Have you ever done something big and then immediately started doubting yourself?! Did your thoughts start churning with what-ifs, how-could yous, or who do you think you are!?
You’re not alone.
As soon as I published this website, my lizard started throwing a temper tantrum. For the next two days, anxious thoughts of fear and potential catastrophe clanged around in my mind.
“OMG!! What have you done!?!”
“The words aren’t perfect! You haven’t edited enough.”
“You wrote too much. People are going read about your anxiety and think you don’t know what you’re talking about. What were you thinking?!.”
“You did this for attention. Look at the picture you used. Who do you think you are?!”
These thoughts continued as I went about my daily tasks. While I looked completely normal on the outside, inside, my nerves felt like china plates crashing to smithereens against a brick wall.
Although I realized it was “just” my lizard, that didn’t stop my elevated heartbeat and the cortisol pumping through my veins. Like having a wild iguana running loose inside the house, knowing what it is doesn’t make it less stressful.
Despite doing my best to stay tuned into my Captain, I couldn’t stop feeling vulnerable and anxious after sharing my truth with the world. This reminded me of something I’d seen on YouTube.
Empathy is the antidote to shame.
Dr. Brene’ Brown studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, and she gave a viral Ted Talk on vulnerability that reached over 53 million people. (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you click the link to watch it.)
In this video, Listening to Shame, she describes the feelings she had immediately after giving that talk, specifically the “vulnerability hangover” she had after telling everyone she’d had a breakdown.
“Vulnerability is not weakness. Emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty fuels our daily lives. Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. To create is to make something that’s never existed before. There’s nothing more vulnerable than that.”Brene’ Brown
Like Brene’, I want to get my work (the Boat analogy and the strategies it introduces) out into the world to discuss growing our self-worth and awareness beyond the shame, anxiety, and fear trying to hold us back.
That conversation starts with sharing my story with you, allowing you to see my thought processes in the hopes of inspiring a dialogue leading to healing, growth, and personal discovery.
Life is art.
By Wednesday morning, I woke up and decided I’d had enough. Instead of allowing the lizard to continue running around loose, I opened my website and read the about page. Then I went to the blog and read The Captain, Do you like Analogies?, and Don’t listen to the lizard. Then I went to the videos page and watched “Recognize feelings of stress to release them.” (specifically minutes 14 – 20.)
That did the trick.
Listening to myself tapping into my Captain, talking about the Divine energy that lives within us, creating our lives as a work of art, calmed my nerves and quieted my lizard.
Living life, offering our energy as a gift from the Divine can be challenging.
“Art would be boring if it were all light, pink, glitter, unicorns, and rainbows. That’s why it’s (life) hard sometimes. Because that’s how we get the toothpaste out of the tube is by the stress. That [stress strengthens our] ability to reach down and root into the truth of who we are in the moment. [Life] may not always be easy, it’s not supposed to be easy, but in the long run, it is always beautiful. It is always our life and our artwork that we are creating.“
That video reminded me to step back and look at the beautiful mosaic of thoughts, ideas, and pictures on this website as my gift to the world. This website is built around my stories because I want to connect with others interested in seeing themselves beyond their fearful thoughts and anxiety, creating their lives as a work of art.
We are all so much more than the thoughts going through our minds. By facing our fears and sharing our stories, we can connect and recognize the lizard is a liar. We are not alone. We are Boats, charting a course toward a life worth looking forward to, creating opportunities to find meaning, support, and purpose, out on the stormy seas of life.
If you are interested in having a conversation about growing our self-worth and awareness beyond the shame and fear trying to hold us back, I would genuinely love to hear from you.
What’s your story?
What’s your lizard saying?
Please feel free to share it in the comments below, or message me if you’d rather keep it private.
Thanks for being here.
P.S. I love this quote Brene’ shared about daring greatly.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”President Theodore Roosevelt