This post is the fourth in a series of blogs in which I will examine the transitions of the last 18 months – from administrator to writer, coach and speaker.
Last week in part 3 … My repeated choices to guard myself ended up leaving me disconnected from love, joy and belonging. As Brene Brown says, that is a much more dangerous position to be in than the place of vulnerability that comes from owning our story.
Some months before the birth of my blog, I was consumed by the idea that our choices matter– even the small, daily decisions that we think are of no consequence. Our repeated choices eventually become our story, and if we want to see a change in our lives, it is there, in the small, daily decisions, that we must focus our attention.
Our repeated choices eventually become the story we own about ourselves. Once written, we believe in the story so whole-heartedly that it becomes something over which we feel we have no control. It becomes a fact of our life, just the way things are. At that moment, we are stuck in an endless cycle of unseen decisions disguised as “my personality,” “my issues,”“my past experiences” or some other thing that leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. We stop taking responsibility for the way our life is now, and so our story continues in a seemingly unalterable pattern.
My story was fear. It was self-doubt. It was insecurity. I say was because these three are not the primary themes of my new story. I originally managed them by trying to keep a very low profile. What I didn’t realize at the time, was that I was doing my best not only to hide from others but to avoid seeing myself too. It is our thought about our ability, not our capacity itself, that keeps us in the old stories.
And so, with this as the backdrop, came the challenge back in March 2017 to write Beyond the Shadow and with it the dare to find the courage not only to see myself but to let others see me too.
Courage may sound like too big a word to use in this context. I’m not referring to heroic courage that puts life and limb on the line, but more to an ordinary kind of courage, the kind that speaks “honestly and openly about who we are, about what we’re feeling, and about our experiences (good and bad) … Ordinary courage is about putting our vulnerability on the line.” (Brene Brown, The Gift of Imperfection, page 13)
Just as my repeated choices to guard myself left me disconnected, my repeated choices to say yes to courage and to vulnerability mattered. Choice is the birthplace of change, and these choices brought joy and a kind of connection to myself and others I had never experienced before.
To be continued …
I work with women to awaken the courage to find their version of extraordinary and live it! I’d love to put my honours degree in social work and my expertise in coaching to work for you. Connect with me here.