, it’s refreshing, and what I want to see in the future of my child as well! You have my respect ✊🏻 not always easy for me too give out to many people. Also, sorry I haven’t read this sooner, please believe that my life experiences lately have diminished my searching and reading for anything past the community timeline, I am ever behind on my episodes 😱, which is not me. Love ❤️ You Meg

    1. Sigrid

      *blushes* Well, I don’t know what to say after so many kind words. Thank you, Meg. Much love right back at you and your delightful ladies (Morgan and grandma included!) ♥️

  7. Anna

    Wauw, thank you for sharing above, it is a strength to open up like that. You’re a beautiful person!

    1. Sigrid

      *blushes again* Thank you, Anna.

Leave a Reply