I’ll never forget standing in front of my Toastmasters Club and getting ready to give my first speech. It was only 4-6 minutes long and all I had to do was talk about myself. I thought I would faint. In fact, my left leg shook so hard I knew everyone could see it. The more they looked at it, the more self-conscious I became. I was mortified.
I asked myself, I wanted to do this — why?
Because there was something inside of me that wanted to be expressed, that’s why. I wanted to share my authentic voice and this was a vehicle to get me there. This was the way I could get past my limited beliefs about who I was and the value I could contribute and step into my power.
Really? This? Ugh!
I believe we all have this drive to express ourselves. Perhaps it’s through creating a program, or writing a book, or speaking in public. Whatever it is for you, I’ve learned that it will stay with you until you take it on. You can run, but you can’t hide.
I have learned a thing or two on my journey with this muse, which I’m happy to share with you. Why? Because taking this journey is one of the, if not the, most profound things you can do in your life. It will lift you, and deepen you, and enable you to contribute to your world in ways you could not have imagined. And, never doubt, you have it in you.
So, here are my five steps to releasing that crazy authentic voice and being 100 percent self-expressed!
1. Make the commitment — say yes. You can still be scared, or not know how you’re going to get there, and that’s okay. Remember, you don’t have to say yes to everything all at once — how can you? Say yes to the outcome and let the way show itself. Say yes to your next step. It’s never too late. If it is something you really want, be willing to go the distance.
2. Envision your success — create your destination post card. Get specific. Use all your senses to bring it to life. Take a few minutes every day to luxuriate in your vision.
3. Gather your support team — family, friends, community, teachers, trainers, coaches. People who can and will really support you and see the possibilities. People who will remind you of your progress when the going gets tough, and celebrate your victories. People who will take your goal seriously and help you get there.
4. Make room in your life, your schedule, and your space. Make this real. It’s not enough to think about it. Someday is today. Set time aside once a day, once a week, or once a month — whatever works for you. Create a work space in your home or office if needed. Just do it.
5. Gift yourself with unconditional love. This is the most important part, and sometimes the hardest. We’re all so tough on ourselves. We have such outrageous expectations at times. In the beginning, and the middle, and the end, it’s all about the love. I imagine talking to the little five-year-old girl who lives inside of me and telling her how much I love her, how proud I am of her, and how much beauty she is bringing into the world. Try that with you five-year-old — you’ll be amazed at how that works.
The woman who expressed her delight at my “100 percent self-expression” had approached me after a gig while I was getting my stuff together. She reached for my hands and beamed from ear to ear while she told me how much I had impacted her experience.
How absolutely wonderful.
Here’s the thing — it wasn’t only about me. This was about her. Clearly, she too wanted to be more self-expressed or it wouldn’t have mattered so much to her. So, after my grateful thank you, the coach in me responded, “It’s in you, too, you know, or you wouldn’t see it in me. I’m your mirror.”
Her husband piped up, “Yes, that’s true, honey!”
“Oh!” she exclaimed. She clearly had experienced an aha moment.
Self-expression — what’s love got to do with it? Everything.
I would love to support you to open to greater self-expression. And the love. Yes, the love.