It is hard for me to believe that I have been blogging now for over four years. I vividly remember the vulnerability I felt when pressing publish for the very first time. My stuff is out there. Is this a mistake? Have I made a typo? Will people care about what I have to say? How many people will read my post? The feeling of being a nine-year-old in a classroom resurfaces. A nine-year-old who raised her hand and got the answer wrong. The classmates who mocked her and laughed. The face that turned hot and red. The nine-year-old wishing her skin weren’t so fair so that it could conceal embarrassment rather than announcing it to the world.
Despite the feelings of vulnerability, I continued to write and publish and my posts were well received by an amazing community- a community of other writers and people who just wanted to grow. With the reader’s support and encouragement, I continued to post and the anxiety quickly went away (well maybe not totally). Let’s just say it decreased DRAMATICALLY!
Two years after starting my blog, which was originally called Let Life In Practices and morphed into The Snowball Effect, I published my first book, The Snowball Effect: How to Build Positive Momentum in Your Life. Although this was incredibly exciting, those vulnerable feelings returned. Now my stuff is really out there!
After the publication of the book, I was given the opportunity and honor of speaking at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities, churches, businesses, addiction seminars, and hospitals. Excitement and passion… YES! More anxiety and vulnerability… ABSOLUTELY!
Here is the irony. Many of my talks were about moving through the fear to move forward in life which is the subject in one of my chapters. I found that I actually had to apply the tools and techniques from my book to be able to speak about my book.
Over time I am getting more comfortable speaking in front of crowds. I am actually passionate about it!
Now I am getting ready to stretch myself again and learn how to make effective videos. I have to admit that I am not yet comfortable in front of the camera, but I know that with practice it will come.
The key is just showing up and getting out there and reminding myself that if I do something long enough it will no longer be so anxiety provoking.
Another thing to remember is that vulnerability creates connection. It is difficult to relate to someone who pretends to be perfect. After all, no human is perfect.
Finally, I need to keep the bigger picture in mind. This is bigger than me. If my research has changed my life and has helped so many others, I can’t allow my old nine-year-old feelings to stop me from sharing what I have learned. I can’t allow old feelings of shame to deter me from my purpose, my passion, and my gifts. God has a plan for me. I feel it. I just have to get out of my own way.
What about you? Are you allowing your fear or your old grade school baggage to get in your way? Are you thinking that you are not good enough or avoiding vulnerability? What would you be doing if you were fearless? Keep in mind… You don’t have to be fearless to do it. You just need to have the courage to do it anyway.
Here is my first blog post from January 31, 2012.
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Take care. Talk to you soon!