I’d rather be honest and authentic and disappoint some people, than to exhaust myself trying to keep up the facade of perfection
– Crystal Paine
I haven’t written anything for a long time.
You see, I’m feeling restless. I’m feeling a bit lost, while paradoxically feeling clearer than I have in a long time.
I can sense a change in the air. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m giving birth in about ten weeks – eek! – or maybe it’s a greater change coming about in general. In thinking about my business, I know I want to make some changes moving forward – but then, I also know that changes are coming in my life as a whole, in who I am and how I live.
Whatever it is, I know that things are shifting for me in big and little ways.
I can feel the old falling away and the new beckoning me to move forward. For me, the old looks like:
- Worrying about what others think
- Trying to please everyone
- Hiding parts of myself and my life
- Trying to portray a certain image or brand
- Overwhelm, confusion, being stretched too thin
- Trying to fit myself within a specific box (or in business terms, niche)
- Competing and feeling not enough
- Fear that others will not like who I really am
- Trying to do things perfectly, correctly, by the book
These are not things I’ve consciously chosen to do in the past – in fact, I’ve actively tried to avoid most of them. But now that I stop to think about it, on some level, these things have still been present in my life. They show up in the way I censor myself on social media, in the way I’m afraid to step in front of the camera to make videos, in the feelings of stress and the procrastination that follows, in the loss of interest in my work, in the deep sense that I don’t have what it takes to write a book, in feeling stifled when I think about my business.
But when I think about the new, the ways I’m being pulled to move forward, I feel such a deep sense of lightness, ease, relief and excitement.
The new looks like:
- Sharing more of my life in my work – that means writing about things beyond journaling and creativity (such as motherhood, simplicity, tiny living, self care, introversion, sensitivity etc)
- Letting myself be more vulnerable, more easily seen – sharing more of my fears, my imperfections, my mistakes – and my face!
- No longer listening to the business ‘experts’ but rather allowing my own inner compass to guide my business
- Simplifying, getting rid of things that don’t bring me joy – including possessions, beliefs, digital clutter (unfollowing, unfriending, releasing)
- Trusting that I still have a lot to offer people even if it doesn’t clearly fit within an obvious brand or niche
- A deep sense that my soul is guiding me forward in just the right way
- A knowing that in sharing who I am, vulnerably and authentically, I can help others to heal parts of themselves and shine brighter in their own lives
- An acceptance that I can’t please everyone – that people will unfollow me, unsubscribe from me, maybe even lash out at me – but that as long as I’m listening to my own inner guidance I’m on the right path
- An excitement that as I am more myself and more openly authentic, I’m going to connect with the right people in the right way at the right time
Maybe that sounds a bit vague. It sort of does to me when I read it over, but at the same time it makes me feel like I know what I want going forward, like I know how I want to feel.
My business will be changing. Sure, there will still be the same journaling goodness (journaling will always be my number one tool for personal growth and soul connection) but there will be other things mixed in there too – things I feel called to share, for whatever reason. In building this little online business, I’ve struggled with the boundaries around being authentic and also being professional – with staying ‘on brand’ but also infusing myself into my work. It’s quite exhausting and limiting. I don’t want to present a certain image – I want to share me.
My deep belief is that all women, regardless of race, religion, size, social standing or anything else, have within them something valuable to share with the world.
But so many of us need to be reminded that we are enough, that who we are, as we are right now, is enough. That we have gifts to share and offer the world, that the world needs each and every one of us to share our voices, our experiences, our truths – no matter how insignificant they may seem to us. That we need to find the power within and the courage to be ourselves without apology, if we are to live a life that light us up and makes the world a better place.
I believe the best way to help women do this – to remember the great power and courage they hold within themselves – is to step into my own power, recognise my own enoughness, live my own life boldly, without apology and be an example for others.
And currently, I’m feeling stifled – by my online ‘brand’, by my work (my blogging, writing, social media etc), by the old ways of doing things. I’m sensing parts of myself just dying to be heard, expressed and shared, but instead being pushed down as I fear they aren’t ‘on brand’, or might offend someone, or just plain aren’t enough.
No more apologies, disclaimers, worrying about what someone might think. No more holding back, hiding parts of myself, trying to fit within a certain box or image to appeal to some ‘target audience’ out there. No more worrying about what label best fits me – artist, coach, writer, teacher… who cares? No more trying to have it all figured out.
It’s time for rawness, authenticity, vulnerability and courage. It’s time for mistakes, mess and imperfection.
Watch this space!