We can all think of things we would love to do in life and we can all think of a hundred and one reasons why we can’t do them. But how many of these reasons are excuses and how many of these excuses are just our fears?
When I first started doing my complementary therapy work, I would often be invited along to various groups to give talks about what I did. I had always been a very shy, quiet person so, needless to say, I would be extremely anxious for several days beforehand but always made myself do it because “it was good for business”. Just accepting the invitation was a hurdle; showing up on the day even more of a challenge. I did several talks over the years, just bumbling my way through in the beginning. Eventually I began to find it easier and, dare I say it, the last one I did, in a care home, I actually enjoyed. The funny thing was, once I’d got over my fear, the invitations dried up. I didn’t need to learn that lesson any more.
Around that time I came across a statement in a book I was reading that rocked me to the core:
“Being shy is the greatest form of self-obsession.”
As a shy person, I was rather indignant about this! However the more I pondered those words, the more I realised, albeit grudgingly, that they were right. By being shy and holding back from others, you are not sharing. You are more concerned with what people think about you. It’s all about you. Your mind is filled with “I really can’t do that”, “I hate being centre of attention”, “I’ll start jabbering and dry up”, “I’ll do this wrong, I’ll do that wrong”… in other words, “It’s all about me, me, me!”
The moment you bring your own fears and dramas into the situation, you make it about you. The ego is going frantic, telling you that you can’t go through with it. The ego feels threatened and will do its best to sabotage any efforts you make towards personal growth.
Now, more than 10 years later, I can look at this from a more objective point of view and try to rationalise my former irrational reaction. If you really cared that much about what people thought, you wouldn’t speak or voice an opinion/viewpoint at all. When you think about it, whatever you say, in whichever environment you’re in (work, home, with friends etc), some people will agree with everything you say, some will agree with part and disagree with part and some will disagree with you whatever you say. And that really doesn’t bother you when you’re with people you know well! Public speaking is just speaking on a bigger scale than you usually do. There will still be the same ratio of those who agree, those who part agree and those who disagree.
The challenge in life is to be yourself and let go of worrying about how you will be received. When you are being yourself you reflect the true you. You will then automatically attract the kinds of people who genuinely resonate with you and need to hear what you have to say. Every one of us possesses a unique set of gifts, passions and life experiences. All you need to do is share them honestly. After all, people can’t like or admire the real you if they never get to see it. Doubts and fears are normal. Try stating your fears out loud – it makes them a little less scary. When you have fear, you are afraid to be you. But if you can conquer one fear, then another, then another, you’re well on your way to finding and living your soul purpose. In other words you have moved out of ego (solar plexus chakra) and up into the heart.
Helen Shortland is a Spiritual Consultant, Reiki Master Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses, therapies and workshops, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or visit and ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics.