If you’re ready to be successful in the real world – and not just your head – the absolute first step you can take is OWNING your definition of success. We all have a different one – and the sooner you own it, share it, and feel okay with other people knowing about it, the better.
Do the people around you know about your dreams, goals, and aspirations? Do your friends and family know what’s important to you? Or do you hide them or push them down inside so even you don’t have to look at them?
Well, if you’ve been hiding yourself even a tiny bit – and we all do it, today I want to encourage you to step out of your own shadow.
After all, if you want to share your revolution, you can't stay in the background.
Why We Hide
We all hide different parts of ourselves that we aren’t proud of or are embarrassed to admit because it doesn’t fit the YOU everyone expects to see.
I’ve been guilty of doing this on many occasion. In fact, I remember going for a series of job interviews, consciously being who they wanted me to be, getting each and every offer, and then realizing that none of the jobs would have ended up making me happy.
I turned 5 insanely good job offers down. I knew they weren't right for me…so I let them go.
I’ve seen businesses try to serve every single potential client that walked through the door, but never really making a clear declaration of the types of projects they did or the type of people they worked with…and well, those companies are no more now.
It’s all the same really — whether you do it in your personal or your work life.
You don’t talk about certain things with certain people because you are afraid of their reaction. And all the while, you get to be around people and take on projects that suck the life out of you.
Gratz. How is that working for you?
Not only is it total torture, but truth is that omission can also be a form of lying.
Do you want to be seen as distrustful or lacking integrity?
Awareness Is Key
Knowing why you hide what you do and then just letting go can help you see yourself and what you want a little more clearly.
You are not shadows. You are not fear of rejection and ridicule. You are not this person with no face or dreams. You do have children. You do love working at home. You don’t really want that job. You don’t really like going this person’s parties. You do want to start your own business. You are writing a book of poetry. You are starting your own business.
Don’t let this game of hiding define you anymore.
Be ok with your love of the Pussycat Dolls even though all your friends love Coldplay or “more serious, respectable music.”
Be okay that you want to write a book online though many of your published friends who scoff at the value you’re providing.
Be okay with the blog you’re writing and changing even if you’re not sure how people will take the new you.
Be okay working out in front of other people – who cares if you’re jiggly – that’s why you work out! Be okay that others don’t share your enthusiasm or hope.
Be proud of the pole dancing studio you want to start.
BE OKAY with yourself and your goals.
Getting To Know You: A Case Study
A few months ago I began sharing a bit more about who I am and what I do for work…
If you’re not on the mailing list, you may have missed one of my most revealing emails where I gave a true account of how I spend my days.
Email me and I’ll send it to you if you’d like the details too.
I started asking you who you were… what you do and what challenges you face. And I have to admit, I was kind of shocked.
See, in many ways, I’ve been holding back talking about starting a business, writing your book, creating your first product, creating systems to help you build your biz while your baby’s at your feet…because…well, I didn't think that's who you were or that you’d even care.
I was stopping myself from talking about something that I’m truly passionate about – self-expression, creativity, business, and the energy at the start of any new venture.
I made a judgement or assumption about someone or a group and allowed it to hold me back from being myself. Have you ever done that?
Take a moment to remember why you acted the way you did – and why you didn’t think it was okay to be you.
For me – I know exactly why I didn’t think it was okay:
I didn't think I could talk about those things with you.
I didn’t want to bother you with the topics that fill my head and keep my eyes a-blaze on the ceiling many nights during the week.
I didn't know you had dreams of owning your own business or being self-employed or working from home or that you wanted to find a job that would allow you to travel or live on your laptop or that you've always wanted to have a gallery opening and paint or knit a line of hats to sell at the local craft fair or that you wanted to build custom pilates reformers (oh wait, I DID know about that one.).
I didn’t know that you wanted to talk more about the exact things I WAS WISHING I could talk to you about.
What happens when you find out that the people around you are different than you thought they were?
And…oddly enough they are more kindred spirits than you EVER expected?
I'll tell you what happens – you do a little happy dance – show your moves like Jagger – and sigh with relief.
[Happy Dance with many Moves Like Jagger ensued…no joke!]
This is so me though…I've done this over and over again in my life. I walk around thinking I'm so dang different from everyone else and then find out that the people I surround myself with are EXACTLY like me.
Then, it hit me…just like I'm about to hit you with it:
You are special but you aren't different. We are all the same.
We all want the same freedom, the same peace, the same excitement, and no one really likes anyone “to be the boss of me.”
So…knowing what I know now…I’m not going to let you sit idle for more than a week.
I won’t pretend that all you want is generic motivation advice.
I won’t let you tell yourself any more stories about WHY you haven’t done what I KNOW you want to do.
Consider yourself no longer off the hook.
Go back to the question I asked earlier – have you ever altered or outright lied about who you were and then got smacked in the end because you weren’t being yourself? Or have you ever had a time when you kept being exactly who everyone else thought you should be?
Why did you do that?
What’s the worst thing that could happen if you decided to just drop the mask – be yourself, tell people your dreams, desires, and what you do?
Now what’s the best thing that could happen?
Now some harder questions…just between you and me:
Is there one or more things you want to accomplish but are either not sure how to get started or you’re not sure why you haven’t started?
