Last week, two women I think the world of personally and professionally, Tara Gentile and Brigitte Lyons, wrote to their list of business owners and thought leaders about how fear, anxiety, and the “not enough” storyline can hold us back from living out our purpose; our calling. I am grateful for their words on a topic so dear to my heart.
Brigitte took my breathe away when she asked this powerful question in her last email,
“Are you letting fear keeping you from being found?”
And Tara had me saying, “Amen” out loud after I read these words:
“The stories we tell are the stories of the people we serve. But all too often we pay more attention to parroted beliefs and limiting thoughts than the actual, expansive stories that are playing out in front of us, with us.”
I have learned first hand your personal belief about yourself can nourish or kill creativity and the clarity on your calling.
So I am writing this post to all of you who are not writing, creating, launching, leading, speaking, not showing up because fear, anxiety and negative core beliefs are keeping you from living your purpose. I am writing to all of you who are afraid of being found.
Sometimes it is hard to discern between rationale fear and irrational fear.
- Rational fear keeps us safe from death or harm.
- Irrational fear tells us we will die or be greatly harmed but it is not based in fact – even though every brain cell firing tells us to stop, freeze, numb out and hide.
Sure, you can push back on irrational fear and its first cousins: anxiety, worry, stress which feed the “not enough” thoughts.
But changing the narrative of “not enough” is not always a simple switch to flip. And leaning on sheer willpower is not a sustaining source of change. When the willpower fuel tank runs out, shame and fear are the fumes that run our lives if we are not careful.
Trust me. I have lived seasons of my life on sheer willpower and these toxic fumes only to get burned out and crash hard.
Three years ago, I began to make plans to move Potentia from just a website to having a collaborative practice of specialized, highly trained professionals all under one roof in a space that felt safe, homey and inspired healing and creativity.
I had also recently given birth to our second child and had a lot of big dreams burdening my heart but struggled with finding the space and the systems to execute them.
I was full of joy but at the same time I also hit a wall with my own expectations of myself. Then the green monsters of jealousy, envy and perfectionism took hold and it got pretty ugly in my brain and soul. Given my season of life, I was tired and did not have the usual freedom to connect with my support system.
Where there is isolation, shame and doubt have a party.
I was my own worst enemy as God continued to prod at my my heart for me to trust Him and His leading of me and this dream He had given me.
God trusted me with this dream. I just did not trust myself.
I have found that the “never enough” belief is able to be diminished but if you are driven, desire excellence and have big dreams, then it never really goes away. This is a vulnerable and tenuous space to hold in your heart and mind.
I saw this tension in my previous careers in politics, advertising, international youth work and see this tension now in my work with my clients – many of which are filled with an entrepreneurial spirit as business owners, corporate executives, ministry leaders, creatives, educators, therapists.
Developing a practice of community, connection and self-care is a non-negotiable for any creative, dreamer, leader, parent, business owner ie: human.
And this is a life long practice.
This practice is one of shame resilience. A practice cultivating courage so we can all dare to show up, speak truth, ask for help, take a break, write the check, say yes, say no, press publish, send the email.
Managing fear and doubt is still not easy but these emotions sure as heck do not blind-side me like they used to. Studying disordered eating, trauma/distressing life events and shame resilience have had a profound impact on my own life.
As Brené Brown regularly says, “You study what you need to know.”
And I love supporting my clients and those in the Potentia community in their goals to (re) define health in their own life personally and professionally. Healing distressing life events, food and body issues, traumas and family of origin wounds are not indulgent but often necessary in order to have courage to bench leading, loving, dreaming, launching.
Your fears, worries and negative beliefs are not the enemy. How you respond to them is what jams you up.
Learning how to bench negative and intense emotions is key so these emotions can help inform you instead of paralyze you.
Potentia is offering three options to attend a Cultivating Courage Weekend Intensives this year so you can improve your ability to manage negative and intense emotions, identify and re-author the narratives of negative core negative beliefs and begin a practice of shame resilience. We would be honored to help you get unstuck so you can live your life to the fullest.
The world needs you to follow your calling, show up, lead, create and be seen.
What specific fear or belief is holding you back and keeping you stuck?
Cheering you on –