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On Being The Jerk That Didn’t Stand During A Standing Ovation

This past weekend I was at the World Domination Summit, which is basically a conference for awesome people doing awesome things.

It brought in 3,000 bloggers, coaches, authors, travelers and all around cool people from 33 (and counting) different countries, and posed the question: How does one remain remarkable in a conventional world?

And as you can imagine, from a conference put on by the guy who wrote the book “The Art of Non-Conformity,” there were in attendance a ton of creatives, rebels, and people just doing it their own damn way.

In fact, everyone there was like this. Which made us all…not all that rebellious in that setting.

(Ironic and giggle worthy, eh?)

And this got me thinking about rebellion.

And doing it differently.

And following the rules.

These thoughts came to a head on the very last day of the conference.

The weekend was winding down. We all had danced, talked, chatted, networked, ate good food, met good people, learned lots of things.

There was a speaker on stage who was great. Had a very inspiring story and wisdom that we all could learn from.

He was good, but for me, not my favorite speaker of the bunch (that’s fair…right?).

And when it came time to clap for him, the room erupted in a standing ovation.

I was a bit surprised, mostly because there were many other people who moved me more that didn’t get a standing ovation.

As I was observing this, I was put into that awkward situation where you either join the group and give a standing o, or you sit there among most other standing people and look like a jerk.

There had been times that weekend where I stood even when I wasn’t moved to do so. I felt the pressure to not be the one sitting when everyone was standing (and consequently what that might say about me).

But this time, I decided to stay seated.

And although I did feel weird being like totally the minority with this, I also felt kinda proud.

Proud that I was evaluating why I do things.

Am I standing because that is what my heart is calling me to do because I’m so moved? Or because I’ll look like a bitch if I don’t?

Proud that I recognized that my behavior is a CHOICE I have rather than a following along with whatever the majority of people are doing.

If they’re all standing, it must be GREAT right?


But I have the choice on whether to stand or not.

Ride a motorcycle or not.

Or choose an unconventional life or not.

Sometimes the most rebellious or remarkable thing we can do is stand by our beliefs.

Live in integrity with our own values.

I don’t want to JUST give an arbitrary standing ovation ONLY because everyone else is.

I want to do it because I’m so moved that I literally need to jump out of my seat (which absolutely happened during the weekend).

And similarly, I don’t want to just give someone a crap birthday present that they don’t need or want just because I might look like a jerk if I don’t.

I want to give them something amazing and meaningful and heartfelt because I love them…on their birthday or not.

It’s these little rules in life we forget to evaluate. The why do we do the things we do.

I believe it’s these little moments that really set us apart.

Anyone with enough courage and perseverance can travel the world or start a business, but it takes a real rebel to make an unpopular and not (necessarily) accepted choice that challenges the rules we ALL live by without even realizing it.

So the question remains…how does one remain remarkable in a conventional world?

My answer: Self-reflect. Know your values. Question why you do things. Make choices to do things that fit within your set of values.

And when you’re moved to do so…by all means…get your buns off that seat and clap louder than you’ve ever clapped before.

This is a Wildheart Life.

It’s the choices we make, the questions we ask ourselves, the reflection we’re willing to engage in. Living from the heart. And maybe…perhaps…being a little bit rebellious.

I think this is you. Reading this. Right now.

And the good news is that I have something exciting to share with you that will create a badass space for you to pursue your own personal (peaceful) rebellion.

A space to engage in self-reflection. Clarify your values. And develop even more courage to live ‘em. Every day. All while being human (failings and flailings and all).

I can’t divulge all the details, YET, but my elves and I have been working overtime behind the scenes to create the Wildheart Revolution .. Just for you.

I want to send out the Wildheart bat signal, like now, but the details will have to wait.

Keep your eyes peeled on the site as I’ll be revealing more information very, VERY soon.

Or better yet, pencil your sweet name (virtually of course) into my personal Wildheart Revolution address book. You’ll be the first to know when the rockin’ revolution is revealed.

For now . . .



16 Responses to On Being The Jerk That Didn’t Stand During A Standing Ovation

  1. There’s pressure to conform all over. Whether it be doing things your way, doing things not quite the previously established way, pressure to clap, even when you’re not really into the performer, the pressure to stand if others do…I think what matters is how you handle the pressure. Mentally OR physically. Sure, you can feel like a horse’s arse if you’re not doing things EXACTLY like everyone else is in a room full of people, and you can feel the pressure (as I am now) when things aren’t going so well for you (A warehouse of merchandise for sale in possibly the world’s worst economy, and having to deal with people that were not gifted with the ability to read).

