Thursday, September 20, 2012

Being open

I realize that the other day, I was a bit vague. I wrote about the "stories" we often tell ourselves, but I didn't really share my specific "stories." I shared examples of my rewritten stories such as my running and weight-loss, but I didn't share any of my current "stories." Stories of things I've always thought were impossible to change. Things I thought were "just me." "That's just the way I am." And you know why I didn't share? I was scared. I was scared to admit them and face the possibility that things could be different. But I am going to share. So many little things lined up that I need to share.

The other day, I came to realize that I've spent a lifetime telling myself one story that I've never, ever considered questioning--I am shy and quiet. But do I have to be shy and quiet? Do I need to be fearful of speaking in front of people? I can change that if I want to? My head is spinning. Imagine all the opportunities rewriting that story could provide. I could teach classes, give speeches, run for office, become an actress, etc.. These aren't all things I necessarily want to do, but the key is that I could.

At first, this realization opened a flood gate of wild dreams. It was exciting! But the excitement was quickly replaced by fear. I looked for local Toastmaster's meetings to work on public speaking, but the fear and physical discomfort I felt as I considered attending a club meeting was unbelievable. Nobody said "rewriting" was going to be easy.

So why would I share, and declare, this story/fear on my blog? Why not keep something this "painful" to myself? Because a little bit of magic happened that made me want to share this story. A theme began to appear over the next couple days. The following day, I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and you know what the weekly theme was? Changing habits.

Hab·it noun \ˈha-bət\
: an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary

Habits sounded a lot like these "stories" that we can rewrite. That night I decided to share all of this with my husband. As I began to tell him about Toastmaster's, he called our seven year old, Rebecca, into the room and asked her to share a story from school that day. She then told me how her third grade teacher began the day with everyone sharing an affirmation. And do you know what Rebecca's affirmation was? That very day? Independent from my experiences? She declared that she gets nervous talking in front of her class and would like to work on her fear this school year. I kid you not. I was blown away by the timing, her openness, and her willingness to tackle her fear. Wow!

But the magic didn't even stop there. The next day, I recorded Katie Couric's new show to see author Brené Brown discuss her new book, Daring Greatly. And then Brené put into words the discomfort I had been feeling when faced with the possibility of rewriting my story. The discomfort from being vulnerable. From being willing to take chances, face fears, and live life to the fullest.

"Make no mistake. It feels uncomfortable to put ourselves out there. And it feels dangerous. But I don't think there's anything more uncomfortable, or dangerous, than standing on the outside of our lives wondering what it would be like had we shown up." ~Brené Brown

This reminder allowed me to embrace my "stories" and fears, and to be proud of myself, and Rebecca, for being brave enough to show up in our lives and dare greatly!

1 comment:

happe2beme said...

good job at being brave...i know you can do it!