In today’s episode we are joined by Phil’s good friend, Jessica Pettit. Jessica is a diversity educator who’s been dealing with fear and change for a long time, both personally and professionally. What I found most remarkable about Jessica, other than how dang smart she is, was her ability to help us make fear more digestible by infusing lots of humor and love into bite-sized pieces we can chew.
Share Some Shut Up Love –> There are two things in the world: fear and love. They’re constant. I can attract one and repel one. @JessPettitt #shutupshow (click to tweet)
- Jessica is the “diversity educator” your family warned you about.
- She takes 10+ years in Student Affairs, 5+ years of national consulting work, and 2+ years of stand up comedy stage to stage as part of her mission to inspire change, dismantle oppression, and recognize our privilege.
- She is a native Texan New Yorker who now lives in California.
Defining Shut Up Moment:
ON TRANSFORMATION: In between working 80 hour weeks, I came out. I was an alcoholic. I was almost heading toward a financial ruin. Relationships I had distanced from were my responsibility to pick back up. I didn’t have someone holding that space for me. I had to find out “what’s my purpose?” One of my greatest fears was being perceived by others as a hypocrite.
ON DEALING WITH LOSS: My stand up was something I did on the side to help my own grief recovery of my dad dying. It helped me with timing, flexibility, working the crowd and honing in on my specific observation skills around the world with the things I saw and the messages I was hearing. To have the ability to find humor in anything.
ON NON-TRADITIONAL WORK: There’s nothing about my jobs that is considered a traditional job but I’d been sitting on the porch waiting for a real job to come along. My message just doesn’t choose that path. The ability to combine humor with history and eradicate excuses is really just an exercise for me to take my own message. Which is, “this might be as good as it gets and it might be pretty good.”
Shut Up Tips:
Holding the space for other people is figuring out how much wiggle room exists between the preexisting rules. You have to know the system and work through the bureaucracy of the institution. – Jessica
I have a collection of winged monkeys that live in my head. Sometimes they are for good and sometimes for bad. – Jessica
My big mantra is “Your answer is in your own message.” – Jessica
The truth is we all have something we are supposed to be giving to other people and I almost have to believe in order to move forward through the paradigms I’ve created, there’s two things in the world. It’s fear and love. They’re constant. I can attract one and repel one. – Jessica
My message and my power is not controlled by anyone else. Only me. It’s kind of like being given keys to a really exciting car but you’re sitting on the front porch waiting for permission to drive the car. Then you realize the key is in your hand but you just haven’t gotten up to get in the car. – Jessica
Vulnerability paired with authenticity is really showing just enough skin with a little dose of curiosity. This is who I am, where I’m at. Where are you? Is there anything I can do to help you lessen your fear and increase the amount of love in your life? – Jessica
We are all terrified of each other. If we’re all terrified of each other, my job is to make someone less terrified of me. I think that takes curiosity, authenticity and vulnerability but it is also rooted in a sense of generosity. When you pair them all together, that is how I’m able to be present and ready for the next thing that scares the shit out of me. – Jessica
My grandma used to tell me, and Oscar Wilde also said it, “Be yourself, because everybody is already taken.” – Jessica
Most of us live our lives upside-down. “If we do this, we’ll have this and then we’ll be this.” Instead of “we’ll be this, then we’ll have this and then we’ll do this.” If you live life as being instead of doing, there’s nothing really standing in your way of just being other than fear. – Jessica
Jessica’s website is JessicaPettitt.com
Jessica is on Facebook
Tweet with Jessica at @JessPettitt