An argument in real life is most often with someone you know. Someone you may love or have a history with, in which case there is so much history and dynamics that can often make it feel worse and more personal. Whereas online attacks are mostly strangers or online acquaintances. It’s much easier to disconnect from that, shut the screen down and choose to let it go and move on.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Litt. Tracy is a certified mindset coach, best-selling author of Worthy Human, rapid transformational therapist, and awe-inspiring speaker. She is the founder of The Litt Factor, a personal growth and coaching company, and Worthy Human, an inspirational and empowering merchandise line. Tracy exists to remind you of your potential, teach you the power of your mind, and support you in cultivating a phenomenal relationship with yourself. It is through this unwavering belief in yourself, tremendous self-love and inner power that you can feel, create, and be anything and everything you desire.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I could start with I was born on May 15, 1977, in Brooklyn, NY but I’ll skip right to what brought me to the work I do in this world. Everything was fine. There was not outside of reason to make a change. I was the VP of People & Culture for a healthcare consulting firm and all was well, sort of. I wasn’t well on the inside. I was going to through the motions, checking the boxes, staying safe.
My gut was gnawing at me, in truth it had been gnawing for a few years. I had a gift of helping people and a deep desire to help others in a meaningful, life-changing way. I had researched therapy, coaching, and other healing modalities. I had chosen the school I would pick, did my diligence and daydreamed about it and did nothing.
I stayed at work. I stayed because I was scared. Every time I almost said yes to going to back to school and going out on my own, I shrunk back into “it’s fine.” I rationalized it. I have a good job, I make good money, it’s flexible. They like me and I like them.
Slowly I was dying inside. I knew I had the capacity, I knew I could do it, I could do anything. What I didn’t realize at the time, is that fear played a role in getting me to not pull the trigger, therefore, held me back into my comfort zone.
Fear sounded like: “Do you actually think you can do this? What if it doesn’t work? What if you invest in school and all of this and it amounts to nothing? What if your not as good as you think you are? What if no one hires you? This is a huge risk, are you sure this is a good idea?”
Then one magnificent night in January, I was sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean. In stillness with myself. I was quiet enough that I could hear myself say, “Do it, Tracy, it’s time, you were made for this.”
I got up from the chair, walked inside the hotel room, opened my laptop and emailed the coaching school and enrolled. Boom! I wasn’t going down that like. Through my growth work I then learned what fear was all about, I taught myself how to fall in love in with it and it’s never stood in my way since.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I was shopping at TJ Maxx with my sister. She went to try stuff on in the dressing room, while I went to look at the shoes. I’m in the shoe section and I hear whispers behind me. “No, you say something.” “No you. I know it’s her!” “I’m not sure, should I say something?” “It’s her, I know it, just say something.”
So I look over, smile and say hello. The 2 beautiful women proceed to tell me they love my work, follow me online and are so grateful for how their lives have changed. We hugged, took a few pics and went on our merry way.
I’m dying inside. Oh my god, I was just recognized, randomly, in public. So naturally I run into the dressing room, find my sister and tell her the story. We hug, rejoice and get super excited because I am here to change people’s lives and make a massive impact, and that moment was confirmation that I was well on my way.
Amazing. It now happens frequently and I love every moment that I get to see, hug and talk with people who are showing up powerfully in their lives. The best!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Not sure how funny it is, however it is a beautiful mistake that gave me my greatest lesson to date. I was looking for the answer to how to be successful, how to grow the business, what’s the 10 steps I need to follow to get the result, and from that space I laid out 5 figures to a team of people who told me they could get me there. It didn’t feel right in my body, or my gut, but I ignored it because, at that time, I wanted some fast magic pill. There’s no pill. It didn’t work, and I broke up with them.
And it gave me the best lesson of my life…to trust myself. To trust my gut. To do what feels good to me, and the rest will always show up. And so it has.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes! My 3 Day, personal growth immersion event, Worthy Human LIVE 2020 in January in Palm Beach, FL. I am beyond excited to create and offer this because nothing helps you heal, grow, and expand faster than an in-person immersion event. Taking time to retreat out of your everyday environment, immerse yourself among a group of like-minded humans ready to rise, changes you permanently. It propels you to the highest version of yourself.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. Have you ever been publicly shamed or embarrassed on social media? Can you share with our readers what that experience felt like?
Yes. I do a ton of live streams that reach lots of people. I show up fully, as my take me or leave me self. This one particular day, I was doing my thing, dropping knowledge, connecting to other worthy humans, and a comment comes up on the livestream. “You would be so much prettier if you didn’t curse. It’s gross. You need to find god.” WOAH.
Because I am a mindset coach and one of the things I master and teach is feeling your feelings without judgement, and not letting things in that aren’t helpful, I was able to see the comment, recognize the feeling of embarrassment and shock, then quickly make the choice to ignore and keep serving the people who were really listening. Because you get to choose what you let in, and what you don’t. And because what people think of me, is none of my business.
What did you do to shake off that negative feeling?
The choice to not let it in, as I mentioned above allowed me to stay in my power. And the ability to feel my feelings without judgement is essential.
Have you ever posted a comment on social media that you regretted because you felt it was too harsh or mean?
