Few things make me wince more than moments that call me to be vulnerable and completely honest when my heart is on the line, especially when the outcome is questionable.
I feel squirmy, uncomfortable and naked.
This type of fear is common in love and relationships. Showing those places that hide our true sensitivity can be insanely hard. We don’t want to get hurt or hurt others, so we find hundreds of passive aggressive ways to suggest our issues only to eventually explode when the tactic fails. And fail it will.
Yet we do the same thing in our work, going especially limp when needing to express the true values and motivations behind what we do, especially if it’s something we truly love.
A Designer Without a Site
I launched this site in 2011 because I never needed one before. I worked for other people and kept a personal blog on growing up and living in NYC. This suited me fine.
But returning to the States after two years of travel, with my contracts completed and refusing to get a “real full-time job”, I knew I needed a site for my work.
Building it was difficult.
I had been watering my dream tree during two years of travel, and I knew that something was about to bloom, but I simply wasn’t clear yet.
This created copy that stood for nothing. Images that didn’t do anything for me or anyone else. A site I didn’t care for.
Truly, secretly, I wanted to be helping people with great ideas make a positive impact in the world…
Now that’s insane.
Fear Justifies Fear-Driven Behavior
I’ve always thought of myself as a rather private person, one who prefers the company of a few great people to a massive party (although I love those too). I come from a rather serious professional background, where the more “composed” you were, the better.
Whenever I would share some “out there” ideas at my old jobs, I got scared looks from the others, followed by silence. In private, they would tell me the ideas were great, but “we can’t do this here.”
So I learned to get protective of my innermost thoughts. The system demanded it.
And then I left and had no idea what to do because leaving old systems means learning new rules.
I had to figure out how to just be with what I wanted to do.
So there I sat, staring at this site I’d built; it didn’t reflect my true inspirations, and I realized that the omission of my actual drives from my work meant less clients I loved and daily schizophrenia in managing who I was pretending to be.
Bring Your Mind Home
Everything we do and say everywhere must be in line with our core values and desires if only because when it isn’t, we have to work overtime to manage our identities. No bueno.
This concept became a pair of glasses I put on and never took off, a pair of glasses that ran a filter on everything and everyone in my life.
“Are you authentic, vulnerable and passionate?” it asked.
And I’d cringe, wince and shove my hands in my pockets for a minute. Then breathe and look up and communicate truth.
Everything changed. Not only did my relationships become deeper and more awesome, but I stopped expending energy PROTECTING myself. There was suddenly nothing to protect, nothing to hide. I could care less. I wasn’t afraid. Take it or leave it.
So am I a very private person after all? Or was I just taught to shut up because it wasn’t safe?
Become singular, and you will be 100% more powerful and happy in everything you do.
Who are the most inspiring companies and people?
Those that stand 100% behind what they do. Those that are willing to lay their reputation, their comfort, their money on the line to say “I believe in this! And I’m going to do it!”
If you love something, say it. If it doesn’t work for you, say it. If you’re hurting, say it. And if you can’t speak about it, ask yourself why.
Creativity is a growing process. We need time to come to the full understanding and then acceptance of what we are and what’s really important to us, but this is where sharing that magic, that gift, with others becomes important because every time someone says “I’m with you! I agree! This is important. Let’s do this together.” our hearts light up.
We are not alone. We have friends and colleagues who want to participate in making a dream happen. And we have to TALK ABOUT IT first.
Can you let loose a bit and be authentic about stuff in your own business? Can you let your light shine and tell the world what you’re after? What you want to achieve and help create?
If you can’t, pause, breathe and try again. You’ll be fine, and this will change your life.