How our fears can be our greatest strengths

After a quite incredible weekend at the One Woman Conference, I’ve been reflecting on our individual impact to make a difference. When you are alone in your office, it’s easy to feel that the journey is too steep or too rocky or that your goal isn’t clear and shrouded in mountain cloud.

However, making the effort to travel and be with others who share common values and principles is like drinking a tonic that fuels you from the inside out.

There were 400+ women at this event and I had the honour of being up on the stage as one of the finalists of the Lead The Change awards 2017. I love to speak on stage but somehow sharing my personal story and the vulnerabilities I’ve faced (and still facing!) was nerve racking.

The big lesson I shared was this.

That there are times that fear and doubt and worry creep up, sometimes from nowhere, and take hold of us. My fear and doubt appears as a gentle tight grip on the inside of my throat; almost like a child’s hand trying to silence me.

Your fears and doubts will appear in different places. Perhaps a knot in your stomach or a pain on your left side or a buzzing sensation at the back of your skull.

For the past 10+ years I have used this feeling in my throat to pull me back, like a bungey cord. I’d come up with an idea, reach for it and then the bungey cord would snap me back so that I’d either give up on the idea or just do a smaller version of it.

My journey with the incredible mentors who make up One Of Many, Joanna Martin, Annie Stoker and Susie Heath, have allowed me to now feel into my uncomfortableness … the feeling of vulnerability … the feeling of shame, guilt and whatever my inner shit throws up at me at the time I want to do and be bigger.

That gentle tight grip on my throat is now my sign that it’s the right thing for me to do. And as I write this, I feel it appear … so I know it’s the right thing for me to share today.

What would I like you to take from this?

I would like you feel into your uncomfortableness of fear, doubt, shame or guilt … whenever it appears … and see it as a power. Don’t treat like a bungey cord as I have all these years. Feel into knot or the pain or the grip or the buzz because it’s probably trying to keep you safe.

Safe is lovely place to be on a warm, fuzzy Sunday afternoon but if you want to make a bigger impact on this world around us, then safe will only keep you safe.

As Brene Brown so eloquently puts it, “Vulnerabilty is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”

So let’s get vulnerable because I know you have the potential to make the difference that’s within you.

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