In my last blog post I mentioned that there were three major hurdles I had to overcome in order to confidently leave the corporate world and pursue my passion of being a full-time business coach.
The first one was completely transforming my (dysfunctional) relationship with money, which I spoke about last week. The second one was releasing my preoccupation with what others think about me, which I will dive more deeply into today. And the last piece I had to put into place was learning how to consistently attract clients to my business, which I will talk about in the next issue of this newsletter.
In all honesty, out of the three big puzzle pieces, the one that was the most difficult for me (and it’s still a bit of struggle at times) was worrying about what other people thought about me and releasing my fear of rejection.
This was HUGE! I have always been a people-pleaser and growing up I easily turned into whatever the other people around me wanted me to be (can you say chameleon?). This especially meant that I never let the “real world” see the spiritual side of me or the part that loves personal growth, which if you’ve been reading this newsletter you know is an extremely large and important part of me. It was like I had two distinct personalities: the real me, and the one I showed everyone else.
For me this showed up a lot on Facebook, where everyone was saying I needed to market my coaching business. This was really tough for me, because I am friends with people on there from all my different “groups” in life, i.e. the people I have met at personal growth and spiritual conferences over the years, as well as my friends from high school and college, and a lot of my former coworkers. And let me tell you, these people knew absolutely NOTHING about my spiritual side. I literally thought the most terrifying thing in the world would be for my “real world” friends to see that I was a positive, upbeat, spiritual person who wanted to run her own coaching business!
All I could think to myself was that if they saw that I posted motivational quotes and had a business that they would talk about me behind my back sooo much! This was probably a left-over feeling from junior high and high school, but regardless it was still there and it was INTENSE. Ridiculous, right? I know, but that’s how our mind works! I kept telling myself that if people saw the real me that I would somehow end up in a room all by myself!
Finally, I realized that I was giving all my power away to other people, a lot of whom I hadn’t actually even spoken to in years! I was literally giving all control over my life away to others and what I “thought” they might say, when in reality I had no idea how they would react. I was robbing myself of the opportunity to be successful in my business, to make money, and to be at peace with myself.
Ultimately I knew that if I wanted to be successful in my business, and more importantly if I ever desired to be truly happy, I was going to have to stop hiding the real me and get comfortable becoming visible, i.e. start showing up as the real me and not the “other” person I had been pretending to be for years.
I became more committed to my bigger vision, and began to make that more important than what others thought of me. It is still scary at times, but I know that my overall mission is to serve others and help them create their ideal lives and businesses, so I try to always maintain my focus on that (no matter what anyone else might say).
Bit by bit, I started posting things on Facebook that showed the real me (things like inspirational quotes and articles on growing your business). Then this translated over to the real world, where I began talking about spiritual subjects to friends and family members who I knew weren’t really into working on themselves. And gasp! I finally began telling others that I was actually a coach and (more gasp!) actually had clients!! Finally I told my family that I had no desire to go back to the corporate world, no matter how crazy they thought that was.
The more I began to reveal the real me, not only did I find that others were actually quite supportive and encouraging but more importantly, I felt free! I felt like I could finally be myself in the world and not be constantly on-edge worrying about what others would think. And much to my surprise, a lot of my friends actually have a spiritual side or a desire to start their own business. Those that don’t share these interests have simply kept their mouths shut or have faded a bit more to the background.
So let me ask you:
•Where do you need to do this in your own life?
•Is there someplace you’re hiding behind a mask and not showing your true self?
•Are you playing a role that you’ve been playing for years that you learned in your family growing up?
•Are you starting to feel unhappy that no one really gets you or understands you?
The only lasting way around this is to make a decision that from now on you are going to CLAIM your real self and no longer give your power away to others.
Once you make this decision, you’ll begin finding little ways throughout the day where you can begin to show up fully as you are. I always recommend taking little steps at first, and then eventually you will feel strong enough to tackle the big things!
This is not an easy thing to do, and it has taken me YEARS to get comfortable enough within myself to begin fully showing up as myself in the world. However, I finally became more committed to my bigger vision than my fear and this has made all the difference.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin