I’ve been thinking recently about how the simple act of allowing yourself to have and sit with big ideas can make a huge difference to what you eventually achieve. If this sounds a bit “woo woo”, please hear me out!
So many of us have vague hopes and dreams that we barely even allow ourselves to consider. Travelling the world? Oh, I could never afford that! Writing a book? Oh, that’s not for me, I’m not a “writer”! Putting yourself out there in a blog and on video? Oh, I am far too shy for that!
That last one is an example taken from my own life. I wrote recently about how I’m a shy introvert, and that has always made it scary for me to put things out there. So scary that I told myself a story for many years about how it wasn’t for me and never would be.
I’ve been running my business for a long time and have largely hidden myself away from my customers. Not in the sense that I’m doing anything shady, but just because I’m scared they won’t like me and won’t want to buy from me if they don’t connect with me.
But in the last couple of years, something started changing. I felt sad, truly, that I couldn’t open up to my customers. I saw people with amazing, engaged audiences and I wanted some of that for myself. But still, I told myself that this was an impossible idea. After all, I’m a shy introvert and putting myself out there for the world to see is definitely not something for me.
Having my baby changed things. Suddenly, I had a much bigger reason to put myself out there and do work I’m proud of. I want to do it for him. I want him to be proud of his mummy, and I want to show him that he doesn’t need to hide himself away even if he turns out to be shy too.
So I sat with the idea. I thought about starting this blog. I thought about getting a little more personal in my writing. I let myself imagine what that would be like. By the time I actually started my blog, I’d been sitting with the idea for so long that it seemed more normal, more doable. Scary, yes. Impossible? Not any more.
But there was another more terrifying thing that I didn’t even want to entertain the idea of – putting my face out there on social media, on Instagram Stories and in live videos. Even the thought of doing this made my stomach churn. Yet I also knew deep down there was a part of me that longed to be like those other people who have that amazing connection with their followers – simply because they show their face and they talk to them.
So the idea of getting really visible took a bit longer to sit with. In fact, it took an investment into a course with Ray Dodd (“Taking Up Space Online”) to force myself to take it seriously. As soon as I made the purchase, I started preparing myself mentally for the start date. It didn’t make the fear go away, but sitting with the idea and giving myself that deadline really spurred me forward. It meant I had time to go from thinking “why would I want to do that?!” to “why not me?”
And I’ve started to do it. Even a few months ago, I never thought that was possible. And I mean that. I would not have posted my face on video if you were paying me.
Yet here I am – and it feels good! And it all started with an idea, an idea that I almost didn’t even let myself have.
Some notes on how I’m coping with the fear & carrying on anyway:
All of the above may make it sound like I’m miraculously cured of my fears just from having an idea. I’m not – at all. This is how I do it anyway…
- I try to just force myself to do it without thinking too much
- I try not to watch the replays too many times
- I first went live in a private Facebook group where I felt more comfortable – it helped!
- I went live on Instagram at a random time when I just felt like it – and I admitted I was nervous and didn’t know what to talk about
- I focus on the replies I get and the connections I’m making
- I question myself all the time
- I wonder why anyone is interested in what I have to say, all the time
- Then I remember why I watch the people I do and how I enjoy their everyday lives
- And I push myself to do it anyway – and it’s quite fun!