Hello, my loves. I am fresh off of a retreat, and my heart is just bursting. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the past couple of days, and I can’t wait to share.
This was a business retreat put on by one of my mentors, Felicity, and my friend Jesse. They were running it under their company together called Her Frequency, and it wasn’t just a sign-up-and-show-up thing. You actually had to apply for it. You had to be earning at least multiple six figures, if not seven, eight, or nine figures and beyond. It was a fucking powerful space for fucking powerful women.
We were talking shadow work and business and strategy, and that was amazing, but more than that…the fucking connections that I made were intense. Some of these women I’ve only known for a few days, and I feel like they’re my family.
The reason this is so important to talk about is because we can easily get into this space where we think that these deep, deep friendships—friendships where you actually see each other’s fucking power, but it’s also fun and playful and lighthearted—are unicorn friendships.
In reality…they’re actually fucking not. I have seen friendships in the past where that wasn’t available, either from one side or both, where we actually just weren’t going deep with each other. But more on that in a bit…
I want to start by telling you about one of my breakthroughs that occurred during this retreat.
There was a question posed that revolved around how you think other people see you. And at first, I told them that I believe people think that I’m really aggressive and standoffish, but I’m actually really sensitive.
But I started thinking. And after everyone else answered, I actually asked if I could go again. That time, I said, “I actually think that people see me as confident, powerful, magnetic, sensual, embodied, safe, all of that…and it’s actually me who views myself as shy and insecure and standoffish.”
I was actually limiting myself by believing that I was still the person I was two, three, four, even five years ago. I hadn’t caught up to where I actually am now.
Why does this matter? Because if you don’t have people in your world—whether that’s your partner, your family, your friends, etcetera—that can reflect your greatness to you and be a mirror for that, then you’re actually not going to have any external awareness around who you truly are.
This actually made me notice that a few of the friendships that I had been entertaining a while ago actually were keeping me in that insecure state. That was the dynamic that we were playing into. I was always questioning whether I could share something with them or celebrate something in front of them and constantly doubting myself. And I kept taking more and more responsibility for that, when actually, it was the other person who was feeding into that.
Now, it’s not a fucking vibe to blame everything on the other person either. We do have to check what’s ours and what’s theirs, but it’s not always completely on you. In fact, it can be both, and I’d even go one step further and say that it’s probably both.
Being around these women at this retreat really highlighted the differences between these friendships and those old ones.
There was no high school shit at this retreat. I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to a retreat before, but when you’re entering into a group setting, there can be a lot of overthinking around who gets along with who, and where you fit in. There can be a lot of inward “ranking”, placing people above us or below us just to figure out where we stand. And at this retreat, there was actually none of that. I actually got to the end of the retreat, and I feel deeply that I fucking belonged there. And I feel that I fucking belong here, in this space.
There are definitely people who are well and truly out-earning me. There are people who are “more successful” on paper, if we want to use that terminology, than I am at this point in my business.
But none of that matters, because I fucking belong here. It actually makes sense that I’m here and have this grand vision for my business. These women at this retreat could actually see it for me as well.
This is why we need to examine the people who are in closest proximity to us.
That could mean your partner. That could mean the friendships that you entertain, the clients that you have, the mentor that you have, whatever it may be. Whoever is in your close proximity, it’s very important, because you need people around you who can help you build your external awareness around certain things you can’t see.
That might mean things that you’re not in integrity with, or it could be a blind spot for you, but it could also mean someone looking at you and telling you positive qualities about yourself that you’re missing. They could tell you that you’re so fucking powerful, or that you’re so kind, or that you’re really selling yourself short, etcetera.
If you don’t have friends in your life like that, then get some.
I mean it. Actually put yourself in spaces where those people exist.
If you’re really into personal development and none of your friends are like that, that’s fine. But for me, I honestly don’t think I have a single friend who is not deeply involved in doing the work, because it actually just wouldn’t make sense.
I mean, what would we even fucking talk about? For the level of depth in a relationship and the kind of conversations that I want to have, somebody I’m becoming friends with would have to live in contemplation. That’s the standard that I hold for being in my world.
The same way I wouldn’t date a guy who wasn’t doing the work, I actually won’t have friends who aren’t doing the work either.
So firstly, if you have friends who aren’t doing the work, and you desire deep friendships, can you actually fucking lean in and initiate that for once rather than projecting this idea that they can’t meet you where you are? And secondly, if you want deep friendships with people who are doing the work, stop complaining about it and go put yourself in the fucking spaces where you’re going to meet people who are doing the same shit that you are.
If you don’t have deep friendships, then cultivate them.
I feel like we put so much intentionality into our romantic relationships, but where’s the fucking intentionality with your friendships?
Are you just allowing your friendships to be on fucking autopilot, and every time you get together, it’s all gossiping or complaining or blaming or talking about other people?
When this group of girls got together for this retreat, we were together maybe three days total, and there was none of that. Absolutely none. There was so much laughter, there was so much connection, there was so much bouncing ideas off each other, there were such deep, deep, deep friendships and vulnerability and tears and holding fucking space for each other, and I can’t help but wonder…
When was the last time that you actually asked your friends how they are, and didn’t actually accept fine for an answer?
When was the last time you said, “How are you, really?” and actually cared about the answer?
We can’t sit here and say, “Oh, I want these deep friendships,” but not be willing to do anything to create them.
We need to be willing to go first to build deep friendships. We actually need to be willing to get the fuck over ourselves and our fear of rejection, and we need to reach out and start building that depth.
We need to take responsibility for where we’ve been projecting things, because we often claim our friends would never be able to go deep with us, but…have you even asked them any fucking questions? Or have you just projected that they can’t meet you in deep friendships so that you don’t have to go first, and you just get to stay comfortable where you are?
Let me add this: if you long for deep friendships and you’ve leaned in over and over, if you’ve tried to have conversations and tried to steer toward deep friendships, and you genuinely know that this person doesn’t have the capacity or the desire to meet you at that level, why are you entertaining that?
A lot of people don’t want to look at the relationships that they have in their life, because they know that they’re cooked. And that’s not saying that you can’t get a relationship back on track or take shallow friendships and turn them into deep friendships. I’ve seen it happen before, a hundred percent.
However, to build deep friendships, both people need to be willing. Whether it’s a deep friendship or a romantic relationship, both people need to be willing to go to another level in that connection. If one person is willing and the other person is not, good fucking luck forming deep friendships with unwilling people. You may as well cut it off now.
If there’s a consistent unwillingness to lean in, save yourself the trouble. And also…notice where you might be the person who’s unwilling to lean in, because that’s actually quite unfair for the person on the other end.
So all in all, this retreat changed my life.
It was so, so powerful. I’ve made deep friendships that I will have forever. I’m so excited. And I hope this has shown you why it’s so important to seek out friendships with real fucking depth.
Join Brat School, an emotional intelligence school for bratty bitches: https://michellepanning.thrivecart.com/brat-school/
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”