It was a cold, dark evening, I was somewhere in my mid-twenties and I was participating in a seminar at Landmark Education.
The leader turned to me and said:
“Do you realize you’re pretending you are perfect? Look at you,” she said, “Your hair is perfect, your makeup, your jewelry matches your clothes, you’re so put together.”
She then asked the other women in the room:
“What is the impact on you of Rachel’s pretending to be perfect?”
One of them said:
“I see you, and I think you’re beautiful and amazing but you also seem unreachable, I’m not sure how to get close to you.”
I was stunned. She’d nailed me. In that moment, I realized the truth of what she was saying.
After that, she coached me to get the insight of my life: I pretended I was perfect to cover up that I was afraid that I was unlovable and worthless.
That information was a huge breakthrough for me and a brand new insight. Ten years later, I still grapple with my perfectionistic ways and those feelings of being worthless.
This is why I feel that Brene’s work is so ground-breaking.
Something that I discovered years ago by putting myself in seminars and paying lots of money, is now being illuminated and is available for the masses, backed up by research in Brene’s book.
Guess what? What may have seemed like a unique to me phenomena back then, is actually something we all deal with to varying degrees.
I am not alone, and nor are you.
Americans, the country over, are dealing with deep shame and fear and as such, we are keeping ourselves disconnected and isolated, for fear of being vulnerable.
The point here is that we all have, according to Brene’s research, a tremendous amount of pressure put upon us culturally and in our own minds, to be the perfect woman, to be thin and beautiful and to be great mothers and wonderful wives, or to be perfect men, strong, not emotional, financially capable.
Under the surface of polite conversation and playing it cool and looking good, we each are grappling with deep issues and heart ache.
It’s no wonder really, for in society at large there’s little room for messy failure. The irony is that vulnerability, being exposed and seen for how we truly feel, and being real about our fears and failures, is where our sense of connection and belonging come from. The research shows that our two biggest desires are the feelings of belonging and being connected and to have those, we have to risk being seen.
To be seen, we must dare greatly. To be seen, we must be courageous.
The brilliant Seth Godin, in his book called, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, writes,
“Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead. This scarcity makes leadership valuable…It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo. It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle. When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed. If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.”
I feel uncomfortable every day in my work. I lead children as an educator and this means that I get criticized by parents and children alike. Leading IS vulnerable. Being seen and showing up to our work is scary.
As a psychic in private practice, I feel fear too. These blog posts, making videos, allowing you in to see my inner-most thoughts and feelings, takes courage, but the way I see it? We have to do it!!
I have a deep desire in my soul to lead, to show up, to claim my worth and be of service, and I bet you do, too.
I think the mistake we make is that we think that others who do it don’t struggle. We think it comes naturally or easily for others, but that’s not true. Seth Godin is right, the ones who step up and lead do so because they are willing to be uncomfortable and vulnerable. That’s what it takes.
Recently, I spoke at the Neuroscultpting Institute on Conscious Business Building using Social Media. In the days leading up to my talk, I was very anxious. I felt scared, nervous, and I kept wondering if I would be enough, would I provide enough value, would people come?
Brene refers to these voices as the Gremlins. It’s helpful to name these parts of ourselves, to call out the negative chatter in our mind and distinguish it as just that- negative chatter. It also helps to remember that we all have it.
One of the great messages of Daring Greatly is Brene’s affirmation, I am enough.
We have to realize that we are enough, NOW. That we have tremendous value to offer others simply because we are who we are.
Often in my practice, I ask women, “What do you think is holding you back?” More often than not they say, “Fear.”
The thing we have to get is that fear is not going away. The point is to feel the fear and then take action anyway. That is how we grow.
This generation, we children of the Baby Boomers, we are healers and innovators, artists and truth seekers and we’ve yet to see how we’ll go down in history, what changes we’ll create that can leave a lasting impact on humanity.
I’m excited! The way I see it, we have a profound opportunity, through our great daring and our acts of courageous love, to alter the fabric of consciousness and create a new world of connectedness, love and belonging, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy or comfortable.
Great daring takes courage and courage doesn’t mean that we don’t feel fear. Courage is acting in the face of fear.
I beg you, stand up, claim your worth, dare greatly and contribute your unique gifts. It’s your charge, your purpose, your great calling and it’s how we live a wholehearted life- one where we are connected, and feel that we belong.
You belong. You matter. You are loved and I want you to join me in daring greatly and changing the world.
Stay connected. Download your free report above and apply for a strategy session if you’re ready to receive support in getting unstuck and taking action to pursue your purpose.
I’d love to hear from you, too. What do you think? Are you leading? Are you daring greatly? Have you read Brene’s book?
Leave a comment below and let me hear from you, take that small action, right now, to show up and connect. I dare you.
All my love,
P.S. Click the link to read Brene’s 10 Guideposts for Wholehearted Living.
P.P.S. If you haven’t watched Brene’s Ted Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, do that now!