⚠This content is NOT psychotherapy & is not a substitute for psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment.
I was 6 years old the first time I stepped foot on a stage. Our 4H group was performing a Christmas play for nursing homes in our area. I was Chris the Christmas Tree, the star of the show.
I’d memorized all my lines, I’d rehearsed & now I was standing back stage in my green leotards & my Christmas tree costume I’d made all by myself. I was excited & proud. It was the day of our first performance and my body was buzzing as we waited backstage. When the lights went dark, I boldly strolled to center stage. But when the lights came back on & I looked out across the crowd staring back at me, I never expected to feel what I felt in that moment.
The blood drained from my body, my throat closed up & I froze; long enough for my fellow 4Hers to start whispering loudly to me backstage. Finally, I ran off the stage & my understudy had to step in.
My 4H leader & my understudy in particular were furious with me. I was really disappointed in myself too. I’d worked really hard to prepare for this. Memorizing hundreds of lines & rehearsing for many hours.
I was ashamed that I had let everyone down.
Hi I’m Gayle Nowak & in my last video I talked about how our visibility wounds often connect to childhood experiences related to being visible and feeling vulnerable.
You’ve heard the quote that people’s number one fear is public speaking. Death is people’s 2nd biggest fear.
As an entrepreneurial lightworker, messenger, healer, visionary, PUBLIC SPEAKING is a BIG part of our work. On top of that, what I’ve experienced personally and what I know to be true for some of my clients is that many of us even have a burning desire to be visible, especially when we have a deep knowing that what’s inside of us is meant to be shared.
The challenge comes when we know we must share what we are about as a leader & a business & we simultaneously dread stepping into the public spotlight to be seen & heard.
That’s when one of two things happens. We hide out or we power through.
When it comes to growing a successful business, you know hiding out won’t get you there.
We’ve also been programmed to suck it up, no pain/no gain, feel the fear-do it anyway . . .
And while I can appreciate that there is a time and place for that, how we navigate challenges, obstacles & hardships is far more nuanced than sound-bite advice.
As you work on greater visibility for your business, instead of hiding out or powering through, consider this instead:
- What if you gave your fear a voice? What if you gave anxiety a seat at the table, a position on your board of directors?
- What wisdom might fear and anxiety share with you?
- What if powering through your fear is actually traumatizing & harming your business, not helping it?
Here’s the thing . . .
The alarm bells, the red flags, these negative emotions have a purpose for your business.
It’s not enough to dismiss it or beat yourself up for “playing small”.
Martin Luther King Jr. said:
If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.
My colleague & friend Alyssa Rizzo recently said sometimes we hold ourselves accountable to the wrong goal.
Pushing through resistance may be the path of most force or trauma. Treating resistance as information is a much kinder, loving way of holding yourself accountable.
Not every move in your business has to feel big, ballsy & terrifying, or even empowering & exciting! Sometimes the wisest choice is to stop, listen & ask what the fear, the anxiety, the resistance is about for you.
- What am I feeling about this goal or vision?
- Why am I feeling it in this way right now?
You may get a message, a warning, a sense that you need to pause for a day or week because more information is coming. You may have some old patterns, beliefs or wounds that are coming up for some healing.
The answers are already inside you.
The wisdom of your heart can help you discern when it’s time to take a bold leap in spite of the fear, & when it’s time to pull back & explore deeper . . .
Until I figured that out, I was stuck running back & forth on the path of hiding out & the path of most force. I didn’t figure that out on my own. I’ve had teachers & coaches support me along the way. One of my favorite ways of taking a different approach when fear, anxiety, resistance comes up involves tuning into my heart & letting that wisdom lead me to intentional steps toward my vision. What is your vision for 2021, & what would be possible if you worked with you fears & anxiety? Share in the comments below.
Want deeper support around this? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, text 978-308-9868 or apply for the Higher Heart VIP Experience: https://gaylenowak.com/higher-heart-vip-experience.