“Everything that doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
And later on you can use it in some story.” ~ Tapani Bagge

I fretfully experienced my very first “twitter terror” the other night. So taken aback was I by the episode, that I thought it best to chivalrously share, laugh and learn.

So there I was, innocently and enthusiastically tweeting away, reading blogs, trying to get to know my fellow tweeps, twitterers, twivas and twits , whichever the case may be, when, lo, out of the blue it came. It started innocently enough, with a simple “top of the evening to you,” which was regally reciprocated, along with some other playful pleasantries, and then he dealt me the daunting dare. “Tell me something brilliant,” he said matter-of-factly.

What on earth did he mean by that?! Was he mad?! Maybe he was purging his friend list and I was on the chopping block! What on earth was I going to do?! Blocking my path, was none other than the formidable, inimitable, the one and only, Daniel Newman aka @danielnewmanUV! Just what did that UV stand for anyway? Unholy viper? Unmerciful villain?

My heart started pounding, blood rushing so loudly I could barely hear my own thoughts! Should I pretend I never saw it?! No, can’t do that! What should I say?! Think dammit! Physics, math, psychology, philosophy??? No! Stick to something you know so you don’t sound like an idiot!! What was the last TED topic in our LinkedIn Group?? And round and round I went, fearful and envisioning that any moment my head would be lopped off, landing with an unceremonious thud in a well-appointed bucket conveniently placed nearby. Clearly I was the mad one!

And, suddenly, I was taken back to a time, long, long ago, when a very sage soul once softly observed about me, “I’ve never met a woman who was so confident in her ability, that had no confidence in herself.” At the time, I felt stripped bare before her, ashamed that she saw right through me. And this remembrance lead me to another when she had also perceptively proffered one other meaningful morsel. On preparing to be introduced to my new staff, I had very sincerely uttered, “I hope they like me.” She smiled and looked at me and she said, “You know you’re ok with yourself when you enter a room and your more concerned about whether you’ll like them.” Wow! And here I was living it again. And relieved, I smiled. I was no longer that soft pedalling plebe! It was just a momentary lapse.

So I took a deep breath , “hmmm… no pressure!” (despite that moments before I ‘d almost come unhinged!) And I began. “No more living in fear of judgement. It’s more important to trudge forward and face fears than to cringe in the headlights. Brilliant, maybe not. Authentic, absolutely!” And it was done. And I thought, whatever will be, will be. And I unleashed a slightly maniacal burst of laughter and a sigh of relief. I felt better.

But, you know what? It really was brilliant! Simple and sage. Why had I diminished such an important and meaningful message? And what a hard lesson for some of us to learn. It’s so much easier to guide others , oblivious to the fact that you’re neglecting your own growth.

And most graciously came his response. “Love it! #youmatter” And I smiled. Of course, I mattered. And that meant something. How had I forgotten that for a moment? But, I suppose, everyone falters at some time or another.

Daniel wasn’t so scary, after all. He was genuinely just trying to get to know me better. And apparently the UV simply stands for United Visual – or so he purports. In my opinion, the UV should stand for Unquestionable Virtue, for he is fast proving to be a man of great leadership, integrity and honour.

My head did not roll, at least not this time. And if it had, I daresay, I would have survived. And although my terror was unfounded, it would seem I needed the lesson. And here I am – intact, and actually feeling quite empowered.

This #youmatter campaign, started by Angela Maiers (@AngelaMaiers), is beyond brilliant! It is a purposely powerful gift. And she’s right – these two little words can change the world.

While some are blessed with confidence and comfort, for others, it takes the very special gift. It takes someone else telling them how wonderful they are, before they actually start to entertain the idea and start to believe it.

“There is a spectacular spark of life inside every solitary one of us, that when glimpsed aglow, is spiritually stirred and set blessedly akindle; and when these nascent embers begin to burn, by the Grace of God, our impassioned souls are sanctified and set ablaze with glorious possibility.” SL

So I urge you, to take the time for others, like Daniel kindly did for me, and give them the occasional #youmatter. And don’t forget to give yourself one occasionally too! I give them away quite freely now. There’s no use holding on to a good thought or feeling and not sharing it. We all have the power to make a difference.

