I remember the first time I dared to share something deeply personal and vulnerable in a professional setting as a business owner.
A million thoughts raced through my mind . . .
What if I piss someone off?
What if I alienate people?
What if they can’t handle it?
What if this hunch I have is wrong and blows up in my face?
These anxious thoughts were at odds with a deeper knowing that what I had to share mattered, even if I couldn’t rationally explain why. Not only that, they were the same thoughts that kept me hiding a significant part of myself.
What I didn’t realize at that time is that this pattern of silencing, censoring and hiding my truth and what mattered to me had been playing out since I was a child. At the core of these thoughts was a deeply-rooted belief: If I speak my truth, I’ll hurt someone and this false belief was tied to profoundly negative experiences in my childhood that were not properly acknowledged and addressed.
This pattern would show up in subtle and obvious ways for years and often looked like:
- Keeping quiet in a variety of personal and professional relationships, even though I was uncomfortable or unhappy
- Refusing to (lovingly) challenge people’s behaviors and assumptions even when I could feel in my core that something was off and there was another way
- Avoiding uncomfortable conversations and topics as the norm
- Staying silent and small until it was too painful to bear, then feeling bewildered when the people who I’d been so concerned about hurting ignored my feelings and needs anyway
It’s no wonder I often felt like a phantom in my own life. Thankfully my early, struggling business became the catalyst for making this unconscious cycle conscious.
While there are short-term benefits to silencing, censoring and hiding yourself for the sake of others, like . . .
- Avoiding conflict and uncomfortable conversations or situations
- Getting to look like you’re put together and in control
- Not feeling vulnerable and exposed
There’s also the cost of being unable to . . .
- Create space for another person to show up with whatever they are feeling
- Be present, trusting and in flow
- Let your guard down, experience deeper, richer relationships and open yourself up to new opportunities
Just to name a few.
While it is totally normal to fear or worry about what other people will think and feel about your truth, you will only be able to guide others to their truth to the level that you’ve acknowledged and accepted your own.
In what ways is censoring or silencing yourself no longer serving you right now? This could look like . . .
- Not feeling fully alive
- Missing out on new opportunities
- Being overworked and underpaid
- Pushing people away
- Feeling invisible in your field
What may be less obvious is how holding back your truth out of the fear of hurting others (or putting your ego at risk) is not serving humanity.
I put that out there not to shame or judge you . . . because I continue to work on this too . . .
I put it out there for you to really tune into your heart and soul. To see what feels most potent to you.
Protecting others by hiding what truly matters to you?
Feeling more confident and courageous about showing up, sharing your message and receiving whatever comes?
Totally your choice.
If the latter is calling to you, the first step in shifting out the shadows is to dive into them. Go to the root of what is keeping you out of the spotlight.
I’ve put together something special for you to help you go within and find the root of your visibility block on your own time and in the comfort of your own home.