    My biggest pressure is the pressure to just say, “F*** it!” when you deal with people who want you to hold their hand and ask you questions that you’ve already answered. Such as, “Is this a DVD? What’s the price?” “It’s all in the ad.” “Oh, I know that, I was just wanting for you to tell me so I don’t have to read”. Of course, there’s also the pressure to not take these people to task in emails, although that pressure usually gets let off relatively soon, since I tend to be critical of the lazy generation that can’t be bothered to read, and then whines and complains when forced to do that ugly reading thing. Hard knock life, indeed.

    The point being, there’s pressure on everyone, FROM everyone at all angles, every day. There’s enormous pressure to conform. You hear it all the time how someone was teased because they didn’t quite “fit in”.

    In my experience, I’ve learned that it’s the trailblazers, the non-conformists, the ones that something is “off” in, the ones who just don’t quite fit in, the ones who are just not normal, those are the ones who end up enjoying the most success in life, simply because they chose not the road LESS travelled, but the road not travelled at all.

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hello again!

      This gave me chills: “In my experience, I’ve learned that it’s the trailblazers, the non-conformists, the ones that something is “off” in, the ones who just don’t quite fit in, the ones who are just not normal, those are the ones who end up enjoying the most success in life, simply because they chose not the road LESS travelled, but the road not travelled at all.”

      I think this applies to both the road not traveled by society and also the road not traveled, on a personal level. For me…my road not traveled might look very different than your road not traveled etc. My rebellion might be not clapping when I don’t feel like it, and someone else’s might be living in a nudist colony or something.

      And with this I think the common thread is doing things that you feel called to do. To question and self-reflect. And try things and make your own choices so that you DO know how you feel. You DO know if you want to clap or not.

      Thanks again for another thought provoking comment.

      • I think that when you STOP questioning what you do in life (every aspect), you get complacent, and it sounds very military (us old Jarheads get that way!), but complacency does kill. Not literally, but it can kill motivation, it can kill creativity, it can kill a lot of things.

        If you, Sally, aren’t questioning every so often, “Why did I give up being a rock star and entertaining crowds and making music and being on the road with the boys again? OHHH, yeah…THIS is why…because I wanted THIS more than being a rock star…THAT is why I gave that up and why I became a life coach, and THAT is why I chose to do all I dreamed of, from getting a bike to travelling the nation…that’s why.”

        For me, when I get in a rut, and question why I want to do this, I typically would go to my warehouse and start working with the titles and remembering all these great events, and all the wrestlers I’ve met, and the bonds that sharing a life in the ring creates.

        We may be called “workers” and joke about how being a used car salesman is a step towards honesty over pro wrestling, but there’s a reason wrestlers call each other “brother”. We share those experiences with each other. Whether it be in the ring taking bumps or supporting (getting the talent “over” with the crowd) the talent in whatever way, but you all share he lifestyle, and working in the independents only differs from working for WWE or one of the other national touring promotions in the sense of in WWE, you’re on the road about 300 or so days a year, whereas as an independent wrestler, working the circuit, you are probably only on the road Fri-Sun. However, the independent circuit resembles the territories of old, with guys driving some 500 miles or more to compete in a show.

        I go and remember when I’ve been called on to do more than just set up a merchandise table and be part of the show. I know that when I question what I’m doing, I’m looking back at the past and knowing that’s what drives the future. Going to an event, and seeing the “boys in the back” that I know, and meeting new talent.

        It’s natural to question yourself every so often. It’s not a sign of dissatisfaction with what you do to question oneself. I think it’s a sign of creativity or intelligence that you have the COURAGE to question yourself. Sometimes, you come up with some outstanding ideas when you question what you do, you find a new way of doing the same thing you’ve been doing that excites you all over again. OR, in the alternative, you discover, maybe “this” ISN’T what you want…why don’t you try something new? You might love that even more; you might decide you don’t love it as much; or you might decide you love both things enough to incorporate them both into your life.

