I’ve been holding myself back. Yep. Playing small. Letting my fear of what people will think rule my business.
I have been watching myself shrink more and more as I have made bigger and bigger investments in myself, my business, and as I have gotten more clear about who I am and what I’m about.
Its a strange inverse relationship that’s been occurring. One would assume that all that clarity and stepping up would have me ready to shout from rooftops, but no. Quite the opposite. And the fact that since I have boldly declared myself a stand for helping people courageously put themselves out there has me actually hiding out more is both fascinating and horrifying as well.
Have you felt this way too (or are you still avoiding make the big leaps altogether thinking as you read this: “see, it never works – she can’t even do it?” Read on friend…and be open to a new possibility…)
I’m literally creating a whole new way of being for myself, much like I help my clients do, and I understand why it’s so damn scary. We do not know who we will become and what it will look like, and we are often paralyzed by the past comments that we have internalized from people who have no idea the impact of their words. These comments are like bungee cords that keep us tethered to the past. What we need are enrollment cords that call us to the future! (I picture these enrollment cords like the webs that spring forth from Spiderman’s wrists, attaching themselves to where he is heading and pulling himself towards the new destination as he drops his cords from where he’s been in order to move swiftly and easily -only these enrollment webs come from our heart as well as our hands).
I’ve been afraid to really put myself out there and finish my book, make some videos, share my ideas and say what I really think. I had a woman tell me the other day that who I am in my videos (while it’s OK) is not who I show up as when she sees me speak live (she prefers the live me). Hmm. Great feedback.
As I’ve watched myself in this little voice tantrum over the last couple months I figured there was some reason why I was holding back, and that it would reveal itself to me at some point, if I just kept moving forward even though I’m scared. Sure enough, I found one of those cords that’s been holding me back. And the ironic thing is how closely it’s tied to the very thing I’ve been afraid to share. An event that happened over 10 years ago has kept me playing small and I didn’t even know it.
The cord revealed itself to me as I was scanning magazines to find images and words for my vision board and I glanced at a short column talking about email faux-pas and what to do if you find yourself in one. It had to do with hitting reply-all to a group email and what to do if you didn’t mean to hit send but did, and you didn’t say something very positive.
Immediately I had a flashback to 2002 when my best friend at the time sent a group email about buying postage stamps to fight cancer. I replied-all and said something to the effect that I didn’t believe “fighting cancer through attacking it with drugs” was the answer. That alternative methods, which were not high profile, nor highly funded at the time, were an option, and why not support those.” Something to that effect. Basically, my opinion was that fighting against something didn’t make it go away, it just brought more of it, and that we need to look for creative ways to help the body rid itself of cancer.*
My friend, promptly made a group email blast apologizing for my overzealous opinions and that I obviously had some out there opinions on the matter, “Haha, please excuse Kris, isn’t she a little overboard on alternative healing? Don’t mind her.” I felt angry, embarrassed, and ashamed, and worst of all betrayed by my friend who belittled my opinion, my ‘voice’, and patronized something that I believed. (This was the first time I had ever done something like this. I tend to keep my opinions to myself, and only share them with people who I feel safe with).
Fast forward 11 years and here I am considering breaking up with my license (or trying to), whether that’s metaphorical or literal, because I fundamentally believe that we cannot make people alright by focusing on what’s wrong, and most of therapy, and people’s expectation of therapy whether they are conscious of it or not, is focused on what’s wrong and how can we fix it.
Hmm. Looks like my point of view, my “opinion” (I think after all these years it’s safe to call it a “Truth” for me!) hasn’t changed much.
It didn’t click for me just how painful that email exchange was – or that I had been scared to be visible and share my point-of-view for so many years until I saw that column and the memory came up, not as painful as it was in the past, but there nonetheless, and I realized I’ve been afraid that will happen again! I’ve been afraid that if I tell people what I really think they’ll think I’m ignorant, or crazy, or foolish, or whatever, and “unlike” me, “unfriend” me, or unsubscribe. (God, forbid!)
The really f’d up thing about all this? My belief is that we can’t make something alright by focusing on what’s wrong, and here I have been holding back my Truth because I’ve been afraid: what if I’m wrong, and my friend (and my parents, teachers, colleagues, classmates, friends, and some random stranger who is uneducated but totally opinionated) is “right” and disagrees with me and says so publicly?!
Does this sound at all familiar to you? It’s f’d up-right?!
I promptly cleared the charge around those memories and immediately got up to write this and finally share my Truth. That’s the process folks, that’s the work we do to be more visible. Simple, not always easy. It helps to have accountability. I have commitments to my work, and to my heart, bills to pay, and a message that needs to be shared to keep me going. What do you have that’s bigger than your fear to hold you accountable?
Are you still holding yourself back because of a comment someone once said?
What if they were wrong and you were right?
Better yet, what if that doesn’t even f’n matter?
So, here’s my Truth that I’ve been afraid to share:
I believe that focusing on what’s wrong just brings more of it. Trying to “fix”, “cure”, and diagnose just holds the problem squarely in place: in the mind, on paper, energetically, and emotionally. Yes, we do need to clear out the emotional charge around memories and events in our past because they can keep us stuck in an endless loop of “stay safe and small!” without us even being aware of it, but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us, it’s not a disorder. It’s being human, and we need to learn how to manage human hygiene: body, mind, spirit, emotions and energy in order to be the primary creative force in our lives. That takes a different approach, a creative approach, to transformation.
Sometime we just have to drop it and stop processing it.
We have to focus our attention elsewhere.
I believe that some therapists and therapy methods actually keep people sick and dependent and may even create disorders where there weren’t any before. I believe that some coaches actually keep their clients playing small, not because they intend to, but because they don’t have the balls enough to step out and really break free from their own middle shit and they just love the satisfaction of helping people feel comfortable vs really holding them accountable to grow (mostly because they are unwilling to get uncomfortable themselves).
I believe it’s not about perfection, Lord knows I have lots to learn and many ways to expand my own leading edge of growth. But I gotta say, I find it really curious and a damn shame that there is so much money being spent in the self-help industry and no one seems to be getting that much better.
(In my last newsletter I talked about why I think that is through the topic of ownership.)
Here’s something else, in case you didn’t catch it: I cuss. A lot. I have since I was 2 years old. I do my best to keep it clean in front of kids. I’m assuming you’re an adult and if you’re offended by it, you can delete or unsubscribe – I won’t be offended. 🙂
Finally, and this is the big one: for me the Inner Voice is the voice of more than just our intuition. It is the voice of God. When we listen to and speak from that voice, we transform the world. I am a stand for people not only living and speaking from their Inner Voice, but making money while doing it. Whatever keeps you from doing that, that’s what I aim to blow up.
There. I said it.
Whew. That feels better.
From My Heart To Yours,
*My step-father, Dr. James W. West, is a brilliant pharmacologist and researcher whose company has been curing cancer in mice using a protocol that triggers the body’s own healing forces. They are in clinical trials now. Yes! I couldn’t be more proud. 🙂
Check out the new online version of the Aligned Voice Assessment: http://www.krisprochaska.com/assessment/ where you can find out what voices you’ve been listening to and how far in the middle you really are!