Lessons from a Difficult Child

By Elaine Hausman

 | April 12, 2022

All my life I have desperately wanted to think for myself. To defy conventional wisdom. To discover the truth for me.

I came into the world saying, “you’re not doing it right”.

This included everything from parenting, to how the world viewed the roles of men and women and their relationship to one another.

From the time I was twelve I knew I wanted to be an actress and that would be my answer when anyone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Yet when they asked me, “Are you in the school play?”, I could feel myself bristle as I answered, “I’m not going to study until I’m taught by professionals.”

What child says that? Was I a snob? Was I defiant? Maybe. Or was I a child who simply wanted to learn on their own terms, to find their own path, to create a world as they saw it. So maybe not.

I did indeed become an actress and like most professions, or truly anything in life, was faced with what was supposedly ‘the right way to do something’. And despite the pain and insecurity that came from trying to meet that standard, I never could.

I had no choice. To experience creativity, connection, or fulfillment I could only do what was organic for me. Even at the risk of never achieving success.

And when I looked back, as much as I was considered a ‘difficult child’, I grew up and was fortunate to have a family willing to be educated on how I wanted to be treated, how I wanted to traverse the world, and I gained their respect and even their admiration.

When I reflected on the words ‘you’re not doing it right’, I recognized what I really meant was ‘you’re not doing it right’ for me. That no one was to blame. In fact it had been my job to use those obstacles to become all I could be.

So that is the moral. There is no one way. No one size fits all.

There will always be the latest ‘thought leader’ telling me what is right, but I learned a long time ago I have the choice to grab whatever I find worthwhile, or not. I get to choose. Standing firm in knowing who I am, how I create, how I achieve, and what I find relevant.

I wouldn’t know until years later that my journey had prepared me and led me to work with entrepreneurs. To help them find their own voice. To help them express their uniqueness and set themselves apart in their work and in their life in front of a camera.

What gratifies me most in helping people find their individual voice, is that the stories they create and the lives they reflect are so much more likely to be true, specific, powerful, lasting, and most importantly ‘right’ for them.

Published as an ‘excerpt’ in iNETrepreneur Magazine Spring Issue 2022 View Here

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