No. I do post boldly and often will say things that others may not. I’m committed to your growth, not your comfort and sometimes that means saying things that others may perceive as harsh. I’m cool with it. And I’m highly conscious, happy and compassionate so being mean would never come out of me.
When one reads the comments on Youtube or Instagram, or the trending topics on Twitter, a great percentage of them are critical, harsh, and hurtful. The people writing the comments may feel like they are simply tapping buttons on a keyboard, but to the one on the receiving end of the comment, it is very different. This may be intuitive, but I feel that it will be instructive to spell it out. Can you help illustrate to our readers what the recipient of a public online critique might be feeling?
There are so many important areas to cover within this question. First, the way someone receives online critique is their responsibility. For one person it’s criticism, for another, it’s feedback. Secondly, and sadly there is a lot of unhappiness, hurt and insecurity in people (part of what my work helps to alleviate). And when you are not happy with you, it’s really easy, and without awareness, to lash out, seek drama, and put others down. Hurt people, hurt people. And what other people say about you, how they react to you, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. And knowing this truth will help you navigate any and all commentary.
Do you think a verbal online attacks feels worse or less than a verbal argument in “real life”? How are the two different?
Sometimes, yes, and maybe. 🙂 Here’s why. An argument in real life is most often with someone you know. Someone you may love or have a history with, in which case there is so much history and dynamics that can often make it feel worse and more personal. Whereas online attacks are mostly strangers or online acquaintances. It’s much easier to disconnect from that, shut the screen down and choose to let it go and move on.
What long term effects can happen to someone who was shamed online?
Being shamed online can be tremendously detrimental. It can kill one’s self-esteem, and self-image. It can exacerbate anxiety and depression, affirming feelings of worthlessness. Shaming beats people down. It’s cruel, beneath us, and unacceptable.
Many people who troll others online, or who leave harsh comments, can likely be kind and sweet people in “real life”. These people would likely never publicly shout at someone in a room filled with 100 people. Yet, on social media, when you embarrass someone, you are doing it in front of thousands of even millions of people, and it is out there forever. Can you give 3 or 4 reasons why social media tends to bring out the worst in people; why people are meaner online than they are in person?
For starters, being online gives the illusion of safety to whoever is leaving the harsh statements. It’s easy to type out a few words and separate yourself from any consequence or impact.
Lots of people, lots of ego, so at times the “troll” is seeking a power struggle. And social media is an easy place to find one.
So often the act of spending a lot of time on social media can drive people to a place of inferiority, comparison, frustration. Yes, all of those things are choices, yet if you aren’t raising your awareness and doing the work you will fall prey to those things, making it easier to be triggered and drop comments that are low vibe and harsh.
If you had the power to influence thousands of people about how to best comment and interact online, what would you suggest to them? What are your “5 things we should each do to help make social media and the internet, a kinder and more tolerant place”? Can you give a story or an example for each?
- Work on yourself. Heal your wounds. Grow personally so you can create an inner environment of joy, peace and ease. Happy people spread happiness.
- Bring awareness to your thoughts and how your body feels when you are on social media. When you feel yourself being triggered or creating a nasty judgement, pause and take a deep breath.
- Remember there are real human beings on the other side of everything online. Real human beings just like you. We are all connected.
- Choose kindness. Choose compassion. Choose curiosity.
- Limit your social media time. Be intentional with your social media. Scrolling mindlessly for hours isn’t helpful for anyone and will only drive you to numb out, become unaware, and start to go down the rabbit hole of judgement and comparison, which can then lead to making comments you may regret.
Freedom of speech prohibits censorship in the public square. Do you think that applies to social media? Do American citizens have a right to say whatever they want within the confines of a social media platform owned by a private enterprise?
I do think freedom of speech applies to social media, whether or not people are thoughtful about the way is a different story. And no different than thoughtlessness in the public square.
As a private enterprise you can create whatever rules and guidelines you want, hence being private. However, as a private enterprise you must take social responsibility. Pay attention to trends, to anything that breeds hate, to anything that shows a lack of humanity and take steps to rectify and contribute positively to our society. The human factor must take the lead in all respects.
If you had full control over Facebook or Twitter, which specific changes would you make to limit harmful or hurtful attacks?
I love this question. I saw a SharkTank episode recently where a young woman developed an app that could detect disempowering comments and exchanges. When someone was about to send something harsh, a little pop-up would appear on their phone asking something like: “Take a moment, are you sure you want to say this?”
I would absolutely install something similar. And be very intentional about the pop-ups. “Pause, breath, is this helpful?” “Stop, do you really want to say this to someone else?” “Hi, you are enough. Will sending this message be helpful or hurtful?”
I’m excited just thinking about what something like this could do. Talk about awakening people and changing the energy of the world one human at a time.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” — Dalai Lama
This quote was the birthplace of my realizing my inner power, the depth of my choices and what I now practice and teach as radical personal responsibility. It influenced me to get rid of the blame I was carrying, the excuses and justifications I used to give for why I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my life. I am the root cause of everything I experience, and there is no greater freedom than that!
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Yes, Gary V. I love his energy. I love how he is completely unapologetically who he is, which is very much how I am. I think when our energy is together in the same space, the earth will shift on its axis.
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