Recently my gorgeous friend Rebel Black wrote a blog post about why we play small in business and life. She talked about the fear of people not liking us as being the motivation to play small - if we don't put ourselves out there we won't need to risk people judging us.
The article resonated with me, and inspired me to think bigger, to lean into my bigger story. As a result I really stepped up in a group gathering I was a part of recently. I owned my voice, I spoke my truth and I felt strong.
But then the unthinkable happened.
A lack of refinement in my words and their timing caused another to feel the jarring of her own unspoken truth, her own frailties that arise from being human, and she experienced pain, searing pain. I felt it through her eyes. This precious soul whom I was trying to nurture with my wisdom was now looking back at me with glassy eyes and a bruised heart. I felt like my own heart had just been smashed into a trillon shards, piercing the deepest depths of my being and setting off a barrage of self abuse and rejection of my sense of worth to the world.
So what went wrong?
After gentle self reflection, I realise for me, part of my fear is that people won't like me but there is also an element that I don't want to hurt people. I feel people deeply. I feel their reactions, I take on their pain and discomfort as my own. I realised that I don't want to shine too brightly in case it makes someone else feel uncomfortable. I don't want to risk speaking my truth in case the words come out clunky and they miss their mark.
As I evolve and take time to be gentle and compassionate with myself, I am beginning to see it is the pain that is what brings the ability to know joy, the dark is what allows the light, so all I can do is live my truth, treat others with compassion and a tender heart and know that it is only in being all of me that I can truly serve.
By being true to myself I allow others to do the same and in the end it is your truth that will truly set you free