How to Put Yourself Out There
'Keep putting yourself out there’
Have you ever found yourself in the situation of having to grit your teeth, put your best fighting gloves on, summon some non-existent courage, and put yourself OUT THERE … whatever it was that you were putting yourself forward for? When all that you actually wanted was to crawl into a little hidey-hole and pretend that the world wasn't happening?
Did your fears win out, or were you able to push them aside long enough to break through the barriers and be the awesome bloody chick that you are?
A little while ago, I had the idea of setting up a blog. In my head, the idea was foolproof (as ideas so often are). I would talk about all that I had been through - and was still going through - since my husband unexpectedly left me. I would inspire (hopefully not scare) women who had found themselves in a similar situation, reassuring these ladies that there were indeed bright lights waiting for them at the end of the tunnel.
The idea of being vulnerable enough to share my stories didn't faze me at the time – I normally have zippo problem sharing my mistakes and frailties … not to mention the painful and sometimes embarrassing lessons I've learned.
BUT then came the day (after months and months and months of preparation) that the website was pretty enough, and shiny enough, to start telling people about. To put out there. So without a lot of warning or thought on my part, I suddenly found myself thrust into the VERY FOREIGN and VERY SCARY world of self-promotion. And let me tell you, it just about took the wind from beneath my wings. It was HARD.
Never before had I exposed myself AND my vulnerabilities to the extent that I did then, and do now. I was pushed so far out of my comfort zone that it almost hurt! BUT. I was and am committed to making this thing work … and in order for it to work, I have to get real. I have to speak of things that I haven’t spoken of to anyone before. I need to risk the rejection and ridicule of the people I know … and the people I don’t.
I need to develop a thicker skin … I need to stop waking in the wee hours of the morning to check Instagram and Facebook. I need to accept that people aren't always active on their social media accounts and that just because I didn't get a whole lotta ‘likes’ for a particular post, it does not mean that I am not liked. It is actually entirely possible (shock horror) that the post was not seen by many people, or that it didn't resonate with some people. And that all of this is perfectly OK. NONE of it is a personal rejection.
So, I will continue to put myself out there … to share myself in the hope that sharing may help another person or persons somewhere. I truly believe that admitting to our shortcomings and fears and allowing ourselves to be REAL is one of the most important things we can do … not just for ourselves, but for others.
In the meantime, here are some ideas that I hope may help YOU next time you find yourself faced with the choice of hiding behind a safe front... OR peeking out from behind the front and giving it your best go:
HOW TO PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE
You need to face the fear and JUST DO IT
To feel fear in the face of the unknown is completely human and therefore completely reasonable. And, a little fear ain't necessarily a bad thing - to have fear is to care! To care that you are doing the right thing; to care that you are not hurting yourself or others in the process of doing.
Try to identify exactly what it is that you are afraid of – is it possible that the fear of succeeding is just as formidable and real as the fear of failing? Or does your fear come from the risk of rejection and failure? Truth is, life will always carry those risks and ALL good things involve delving into the murky depths of the unknown. I know that NOTHING beautiful in my life has come without a good slap of risk and pain preceding it.
The trick to conquering (or at least quelling) the fear, I'm discovering, is to make your passion and drive stronger and louder than it.
You need to know that rejection is NOT always (or ever) about you
I was talking about rejection, and the fear of it, with one of my beautiful mentor ladies recently. This wonderful lady gave me a great analogy which has stayed with me since. She likened my fear of professional ‘rejection’ with somebody ‘rejecting’ a glass of water which had been offered to them.
Presumably, if somebody declined the offer of water, it meant that they had no need of that water at that time. They were not thirsty. It had zilcho to do with the person offering them the water. So, the same principle should apply to all situations. If we (or any offerings from us) are rejected by a person/s, it would simply mean that we, or our offerings, were not the right fit for that particular person/s at that particular time. It does NOT mean that we are worthless or have nothing meaningful at all to offer ever!
Think about this next time you think you are being ‘rejected’. It is really not about you – it is about them. So ... put the fear behind you, your best foot in front of you and GET OUT THERE!! Take a risk and live the life you KNOW you are capable of and deserve. YOU GOT THIS!
Do you have a story to share? I’d love to hear it!
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