Are you having a hard time because you haven’t “seen” anyone else do what you want to do? Or maybe too many people doing something a certain way and it doesn’t quite fit you?
Are you afraid that your friends and family will “find out”?
Or…are you just so in your head with all your goals that you’re on the brink of giving up simply because you need perspective?
If you’re nodding your head or answered yes to any of these, it’s time to step out now.
Email me and let me know what you’re struggling with and that my dear dear friend is your first step to changing your current path – and making room for your revolution.
Cupcake Murphy says
This is so so so true! The momentum that is created when someone has the courage to inhabit their own heart and mind is INCREDIBLE. All of your wise questions and insights here are such a deep reminder to stay on the True To You path. I wouldn’t trade it for the world–even though it feels so hard at times! Thanks for your Anne-ness. You shine.
Sheila Viers says
Go Anne! Love the direction you are taking the blog. Keep it up girl.
OMG. I HAVE MISSED YOU SO MUCH! I peek at your site every now and then because I love what you write. I can actually hear you! When’s the next book coming out???? Come to Seattle and I’ll give you a pilates class for old times sake lol. Thank you so much for leaving me a comment – such a wonderful and uplifting surprise!
Glad you like it Sheila – time to rock out. I’m done playing small…and I’m taking everyone for the ride with me!
Suzette Jackson says
Ah! Anne did you write this with me in mind?You are so right about being the person you really,truthfully are. Why because that’s who you are. And by being that person and being afraid to let others see who you are is ridiculous. I do know that it happens a lot, being afraid of having feelings hurt or bad comments made only make for more keeping our true selves hidden. I know who you are and hopefully you know who I really am. Keep up the brilliant revelations. You truly rock. And I love you so very much.
Leah McClellan says
Good one, Anne! I’ve been on a roll with this myself recently, but I’m still practicing “no” and finding new things about myself I really want to share because I know, like you said, that even if we all feel “different” we really are all pretty much the same.
Crack me up on the pole dancing studio–I hear it’s a fab workout!
SuzyQ I know youuuu.. and I love all of you…mostly because it helps me accept more of myself. I got the goods from you lady – remember that.
I’m so honored and excited that you took the time on your birthday to leave ME such a special message.
Leah – thank you!
What’s finally clicked for me – and I don’t claim that it will never unclick – is that being myself is so much less taxing.
Glad you liked the pole dancing studio…just kinda came to me…maybe some latent dream I’m hiding from myself. LOL.
Thanks for checking in and commenting. 🙂
Cheryl Chavarria says
Anne, I hear you. Loud and clear. I’m your tribe, girl. I’m on that path too. I play small at times, because…I’ve been conditioned somehow to believe it’s better to worry about making others comfortable than myself. But then I rebel anyway and end up just feeling “different”, but you hit it on the nail–I’m special, but no different. I am the same as you. That’s what I’m reconditioning my mind to understand–I’m special, but I’m no different than you or many others. I’m shifting my site’s focus as well–from strictly women to anyone who follows their art. Good post. Enjoyed it! Cheers fellow mama writer.
Anne I don’t know you but I feel like you put a webcam inside my brain. I am just now trying to figure out how to articulate the difference between what I’m capable of doing and what I love doing. Still struggling with that definition so I would love your insight. Thanks for writing this.
Can I get a holy sh*t hell yeah!!
It’s often so much easier to follow, to conform to who others think you should be. But no more. Easy is boring 😉 Taking those chances, those leaps, and giving yourself permission to go for it, is so liberating!
Loving this momentum, Anne! So timely!
Hahah…I couldn’t help but do a little evil laugh. In truth – we all do this! Welcome to the club! In fact, I struggle with this all the time because I can train myself to be good at a lot of things, but I don’t necessarily love doing those things. I learn out of necessity. What’s helped me is to identify my strengths (which oddly I thought were my weaknesses) and then move in that direction. When you’re working in the area of these true strengths and talents, you will find what you love more easily.
What what! Doing my whole “holdin’ up the roof” move with my hands! Yeahh!
It’s so easy to follow…and I’m over easy too!
I actually feel like I’m leading a personal revolution – allowing myself to revolt against the me I thought I had to be! Crazy!
Thanks for stopping by my fellow revolutionary!
Amanda H. says
Oh my gosh this was so well timed. It’s been bugging me, not feeling like I can be myself. Unfortunately I frequently second guess mention a movie, song, or book that I like. Or I refrain from talking about my business, because someone might think it’s boring. Who cares! It’s my business, and I love it! Who cares if I was jamming to Hot Chelle Rae earlier? Why am I so worried what others will think….it’s exhausting. Thank you!
Helen Hunter Mackenzie says
Love this, Anne! Yes, I have SO been there at past times in my life. I’ve felt fractured and two-faced. And it is incredibly empowering to leave that behind and live from 1000% (yes, a thousand percent) integrity. You can never go wrong by fully expressing who you are. The ones who resonate will be drawn to you, and those who don’t will fall away, which just makes life even sweeter. Congrats on *owning* it, woman! xo
How funny that I never realized I wasn’t the only one who did this. Being what the world expects of me and not discussing my business dream for fear of rejection has been so ingrained in me I never considered that was part of what was holding me back. I have some serious changes to make….
Thanks for making me realize that although I am special, I’m not really that different.