The courage to be you

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A woman sends a question into an online group of women who are all there to find support and help for running their own business. They are artists, creative types, hippies, free-thinkers, stay-at-home moms, career women and they want to live the lives they always dreamed of. They want to do the thing that makes them happy and they want to earn a living from doing it.

She asks: "How do I get past the uncomfortable fear of putting myself out there?"

Like other online business academies, the host is encouraging, engaging, emphatic and walks her talk. 

Her response: "Your job is to do the thing that lights you up and that you love doing. Your job is to show up, share your light and know that you will be fully protected and loved and alive as you do it, because that's what you're born to do."

The most poignant thing she says is, "It's not your job to wonder if you're good enough."

A 36 year-old woman with a thriving writing career, with children getting good grades in school and happily married to the man she fell in love with when she was eighteen, writes a book about her on-going struggle with feeling good enough.

Once a member of an extreme cult when she was a child, she is still coming to terms with feeling broken. Even with all the trappings of success, she hasn't gotten beyond her doubts that she is ok. She hides her struggles from her friends and family. She doesn't even tell them when she goes into rehab.

I read these stories. I have lived a story of my own, with some similarities. Recognizing my own inner light and allowing it to shine has been a long journey. Contemplating putting my true self out in the world, has been equally challenging. As a writer it's what I was born to do, but it still scares me.

But I do want this for me. Even though I hesitate or have doubts, I still have the desire for it. If you feel the same way about a passion you have, join the conversation. Know that you're not alone.

Here you will find some like-minded people:

The Art of Simple
Elephant Journal
Brain Pickings
Laura Simms
The Blog of Impossible Things
Rebelle Society
Peace. Love. Free.
World Domination Summit (Chris Guillebeau)

If you need support, whether practical or emotional, I have found these to be very good places to start. Finding these sources worked for me when I was looking for validation that I was not alone having the thoughts I had of wanting something so badly but feeling uncomfortable about putting myself out there. 

Sometimes all the advice can seem overwhelming, so don’t do what I often do and divide your attention between many different sources. Stick with a few. Share your stories. If it does nothing else, it feels good to be seen, heard and to share advice with others who are in the same boat.

Maybe I'll meet you there!

Note: I am not affiliated with or am officially endorsing any of these sources. I simply found them to work for me and wanted to share.