'What would you be glad you did even if you failed', re-reading this quote from Brene Brown (I am a huge fan!) reminded me of how VULNERABLE I felt when I put my first workshop series out into the world. I didn't know how it would be received or if anyone would sign up! But one year since launching the pilot of the Inspiring Woman Programme I have run four full programmes & additional one-day workshops that have all received enthusiastic responses about their life-changing impact.
I can honestly say that designing the programme, trusting I was good enough, & that I had a valuable message worth sharing & teaching, has been one of the most affirming & empowering things I have ever done. Not only that, but I have met the most amazing women, women whom I would not ordinarily have met in my daily life, & learnt so much from them. All sorts of surprising & beautiful gifts & opportunities have resulted from these connections.
I have learnt that often the thing we need the most is the thing we need to give to the world to paraphrase Eve Ensler author of The Vagina Monologues "we need to give to the world the thing we need the most, in order to fix the broken parts within us". By stepping out and believing that we can create the change we want to see, or be part of a movement for change, is incredibly empowering for us, as well as the people whose lives we touch.
Through the creation process we literally grow into the corners of ourselves and expand our identities to include this new, previously unexpressed, aspect of ourselves. The creation process begins with the spark of an idea. When it takes hold we begin to wonder who may have already had that idea. Then if we discover no-one, or at least not quite like ours, we may begin to wonder 'what if..'. Then comes the gap. The moment when we wonder 'could I? why not?' Then excitement. Then fear. This is the moment when fear either takes a grip and our dream fizzles and dies OR we have a chat with fear, tell it we understand its concerns, but it is time for this idea to be shared and we are ready!
Everytime we do something for the first time it unleashes our inner demons! Those pesky voices in our heads telling us we're not good enough, not ready, too late, too early, too under-qualified, too over-qualified, too inexperienced, too old, too young, whatever your particular demon likes whispering in your ear! But, as Liz Gilbert says in her book 'Big Magic' criticism is one of the biggest reasons why we don't do the thing we want to do. Fear of being criticised by others. Here's the thing, anyone who has ever put themselves and their ideas out into the world has been criticised. Not everybody is going to LOVE what we do. We do it because it is important to us, that's reason enough. And, the good news is, there will be lots of people who will LOVE what we do and will be so glad we are doing it.
So, it is completely normal to feel vulnerable when we do something new. In those moments the most self-loving response is to compassionately reassure our vulnerable selves that we will be OK and this is part of our evolution. As Brene Brown says: 'our vulnerability is the truest measure of our courage'.
There is a feminine revolution going on around the world with more and more women setting up their own businesses, working on their terms, developing heart-centred communities, and pursuing the issues and concerns that matter to them the most. So, next time you tell yourself you're too scared to do something in case you fail, think about the satisfaction you'll get from just doing it and remember the world needs your creativity, knowledge, expertise, innovations, experience & perspective.
'Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself' - Buddha
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