We’ve all got skeletons in our closets. Those things in our past we’d rather not think about and we’d rather keep to ourselves. But as any politician can tell you, no matter how hard we try, skeletons have a way of finding their way out of the closet and into the open.
- Bill Clinton
- Anthony Wiener
- Jim Baker
- Bernie Madoff
- Lumber Liquidators
The list is endless. All people or organizations that tried to cover up and hide issues only to have them jump out and steal the headlines at the worst possible moment.
Skeletons tend to get lonely so they escape the closet when you least expect them. They’re like little kids that just want to be acknowledged, so they jump out right when you are negotiating an important business deal, being considered for a promotion, getting serious with your girlfriend or just going through life minding your own business.
It’s in the quiet times that skeletons scream “look at me, pay attention to me!”
Over the years I’ve learned that the best way to deal with your skeletons is to let them out and have a dance party from time to time. Dancing with your skeletons helps put skin on them, making them a little less scary. It’s about being honest with yourself, acknowledging the parts of you that you aren’t proud of and making it clear that what has shaped you, while maybe not pretty is still a piece of who you are.
It also gives you an opportunity to control the narrative. If I can tell you what’s living in my closet, in my time and on my terms the damage to my reputation can be mitigated.
As a financial coach there are few things in my past that, that if brought out at the wrong time, could damage my reputation and affect the way people do business with me, so I’m honest about them and I make them part of my initial conversations with potential customers.
I’ve been bankrupt
I’ve gambled illegally
and I’ve lied about it
I’ve done all of those things in order to make enough money to pay my bills. But my time would have been better invested taking steps to reduce my expenses, pay off my debts and increase my income honestly. I’m not proud of my past, but it’s helped shape the person I am today.
We’ve all got skeletons. Dance with them. Control the narrative, or it will control you.
Check out this dancing skeleton for inspiration…