I wrote a blog post recently about putting myself out there. I didn’t realize it was — or rather, is, — such a big topic among many people. As a follow up, there have been some new developments in the last couple months, since I’ve made more of an effort to put myself out there:
- I delivered a speech before an audience of 600 people. I hadn’t done large-scale public speaking in a long time, and though I was super nervous, I’m proud to say it went really well.
- My business partner and I created a pilot workshop on this very topic! Now we plan to give this workshop regularly.*
- I feel closer to my “person” and I’ve been trying to express more vulnerability.
So how did these things happen? Like I wrote about before, I decided to take a stand for myself. I identified and clarified what I wanted. How? I wrote in my journal and consulted with a select group of people who support me. Through a feedback process, I was able to decide what would be favorable for myself. It wasn’t either luck or timing alone that helped propel me, but both, mixed with courage.
Noticing the road blocks has been huge. Many of the barriers are in my head, but there are definitely others that are external, like not having enough money, time, or knowing how to do it. How do I overcome these things? Well, I tend to focus on what I have power over and then I do that. What about the obstacles that seem to big? I chip away at the things I can accomplish. Waiting in queues is not my strong suit, so it’s best for me to find work-arounds and new ways of doing something rather than staying stuck or being dependent on bureaucratic processes.
What about that large, booming voice who tells me I can’t? How do I silence her? Well, my partner suggested giving her a name and shushing her with counter-points. I do that now. It’s helped tremendously. These critical voices inside us can be haunting and may often promote doubt. There may also be friends and family who play the role of devil’s advocate or simply ask questions and raise points of logistics — these styles of questions can flatten our excitement or may feel like we’re being extinguished before even getting started. Instead, I listen and engage with critics on a very limited basis. I assess if they’re haters and trolls or if they’re loving and simply trying to learn. If it’s the former, I bail. If it’s the latter, I say “I’m excited about XYZ and would love your support. I’m not ready to answer these questions just yet, but soon I’d love to have this conversation with you.” This tends to set a fair boundary and let them air their concerns or support in a way and at a time I am ready.
Clarifying what I want while also acknowledging critical voices and obstacles has been huge in helping me put myself out there more. I’ve noticed my clients doing the same, and that just makes my heart dance to see them pursuing dreams and making big strides toward their goals.
In sum, putting yourself out there comes down to allowing vulnerability. It’s desire plus courage plus some timing and a sprinkle of good luck.
Have you been putting yourself out there more? What’s stopping you?
*Kim and I are offering our “Putting Yourself Out There” Workshop again. It’s on April 22 from 1-4pm. Please visit our Facebook page for more info.
To learn about me, please visit my Coaching page.