Slaying the shame

I took a risk. I have always wanted an exhibition of my photography and to see my photos line a wall would make public the secret dream. But I was scared to put myself ‘out there’ into the world and ask to be seen. Recently I took a huge scary risk and tossed my dream upwards and outwards. And today, I am installing my first exhibition.

We are raised to believe many complex and interesting things. We move through life doing everything, hard things, expected things but all the while there is a voice that says “should and should not.” That is the limiting belief that tells us, sometimes with just a gentle whisper, so quiet you think it is coming from your own voice, that you cannot do something. That you aren’t smart enough, talented enough, rich enough, brave enough, worthy enough. And that voice often tells us to look over there and see what so and so is doing. Compared to them, there is no way you can do it. There is the fear of being judged, of everyone saying, “who does she think she is?” This is the voice of the inner critic, judge, saboteur, whose job it is, is to make you fear change. Stay small. Just stay as you are, and you will be safe, and no one will laugh. Or judge. And everyone hears this voice, everyone has that special unique inner critic and everyone believes it. But this voice is not actually you. It is the culmination of thousands of messages we have absorbed, and we have a choice whether or not to listen to it. Not an easy choice, but a choice. The greatest hurdle in life is to get beyond those limiting beliefs.

We are conditioned to believe we are less.

Brené Brown calls that inner critic the shame gremlin. Some of my clients have identified it as a grumpy old man, a high school mean girl, a cartoon character, a judge, a nasty berating woman with a clip board. Whatever it is, meeting your powerful inner critic, visualizing it and really seeing and hearing it can magically reduce its power. When you know that you are not your thoughts, that your inner critic is separate from you, you have the choice to turn down the volume on that voice.

Believe me, it will never disappear completely but when you have control over it rather than the other way around… imagine what is possible!

As a coach it is my mission to open your eyes to the magic that lives underneath that critical voice. To make you see that what you think isn’t possible, is, in fact, absolutely possible, if you want it.

It is scary to take what you create and show people. While I had shared my photography in blogs or on Instagram and on my website, I had never printed them out and put them  on a wall , in a public space, for people to see! Today I have had to quieten that voice that says I can’t. I shouldn’t, I don’t deserve to. Today I am hanging my photos on a public wall.

Inquiry question:

If you had no fear, what would you do?

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