        When I was still Active Duty in the Marines, my Mom would always call me and tell her about how one of her girlfriends had a son or a grandson or nephew or something that was about my age and having some problems in life and needed some guidance, and would ask if I could talk to them about the Marine Corps. I’ve always maintained that, if I could have, I would have stayed in the Corps. It just wasn’t meant to be, from a combination of circumstances. However, I always made myself available to talk about the Corps, and speak highly of the Corps. I would tell these people that you don’t have to join the Corps, it can be any branch of the military. When you get done with the four years, you will have a sense of direction you did not previously possess. Either you will say, “I LOVE this!! This is AWESOME!! I want to spend the rest of my life doing this!!” or you’ll say, “Man, F*** this trash!! I HATE this!! I STILL don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I know it’s not THAT!!” That’s direction in your life. It’s a part of self-reflection. Time also helps, as you look back on things later on, with a lot more fondness than you did at a different time in your life.

        • Sallyhope says:

          HA! This resonated with me so much…

          “If you, Sally, aren’t questioning every so often, “Why did I give up being a rock star and entertaining crowds and making music and being on the road with the boys again? OHHH, yeah…THIS is why…because I wanted THIS more than being a rock star…THAT is why I gave that up and why I became a life coach, and THAT is why I chose to do all I dreamed of, from getting a bike to travelling the nation…that’s why.”

          You’re absolutely right. I question things all the time. I’ve questioned exactly that A LOT. And that’s always the conclusion I come to. I wanted more than just music.

          Thank you so much for sharing your stories. I look forward to your insights every week.

  2. Ooooh, I felt this pressure over the weekend too. There was one time I also chose to be the jerk and not stand just because everyone else was. I also loved the people who did stand when no one else really was. Loving what you’re up to Sally! xo

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey lady! I thought the same thing about the people who stood when no one else did. I loved seeing that! And thank you lady! I’m excited too. Perhaps you will join the Revolution?? I’d love to have you in there. Either way, let’s make sure to keep in touch so next year at WDS we can actually hang out.



  3. I also did some sitting when others stood. And then when I wanted to stand no one was. I think back and wonder why I didn’t. I felt like my likes were a bit off from the crowd this time but it was fun to wonder what it was about certain people that makes crowds errupt over others.

    Wildhearting all over the place. Fierce fucking magic and all that. I loved seeing you. Love having a pink glittery feather for my alter.

  4. april says:

    hi, sally – i am SO GLAD that you wrote this! although very interested, i was not able to attend wds this year (due to a big move). while i was trying to figure out the logistics though, this thought crossed my mind: if everyone in the room is nonconforming, then aren’t they in a sense CONforming? :)

    i recently wrote a VERY similar blog post about being the lone ranger in the crowd (at a conference i attended in may). [i would love to share it with you privately if you’re interested, because i can really identify with what you wrote.]

    thank you for a great post (as always).

    • Sallyhope says:

      Hey lady…totally. I had that thought too about conforming and that was sort of a joke during the conference. It reminded me of the way I felt about “non-conforming” groups in high school. The goths came to mind. The attitude was that we’re not like all of you and therefore rebellious, but yet they were all like each other and shopped at just a different store at the mall. How is that different than anyone else who shops at the mall?

      It’s an interesting quandry and I’d love to read your blog post. Go ahead and post a link here or send it to

      Also…I want you in My Wildheart Revolution. Can I put you on the list to find out more?? XO

  5. Tad says:

    So true. And I think that people often try to be non-conformists by being ‘different’ than others. But i think that falls into the same trap of comparing to other people. like you said in your other blog – being yourself is the most badass thing you can do. we’re already all different. just by being you and being true to yourself, you’re going to show up differently in the world. and it’ll be consistent. there’s nothing more disconcerting that being around someone who changes their views and behaviour to please whoever they’re around. there’s something untrustworthy about it. but when people move from their center and consistently do what they feel called to do and follow their hearts – even though it might seem all over the place – it feels more trustworthy and consistent.

  6. Living BOLDLY is the new sexxy! :)

    For wayyyy too long in my life I had ignored my own values and instead just kinda adapted my “values” to fit in with whatever crowd I was with at the time. I respect and admire you for standing firm on what you believe and following your inner-guidance. That’s something I’m really finally figuring out for myself, and I appreciate your inspiring words!

  7. Stacey says:

    One word. Integrity. You have it. Nothing wrong with that. I’m giving you a standing o’ for not succumbing to peer pressure. Until your jumping out of your seat and doing that seal clap thing…stay seated. Is doesn’t mean you didn’t appreciate it any less, it just means it wasn’t standing ovation worthy for you.

    • Sallyhope says:

      THANK YOU. Integrity is a huge value of mine so thank you for noticing. So my dear, do tell me…what make YOU jump out of your seat and seal clap??

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