I thought twice about writing this. Did I really want the twitterverse to see that underneath my professional portrait there lurked a less than perfect specimen? That, after all this time, I still had my own lessons to learn? I guess, I do.

As alluring a prospect as it may be, I am not here to amass minions to carry out my bidding in some nefarious plot to take over the world. I am here to share and to make meaningful and authentic connections; and authentic connections come from real interaction – listening, engaging and caring about each other.

So I will dare to be myself.

“There’s one thing your writing must have to be any good at all. It must have you. Your soul, your self, your heart, your guts, your voice — you must be on that page. In the end, you can’t make the magic happen for your reader. You can only allow the miracle of ‘being one with’ to take place. So dare to be yourself. Dare to reveal yourself. Be honest, be open, be true…If you are, everything else will fall into place.” ~ Elizabeth Ayres

So, with that in mind, here I’ll be, in all my magnificence – fraught with more than the occasional melodrama. Let’s get to know each other. Life is a grand adventure – and we are not alone.

34 Responses to Twitter Terror

  1. Taramarkus says:

    Dear Shelley

    Thank you for sharing such a courageous and illuminating story. I knew there was a positively sensational reason why we connected and now it is plain to see. You dare to care.

    YOU are a woman of heart, intelligence, authenticity and substance. I am delighted that we sparked connection and feel your positive energy.

    As I always like to say…
    “YOU be YOU…Because YOU are Sensational. ”

    In Celebration,


    • As Melissa said, Welcome to the wonderful web! I love this post for so many reasons.

      First, it illustrates how powerful and brave you are. So many feel this way, but dare to bare their vulnerabilities. Proud of you for that!

      Second, it show the true nature of the network. People like Daniel, kind leaders who are willing and ready to extend a welcome.

      And finally, the power of the web itself. We are not just using the web to access info or even to connect with friends and family. We are the web, and your story makes me proud of who we are and hopeful for who we can be when we treat one another like this!

      Thank you so much for sharing! #youmatter my friend!

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for such a warm welcoming. I have met so many wonderful, like-minded, inspirational people – thought leaders who dare to make a difference. You all inspire me and I am so proud to know you.

        I am so glad my first post was so powerful and so appreciated. It seemed to resonate with all those who read it. That means a lot to me. Much gratitude to you, wonderful lady, for your #youmatter initiative, and your courage.

        Much more to come, as I share my stories and bare my soul – more of me to know and love ; )

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear sweet wonderful Tara! YOU are an absolute delight and you bring me a smile most every day! Thank you for reading my post and for all your wonderful words. YOU are sensational! And I do dare to care!

  2. Shelley, I must confess when I first read it and realized it was about our exchange I became a bit nervous.
    One thing I do not aspire to be is a Twitter Terror.
    Your words are eloquent and your story so relevant. What makes the “You Matter” campaign so important is not that we don’t know we matter. It is that we don’t remind ourselves and those we care about often enough.
    We all shed a light on the world and we can use that light for guidance or to blind those that approach. I choose the former and the only way I can accomplish that is to know your better.
    More than anything, I am humbled and honored that you found my message to powerful. It has been great getting to know you and I assure you there is much more brilliance to come!
    All the best,


    • Anonymous says:

      Lol.I assure you that you were not the terror! The terror was a but a figment of my over-active imagination. You have been a constant source of inspiration, support, and knowledge. You, along with many others, are a shining example of leadership that allows others to fluorish and find their own way. Looking forward to sharing many more thoughts. much laughter, and a growing friendship. Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean all these months Daniel has simply been like the Ghost of Christmas Present with his “Come and know me better man”???  Relieved…  

  3. Shelley,

    I absolutely love that Elizabeth Ayers quote. Never read it before…but will be putting that in a file somewhere. And, I can tell that your writing completely has YOU in it. Its so authentic and open. I greatly appreciate writing like this. 🙂 Welcome to the blogging world! You learn so much about yourself by sharing with others.

