Over time I’ve noticed a trend. When I start working with clients I create a very safe space in which they can be honest, grow and move forward. This leads them to share very personal and vulnerable things with me. I am honored and privileged to have their trust. What surprises me is how surprised they are when they get to know me a bit better. Inevitably every client will say at least once, “I didn’t know that about you. I would never have known that if you didn’t tell me. It makes me feel so much better to know you’ve struggled with challenges too!”
As I’ve been exploring my own unique voice and way of doing things in my business with my mentors and mastermind buddies I get the same reactions. “Does your audience know this about you? Seeing more of your vulnerable side would certainly attract me more to you.” And so, with the loving challenges of my support team, I want to share with you 5 things you probably didn’t know about me and how I’ve navigated them in a way that lets me thrive.
This post isn’t about taking a narcissist TMI plunge all too popular in blogs and social media these days. My intention is for you to:
- Get to know me a bit better
- See a connection in our shared struggles (even if yours don’t look the same as mine)
- Be encouraged that no matter what you may have experienced or be experiencing now that you can succeed, run your business, and live your life by your own design.
So… with all the courage I mustered to write this post, here we go!
Panic and Anxiety
I spent years suffering from a panic and anxiety disorder. I lived with a constant state of anxiousness and added social anxiety just to make things interesting. For a time, the panic attacks would get bad enough to warrant a trip to the hospital (but I would never go). While the tendency toward panic and anxiety never fully goes away I have shifted that dynamic to keep it from interfering in any significant way in my life. I didn’t do it instantly and I didn’t do it alone, but I know it can be done. I also know what it feels like to live with everything from a low-grade to high intensity amount of anxiety as you try to go about your professional duties and personal life. These feelings can often be exacerbated by the entrepreneurial journey, but the need not stop you.
While we’re on the topic of un-fun emotions. Let’s talk…
My relationship with fear has had its arcs. I have been afraid of everything from heights to the up-and-down horse on the carousel (yes for years I would only ride the ones that were bolted down). These fears were in direct conflict with my insatiable desire for loving life experiences. My coping strategies have included everything from outright avoidance to white-knuckling it. When asked, “How could you do those things (travel, adventure, whatever…), aren’t you scared?” I always answer. Yes. Of course I’ve been scared, but my desire to have an experience outweighs my fear and so I keep on showing up. As long as it is something I really want to do, I will try it (to date I have zero desire to jump out of a plane, but should that change, yes, I would try it.). I also give myself plenty of emotional recovery time if needed. As I teach to others, I seek to let fear walk beside me as my teacher instead of having it keep me stuck. [Read more…]