If you read my post last week I alluded to the fact that I didn’t tell anyone I had started a blog for quite a while after it launched. It was several months in fact. After I got over myself and my fear (thanks to coaching) and finally went public with it, the response was overwhelmingly supportive.
I think all of us probably hide certain things about ourselves, or at least only share them with the people closest to us. (I’m talking those who have watched us pee kinda close.)
Our “secrets” could be anything from simple guilty pleasures, like faithfully watching some cringeworthy reality TV show, to much bigger and more important goals, desires, or dreams.
We do this because we’re afraid of being judged.
Naturally. We worry what other people might think of us if they knew. So we keep a close guard on what we consider our more “out there” preferences, ideas, and ambitions.
This is especially true if we’re particularly passionate about something or it’s really important to us, because the stakes are higher.
If a colleague makes fun of your taste in music, big whoop. You’re likely to come out of that interaction still relatively unscathed. But if they knew that you aspire to write a book one day, and made it obvious they thought that a silly notion or an impossible feat, it might cut a little deeper.
But, vulnerability breeds authentic connection.
The truth is that when we dare to be vulnerable and share our most authentic selves with the world THAT’s what leads to more genuine connection with others.
When I started to embrace the things I was really drawn to like self-development and personal growth, I was able to meet some wonderful human beings that shared this value. It served as a source of instant connection.
I attended a retreat for female physicians geared towards personal wellness and balance. I enrolled in my life coaching course. In both of these instances I had this overwhelming feeling of “these are my people!”, like I had somehow been missing out the whole time prior.
It was exciting to be able to connect in this way with others who were equally engaged in creating a better life for themselves and those around them.
If I hadn’t put my authentic self forward, fearing that many might think of the self-development world as kind of silly, or woo-woo, I’d never have fostered these amazing connections.
Where are you hiding?
I’d like to challenge you to get real honest with yourself right now. Consider the following questions:
What are the things that you love or get excited about that you rarely, if ever, let the world see? What aspects of your true self have you been too scared to show? What big ideas or ambitions are you worried might get scoffed at if you let them be known?
And this last one can be particularly enlightening.
If you were guaranteed to receive 100% approval from everyone in your life, what would you be doing differently?
Sure, you risk judgment and it’s easy for the what if’s to start creeping in. What if they think I’m crazy? What if I fail?
But maybe add these to your list to help flip the fear on its head. What if it’s awesome? What if it’s better than you could have imagined? What if you make some genuine connections that you never anticipated?
Take a chance!
You never know who else in your circles might have similar interests. Or might have a connection that could be super useful to you in pursuing that new hobby or getting your idea off the ground.
You might even find more of “your people” in your own back yard.
I sincerely hope you do.