    We all have many lessons to still learn–no matter how far we have come and how many people we coach. Sometimes, as you know, our clients teach us even though we are coaching them. We learn constantly and that is an exciting part of life to me.

    I look forward to your next article! Please let me know when it is out.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love that quote too! Why on earth would any of us aspire to be someone else when we can be ourselves better than anyone else can!

      You’re absolutely right! I learn from my clients, students, and well, jsut about anybody else I meet along the way. and I almost always take the time to let them know – especially the students. We each have a special gift to share and we can all learn from each other.

      Thanks for the love xox

  4. Jeff Hayes says:


    Thank you for sharing your blog with me. Post #1 is always the hardest one, yes?

    Your comment about being a “less than perfect specimen” reminds me of a news story that’s been circulating this past weekend about whether it’s time to “replace umpires with robots [sic]” in the game of baseball. And my reaction is the same too:

    Without infallibility, what do we humans have to teach one another? And why do we cheer so loudly for people when they achieve something really grand? If we were teaching one another “mere recipes”, then perhaps robots would be a good stand-in for humans. Once a robot “learns” how to do something, after all, it’s capable of doing it perfectly thenceforth.

    Is the purpose of learning something new simply to master the concept? I don’t think so. Every lesson we learn is part of the greater story that we uniquely build and then pass on to others. These lessons all contain additional messages, such as “What does it mean to be human?”, “What are my strengths and passions?” and “How shall we survive in the face of [insert a current adversity]?”

    So Cheers to you, Shelley. I wouldn’t have you any other way 🙂


    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Jeff,

      I can’t yet say whether it’s the hardest… will let you know after the second one! Alas, I suspect you are quite right!

      People have been so wonderfully supportive and kind that I do feel as though the hardest part is behind me. I’ll be off to the races, and will uncover those strnegths and passions as I go! I’m following my dreams, learning my lessons and sharing my stories. I’m not aiming for “perfectly” and definitely not “robotically.” I’m just planning to be me, and to be a better “me” tomorrow than I was the day before.

      Thank you for sharing : )

  5. Bill Austin says:

    How wonderful that you are starting a blog. And I love the YOU MATTERS campaign.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Bill! I’m loving it already and it’s jsut my first post! Thanks for stopping by to wish me well. I love the #youmatter campaign too! It’s so empowering!

  6. @Melissa_Foster says:

    Welcome to the world of blogging. Loved your post.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read, comment and share of my very first post. That means a lot. I am so glad you enjoyed it. : )

  7. Ryan Coelho says:

    Amazing.. so much to say, and I think it’s summed up nicely in this quote…

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles

    Keep ’em coming Shelley.
    Dream. Explore. Discover.Inspire.


    • Anonymous says:

      Ryan, thank you so much for reading my post and for sharing this excerpt. What a bright spark you are, and your sharing is always profound. We are all meant to shine. And you, dear fellow, you shine very brightly.

  8. Leslie Mostrup says:

    What a great way to start, Shelley, with this heartfelt gem!

    It proves to me once again that the most important and enduring relationships are formed among those who are willing to admit their emotional vulnerability. All but the most unhealthy of us have that condition, it’s what makes us human, and makes us most attractive.

    It’s also how you and I became friends, a lot of quid pro quo of our shared human qualities.

    I treasure you.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.


    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much, Leslie. I’ve known you for such a short time and feel a deep connection to you. We have already shared many stories about our strengths, passions, and vulnerabilities. Honesty is a true mark of friendship, and I cherish yours.

