|  Blog Post   |  Deep breath, lean in, receive.
Quote from Justine Froelker, a Keynote Mental Health Speaker

Deep breath, lean in, receive.

“I’m reading your first book.”
“I watched your TED talks last night.”

Two out-of-the-blue compliments I’ve gotten in the last week.

Both compliments I still tend to answer with apologetic-like gratitude.

And I need to stop it.

When it comes to my first book, in some ways, I cringe in regards to how much editing help it still needed or how much my writing has improved since then or how much I’ve changed and learned since I wrote it nine years ago.

We don’t talk enough about how much books are literal time capsules, and there is no updating them.

When it comes to my TED talks, my speaking gift was nowhere near as good as I am today. After three years of submitting to TED chapters, I finally booked two talks within a month of each other six years ago. It was a lot of pressure. My first talk was for a small chapter and the video quality wasn’t very good, which means it never got much traction. Plus my deck glitched, and I said sorry, even though I had nothing to be sorry for. My second talk, well, it’s just really freaking good, just never viral according to the world’s standards.

With all their imperfections, my first book and both my TED talks, mean something to people, and more than that, they help people.

And yet, my brain focuses on the imperfect and lack, and for what? To protect me from criticism and judgment?

Because when people choose to spend the time to read or watch and then actually tell me how it impacted them, the only person criticizing and judging me is myself.

If we don’t do the work to make our wired-for-comfort brain lean into vulnerability, we literally miss the chance to receive appreciation and love.

So the next time someone compliments you or your work, take a breath, fight your brain’s urge to negate the love by finding the explanation for imperfection, and instead receive the love that you are so worthy of receiving.

Even with the apologetic-like gratitude I gave after those two compliments, both women said, “Amazing, I loved it (them).

Deep breath, lean in, receive.
We are worthy to receive.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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