Someone told me a few years ago to stop getting out of other people’s way all the time. To take up some space. To let myself – my ideas and desires – be seen.
At the time, this advice seemed counter-intuitive, self-serving and opposite of everything I believed about living and operating in the world.
You see, I had a deep-rooted habit of qualifying and editing myself constantly out of fear. It was a behavior so engrained in me that I didn’t consider it to be a problem; I actually considered it a virtue.
Beyond being an annoying habit, it was a dishonest behavior. And it caused a lot of problems. It built expectations in others that my needs and desires were not important (because I rarely expressed or defended them). It built resentment in me when others didn’t recognize and appreciate my efforts and sacrifices. And over time, it isolated me.
I eventually realized that by trying to accommodate others so constantly, I was putting my life on hold. And by doing that, I was actually mis-serving others by not bringing my true self to the table in my relationships.
Not taking care of yourself and being unwilling to show up in honesty hurts you and it hurts others.
Some of us need a push in the direction of pushing back sometimes. Drawing courage from, rather than silencing, that small, still voice inside. Showing up. Speaking up. Not knowing how to say the thing perfectly, but trying to say it anyway, even if it comes out raw and rough. Even if it gets a negative reaction.
That takes courage. And courage is not selfish. It’s the quality that allows us to serve others well and continue to grow throughout the course of our lives. It’s what keeps us from giving up and allows us to keep showing up.
Can you relate? How could you be more courageous in your business or life today? ✴️
📷by Kristin Michelle Photostories
(Originally published December 21, 2018).