  9. Kellianne Sweeney says:

    Thank you so much for inviting me! I am so glad that I stopped by. Your post was very heartfelt and inspirational. I particularly liked the part about trudging onward instead of cringing in the headlights. We all need to be reminded about that sometimes and it always feel so good to have gotten over to the other side of the street. Enjoyed this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It does feel good to get to the other side, but looking back, crossing the street was the fun part!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Shelley, I don’t read very often soul-baring blog posts. They are gems. You care enough, you’re brave enough to share personal thoughts with the world. What’s wonderful about your post is the majority of us can see ourselves in what you shared. Thank you. And, yes, Angela and Dan are kind people who put care deeply about people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I really just wanted others to know that we all experience moments of insanity, or of “teetering ont he brink,” as I often call it!. Sometimes sharing them and even laughing at our absurdities helps us move past them, especially with another there to help. It was too valuable a lesson not to share! #youmatter dear fellow

  11. Gary Loper says:

    Shelly, Appreciate your courage to share your story. As people are beginning their journey into the Twitterverse, they often forget to engage and share of themselves. Also, as you described it is difficult to read into the meaning of a Tweet without being able to pick up any visual clues to the senders intent. Congrats on taking a deep look at yourself and recognizing that you were safe and your reply was brilliant, and by the response of your blog you are well on your way to an incredible journey thru the Twitterverse.

    • Thank you for your words of encouragement, Gary. This is all a little scary, not sure why. Quite right, that’s exactly what it is – looking deeply into yourself. Gabe Berman very sagely pointed out to me that we are all connected, and that I was asking myself that question. It was “me” I was afraid of. From that perspective, it’s easy to be courageous. I’m not so scary! But, I am still learning to live like a fruit fly! Thank you for joining me on my journey. I look forward to walking with you for awhile. : )

  12. SereneNSassy says:

    Inspirational post. I’ve battled the same fears and still do many days. You spoke directly to me with this one and now I feel a sense of hope, relief, clarity and somehow an unexplained feeling of “un”loneliness. If I stick to your words, I’m sure to be ok 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    • Thank you so much! I do believe that when we share experiences with others, that it shows us our connectedness and gives us exactly that – knowledge that there is hope. I cannot begin to tell you how much your words mean to me. We are not alone. And #youmatter my friend.

  13. Jeff YIWrite says:

    At the core, the common characteristic among us of such disparate views, diverse cultures, and multitude of experiences, is our genius and the universal uniqueness of it.

    You’ve created a lovely blog, an auspicious beginning. You must feel gratified.


  14. This was really good, Shelly! I must admit, I’m much like Daniel and thought that you had experienced a “Twitter Mention From Hades!” I was already set to have you point the crazy out. I was relieved when it turned out to be a very pleasant exchange. I know that there are some crazies on Twitter, and I too have hand my own cringing moments. So far, I’ve been lucky though. I’ve met some of the most wonderful individuals and some of the kindest souls out there… of course you are included in that description. I think that has a lot it has to do with the type of energy we send out though. At least I hope that’s what it is. My fingers will certainly be crossed from now on. 😀 Since I’ve said it, and have no wood to knock on at the moment. If by chance I do happen to come across the “Twitter Mention From Hades”, I’ll be sure to send you the first mention to let you know. Deal? 😉

    • Lol… thanks Deeone. Nice to know you’re there to jump to my defense. I love making connections with new people – sharing thoughts, learning, growing. Don’t even mind the “crazies” because there’s always a lesson to be learned there too. And of you do come across the “Twitter Mention from Hades,” be sure to let me know! Maybe there’ll be a Part II! ; )

  15. pdncoach says:

    Wow! Thank you for this Shelley (and Daniel).

  16. Shelley, 

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. These are the twitter stories I love to hear about, interactions between people sometimes creating long lasting friendships out of a quirky or interesting tweet – one that makes you think, or makes you a little nervous, or even is a “twitter terror” lol! It is one of the most memorable ways to make a new friend that you never forget about now matter how many more people you meet. Loved the story and hope you have more of the same to come and that they won’t be a terror next time, hopefully more of a twitter treasure!! Thank you for inviting me into your world ~ jaydean @starlingpoet

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