I would never have imagined that my pursuit to build a successful coaching practice would become the biggest catalyst for my own personal and spiritual expansion.
Because it hasn’t been easy to put myself out there – to be seen and heard - to tell the world who I am and what I do, especially when I have always had a deep fear of rejection and criticism.
In the early days there were years of blogging and sending out newsletters – years when I heard crickets – when it seemed as if no one cared or would give a damn about what I was sharing.
And then there was the frustration of wanting to be seen and not wanting to be seen – of wanting the spotlight and not wanting the spotlight – and so I would self-sabotage myself, hideout, and talk myself out of my ideas and my work. It was a horrible way to live.
This week I co-hosted a 2 – hour mastermind class with Dr. Linda Pettit, called: Women & Confidence – breaking the habit of the insecure self. As I listened back to the class, I was struck by how deep and pervasive this fear is that women feel about being seen and heard - as if it threatened our very life.
And it makes so much sense that women are this way. As young children we were full of life – embodied – we didn’t indulge in this thing called self-consciousness – we knew the truth about our tender young selves.
But at some point, someone said something to us; they told us we were unlady-like, too bossy, too fat, too old – too much. We began to question ourselves. We believed what they told us. And we made a decision to be something else – someone who is more palatable to others. To be the good girl. And for many of us, it no longer felt safe to be in our bodies. That true version of ourselves got put to sleep for a very long time.
Many of the women who shared so beautifully on this call expressed their fear of self-expression –
What if I stumble?
What if no one thinks my ideas are valid or worthy?
What if no one listens to me?
What if they don’t understand me?
The fear is understandably visceral because we’ve been estranged from our true selves for a long time – we have spent years turning our backs on our true selves. And to wake up our true selves can be a scary thing to do.
And there's the big irony because we are the ones that continue to innocently reject our true selves. We are doing the rejecting.
But despite the years of frustration and fear I experienced, something kept calling me, pulling me back to my work – I just couldn’t surrender to not being self-expressed. And as odd as it sounds, I know now that it was my fear and insecurity that were trying to wake me up to my true nature.
As you put yourself and your work out into the world, notice when fear and shame want to shut you down – feel the constriction in your body.
Notice the aggression towards yourself.
Notice yourself rejecting YOU.
Notice yourself dimming your own light.
Notice the impulse to turn away from creativity, self-expression – from life.
And appreciate the beautiful design, the kindness, and the wisdom of your body that is always trying to get your attention. That uncomfortable feeling is your oil light alerting you that something is not right.
Feel the uncomfortable feeling. Have compassion for it, and then come back to your original impulse – the opportunity to serve the greater purpose of your work in the world.
The force of love is so much greater and more powerful than the fear of rejection, criticism, or shame.
Drop down into love. Awaken the part of you that’s been dormant all these years, and refuse to be the imposter of your true self. Choose love. Choose life.
If you missed the class, you can still purchase a copy - just click the link below