I met a business coach several months ago through a networking platform. After chatting a bit we decided to introduce our respective services to each other. I gave her an hour Biofield Tuning session and she chatted with me about my business. She wanted me to identify my biggest weakness. I was quick to answer - Marketing.
After discussing different marketing approaches she mentioned social media. I could feel my chest tighten. I have never been a fan of social media. I don’t see the point of publicly displaying my life on social platforms. As we continued to talk, she gently pointed out something that was obvious to her, but a bit shocking to me. I had told myself I didn’t like social media, but the truth was I was afraid to be seen.
It never occurred to me that my dislike of social media was actually a fear of vulnerability.
In that moment, I realized that I wasn’t being honest with myself. I had unbeknownst to me colored my perception of social media to preserve my sense of safety. That moment led to an opportunity to see myself in an honest light. I was able to accept my fear of vulnerability and gently, in my own time, open up myself and connect with people in a way that I hadn’t before. This wasn’t limited only to social media. I could see other personal relationships deepen as well. It is a work in progress, as so many things are, but the openness makes me feel lighter and more engaged in the world around me and with the people in it. That few minutes of awareness and honesty in a simple conversation has shifted my life and I will forever be grateful.
One of the most important books I have read and continuously recommend is Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly”.
She puts it so simply, “Give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen.”
Being seen starts with being honest about who you are. There are aspects of each of us that we hide from the world and apparently from ourselves. By opening up those parts of ourselves, we can begin to fully embrace who we are with love and empathy. We can experience aspects of our lives that were previously limited by our colored perceptions.
Having the awareness now of how I interact with other people allows me to make the changes I need in order to have a more authentic connection. I can choose to engage with people in a more meaning way.
EMBRACING EACH OTHER
Being honest with ourselves about who we are starts to melt away the criticism and judgment of not only ourselves but of others as well.
What we critic in others is the very thing we don’t want to look at in ourselves.
It is easier to find fault in someone else than to admit we aren’t perfect. When we can accept all aspects of who we are, we naturally start to accept others for who they are. By having empathy for ourselves, we extend that empathy out to others.
When you engage with someone else, wouldn’t it be nice to feel not only your acceptance and empathy for them, but their acceptance and empathy for you.
MEDITATION AS AN APPROACH TO INNER HONESTY
My awareness came through in a simple conversation, but inner honesty can happen at any time if we are open. I usually find insight into the true nature of my actions, motivations and opinions when I quiet my mind in meditation.
Something as easy as asking yourself over and over “Why did I do that?” or “Why do I feel that way?” slowly peels away the layers of colored perception until you get to the truth, a sometime painful truth.
If I were to meditate about why I struggle to use social media to bring awareness of my company and services, I would ask, “Why do I feel that way”?
My first answer might be, “because it is just people posting pictures of their everyday lives.”
Then I would again ask myself, “Why do I feel that way?”
I might answer “because its just pictures of random activities.”
Again, “Why do I feel that way?”
My next answer might be, “because sharing parts of my day won’t help people understand what I am offering.”
Again, “Why do I feel that way?”
As I dig deeper, with the same question over and over, I might slowly start to realize that “showing pictures of my daily life will open me up to judgment and criticism. It is easier to stand to the side, than put myself out there.”
A simple question in a moment of inward reflection can bring to light insights about yourself you didn’t know. Take these new insights and use them not for further self-criticism, but for real growth and development, for real change.
Real change is possible and it starts from within.