I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. We’ve ALL heard it some time or another: there is no I in team. It’s one of those super swell sentences meant to diminish individual desire in favor of the group goal. You’re on a team. You are no longer an I.
Obliterating the “I” in terms of ego… I get it. I really do. You can’t hog the ball in hopes of scoring every goal when someone else has a better shot. You can’t do a instrumental solo in the middle of the verse. You can’t eat all of the chocolate cake for the family party. You can’t do any of these things and still be working for the good of the group. Yeah, I get it, but still NO “I” in team? NONE? I have a problem with it. Well, I have a couple of problems with it.
First of all, to be a great member of a team, you have to be an I. And I don’t just mean in the atom level sense, although this is also true. In order to be a great member of a team, of a family, of society, of the human species, of the world of living and non-living things, you have to be yourself. Why? Because you’re the only you we’ve got. You are worthy. You are here and you are inherently worthy. What you’ve got in there, that starstuff that makes you different than anybody else, is there for a reason. That’s your best stuff. That’s your best self. And to be that best self, you have to know that there’s room for EVERY I in team; every I that is taking a shot from a place of love and freedom belongs on the field. Every I deserves its fullest, most liberated expression. So that’s my first problem with this whole No I in Team thing…
The second problem I have with it feels a little more personal right now. You see, I have a daughter. She’s 10. She’s on the verge. She’s just at the beginning of one of the most biologically confusing times in the human life. And you know what I’m hearing from her? I’m hearing that she can’t be all of her and be with the girls everyone likes. I’m hearing that she has to hold her tongue when people make fun of her so she doesn’t make the wrong kid mad. I’m hearing she has to wear certain things, play certain games, own LOTS of very specific bits. I’m hearing her uncertainty. I’m hearing an assault on her spectacular, shiny, sparkling “I.” This is the reason I cringe when I hear about that “I” in team. We’ve got a problem friends. Someone’s telling our girls to hide their “I,” to go along, to obliterate that part they were born with that is different from everybody else.
I can’t stand by and watch it. I can’t just observe as her “I” takes a nap until she’s 45 and doesn’t give a shit what people think anymore. Any team that wants her, is going to have to want her. Don’t worry. She’ll take turns. She’ll share the ball. She’ll save her solo for the right moment. She’ll do those things because her perfect little soul-filled I wants you to succeed too. And when her moment comes, friends, she’s going to let it rip and let it rip hard. She’s going to unleash all the glitter and I’m not going to tell her to tone it down. Sorry world, not sorry. I have this feeling what you really need is glitter.
If you’re feeling like you’ve got some glitter in a box somewhere that needs to be taken out for a spin, you’re right. Get it, girls. There are many “I’s” in this team and we need all of you. If you’re not sure how to do that, or you just want a hand getting started, check out my new programs to find something just the right size for you.