Stepping out is scary.
Being vulnerable on this scary platform know as the internet, is honestly, terrifying.
Brené Brown defines vulnerability as,
“Having the courage to show up and be seen”.
Why is showing up so hard?
On the door of a gym I once attended, there was a quote that said, “Congratulations! Showing up is half the battle”. They were congratulating me before even working out. It seemed ridiculous. Yet, when I think about it - it’s true. Showing up IS half the battle.
What is it about being seen that is so hard?
Is it just me or are we all secret wallflowers feeling like we’re faking it every time we put ourselves ‘out there’.
I know I struggle with the feeling of faking it. Of imposters syndrome.
Often I want to just blend in. To not be noticed. Yet, when you’re crafting a life you love, this just isn’t an option.
To make friends you have to step out. You have to be the awkward one saying hi on the sidewalk or starting conversation after you’ve been introduced by mutual friends.
To find a new community you have show up. You have to be the “newbie”, create conversation with people you don’t know and sometimes have to sit by yourself the first few times until you manage to connect with someone.
To create new leads for any business you need to make those awkward phone calls, craft and send those emails and often times just put yourself out there over and over again.
To develop an online community you have to develop a website, define your voice, craft a blog, start writing, put yourself out there - and hope for the best (with everything you do).
Nobody likes the feeling of everyone’s eyes on them (ok there are some people who love it - but most of us feel intimidated) so when we are in that kind of situation we tend to just fake it.
In all of this there is risk. There is a chance of failure. There is a chance people won’t like you. There is even a chance someone will write something nasty about you (have you looked at YouTube comments?).
However, also hidden deep within all of this risk is the chance of success. Of connection. Of changing the world. Of allowing your authentic voice to shine. Of people feeling empowered by what YOU do.
So when it comes down to it I choose to be vulnerable.
As Marie Forleo often says,
“No other person ever has, or ever will, have the unique blend of talents, strengths & perspective that you have.”
We each have a gift to offer the world. We each have a voice worth being heard.
So what is stopping people?
The simple answer is FEAR. But as we all know, it is far more complicated than that.
This past weekend, I experienced this first hand. As a long time Marie Forleo fan, I have been following her work and watching MarieTV for at least a year. Every year she offers B-School for online entrepreneurs and wow is the community amazing! The number of successful entrepreneurs who have come through her program is impressive.
So of course when B-School was announced just a few weeks ago I felt that familiar tug of knowing that this was something I should do.
However, it is not cheap. Which I completely understand. Any good entrepreneur knows not to undervalue the work they do and to charge fairly.
So I’m not against the price, but at this point in my life, being in transition, job hunting, having just moved across the country, it seems like financially I just can’t right now. But it doesn’t mean the desire isn’t there.
So when I saw she was offering scholarships - and all you had to do was create a 90 second video describing who you are, what you do and why you should be part of B-School, I knew I had to enter.
She gave us the long weekend to complete the task. She was forcing us to act and act now. Not to deliberate and delay for extended periods of time.
So I waited as long as possible, ruminated, and on the final morning of the contest, posted my video on YouTube.
So now I wait until Friday, when the winners will be announced.
I know I am up against thousands of amazing entrepreneurs, all desiring the same thing, so the chance is small BUT at least I know I tried and that is what matters.
Not only, did it force me to define what it is I want, it forced me to put myself out there. And I did it.
The feeling of accomplishment alone is worth it.
So next time you have the opportunity to put yourself out there, do it. Don’t let fear get in the way. Regardless of the naysayers, you are UNIQUE and have a VOICE worth sharing.
YOU WON'T REGRET IT. OF THIS I CAN PROMISE.
Tell me about the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone in the comments below.
To watch my video entry go HERE.
To see more about the amazing Marie Forleo check out her WEBSITE.
To see more of Brené Brown and the amazing work she does on vulnerability and shame check out her WEBSITE.