When I was going through my morning routine today of journaling, the journal’s daily prompt asked me “What limitations have I imposed on myself?”. I couldn’t think of any. I believe that I’ve set myself up for a relatively flexible and free life with very little “balls and chains”, so to speak.
I wanted to put something down, though. Perhaps there was something that I was currently unaware of? I thought back to some of the desires and goals that I wrote down in previous journal entries, and what came up a lot was sharing loving insights and expressing creative energy through writing. I love writing. The two things that I’m doing when I feel “in flow” are writing and listening to music– and combining the two is a simply beautiful experience for me.
Since this desire has been an ongoing theme, but hasn’t been put into action yet, I knew there had to be some sort of block. What is the block?
It’s the fear of putting myself out there.
I observe people putting themselves out there on a daily basis, and sometimes there are very few challenges with what is being put out there; with the content being generally well received and appreciated. Other times, the writer needs to handle criticism– whether it be genuine constructive criticism and mature debate, or nonconstructive trolling. There can be a lot of negative energy coming towards us as originators of content. Putting our thoughts online for the general public to read and consume is not completely risk free.
I so want to connect, share loving insights, and be able to experience flow and creativity, though. I want all of that. I could still write privately and not share, but the sharing is so valuable to me that I wouldn’t feel as satisfied without it.
Like a newborn fawn (baby deer), struggling to stand up after it’s born, here I am putting myself out there and feeling similar. Life has put this fawn out there, and there are inherent risks. This fawn has to feed, grow faster, and learn how to walk.
Our equivalent of this is to the inner work for self-development in order to become emotionally and mentally stronger, so that we can learn how to stand and walk when we encounter challenges and obstacles when we want to express ourselves and share insights with others. Other people are not us. They have their own life experiences, opinions, and ways of expressing themselves too. It is so worth learning how to navigate the sometimes murky waters of how to connect with people on important topics. Even after doing a lot of inner work to become emotionally and mentally stronger, people will not agree or like us all the time. This is an important lesson to learn and learn how to manage ourselves in those situations.
My previous baseline modus operandi was to feel and behave defensive and hurt upon finding out that others didn’t agree or like me. I would stop doing what I was doing and make excuses to stop doing that thing, so that I didn’t feel bad anymore and not have to learn how to handle negative energy from others. If growth and development are important values to us, then we HAVE to learn how to manage ourselves in these situations. Not only is it of use to remove our own limitations on ourselves, but what we learn here can be applied to all areas of our lives. With our family, with our friends, our workplace, our romantic relationships, and any community that we are a part of.
It is time for us to “up level”. I have found that it really is a mindset thing. As T Harv Eker’s concept of rich vs poor mindset in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”, a lower level mindset person will encounter a low level problem, but it will feel like a high level problem to them. A high level mindset person will encounter the same problem, but it will feel like a lower level problem to them and won’t stop them from achieving their goals. This resonates deeply with me, and I am working on it so that I can live a life aligned with my values and desires.
A friend of mine let me borrow her book a couple of years ago called Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Brene Brown was unknown to me at the time, but I absolutely love her teachings now and have read her book Dare to Lead recently. Her go-to quote by US President Roosevelt resonates a lot with the idea and fear of putting ourselves out there:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
That is a good reminder that we are the ones being vulnerable and taking risks in order to make a connection, not the “haters” or “trolls”. Their opinions and feedback should not have an affect on our work and efforts. Constructive disagreement and mature conversations are always welcome, as they help us connect and grow together.
I am going to step into the arena. Will you join me?
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