Sharing my feelings to people has not been easy and I am sure that many people are in the same boat. But, if I were to go deeper into why I DON’T share my feelings, it really just comes down to one primary reason: fear of rejection
The generic thought I experience when debating whether or not I should express myself:
If I say this, then maybe they won’t accept me.
What is up with this whole being afraid of rejection shit?
It’s no surprise, actually, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. If you were born and raised in formal schooling like me, you might conclude that school has taught us not to make mistakes. Don’t make mistakes or you’ll get flunked. But how is that applicable in real life? We MUST make mistakes to grow. We MUST express ourselves to find our voice and to build self-esteem (Watch a talk from Robert Kiyosaki here on formal education, from 22:15 on)). I’m not saying don’t go to school. School has been very valuable to my development and skill as a critical thinker. But, I’m saying that being a scholar ~85% of my life has made me think that mistakes are a bad thing. But it’s been exciting times for me because I now get to learn about any damn thing I want and how mistakes are the greatest teachers. I have many more mistakes to make.
Now, let’s go to the other side of self-conscious self-talk.
You see, the resilient and self-loving side of me says:
By saying your authentic opinion, you leave some room for people to criticize you for it. You can’t control that. You leave room for people to support you, too. You can’t control that. But you get to express your opinion because you know that gut feeling inside your stomach telling you that it’s good for you to do so. And if you want to get even deeper into the hypothetical to give yourself more reassurance, there may be people you don’t know who talk shit about what you say and, again, you can’t control that. But this is important to know. You don’t know them. They don’t really know you. They have their opinion. Maybe you perceive it to be something they’re insecure about and they see some of that in you. Hey, they have their issues. Send over your blessing.
People tend to talk about what they think about the most. A pessimist will find something to talk shit about. An optimist will find something to appreciate. Heck, some might even have something constructive to say and you can use it to improve. Just like these people have a right to their opinion, you have a right to your own opinion, too. It’s going to be uncomfortable opening up more, but who says you have to start big? If you are persistent, diligent, and patient, slow and steady will pay off. You are patient. You are persistent. And you are diligent.
On the other hand, maybe some people you think you know quite well will doubt what you’re doing or what you’re saying. They will have good intentions. Maybe they see the risk and don’t want to see you fail. Maybe you feel that your dream is not being supported by some of the people you know. This goes back to the gut feeling of right or wrong. You know that very well. There may be fear that seems to be a part of that gut feeling, but you clearly know what the most truthful decision would be. If you allow yourself some space to breathe, to enjoy some time out in nature, to meditate, you know damn well that the only way is to keep on keeping on with your dream. Some friends will be there for you. Others won’t. They come and go. Don’t take it personal. They’re caught up in their own life. Just keep doing what you do and align with like-minded ambitious individuals who elevate your dream.
You also have people in your life who are mad supportive of you and what you say. Keep them close. Let them know you value their connection. They are very important, especially when you face hard times, which you will in the near future. Connect with activities that put you in your ZONE and allow the mind to temporarily subside, so intuition can guide. It’s difficult to feel your intuition when you stay busy analyzing all day. That’s why your morning ritual is so important. You are giving yourself that space. That’s why your “I am…” statements and incantations are critical. They help you to feel those words and embody them. That’s why creating space to move your body is important. Dance the moment away. Give yourself those 5 minutes before hopping in the shower. It gets you into your body and outside of your head. These activities connect you to your intuition.
Find inspiration and produce inspiration
I am blessed to have various people in my life who inspire me to step my life up. The more I connect and check up on what these people are doing, the more I get juiced to work on my life. There’s a lot of crap circulating social media and well, that’s cool because I am more appreciative when I come across some content (status updates, blog posts, pictures, etc.) that I personally find value in). So, on the other hand, there is a lot of worthwhile information that people post if you take the time to filter out the rest. It’s like treasure hunting. Everyday you get to hunt for treasure!
Most of all, you always get to decide what you are posting on social media and what you are offering people. Sure, you can post food pics everyday and it’s a niche that a lot of people like. I like looking at food, especially on Instagram and that’s all my account was composed of before: food, food ,food ,food. Then, I thought like, “When I look back on these pictures years from now, is this all I want to remember? The food I cooked or ate?” I don’t believe I was providing much value to myself or to others other than a quick 3-second glance and ‘like’ then people forget about it.
After, I began posting quotes that I liked or something that sprouted in my mind. I didn’t receive nearly as many ‘likes’ from them, but I believe it creates more food for thought than some food I ate. I began aligning more with my mission to empower.
What do you notice in your social media habits?
How are you of benefit to onlookers?
Generalizing the beauty of an intimate relationship
This seems to jump a little, yes? Well, that’s life sometimes, yes? That’s how our relationships get sometimes, yes? It can get a little rocky.
What’s such a beautiful aspect of being in an intimate relationship? I deeply enjoy, more often than not, being able to see all sides of my girlfriend and for her to see all of my faces, all of my emotions. We share our background, our fears, our desires, our everything. The vulnerability makes intimate relationships one of the deepest connections we can have. And that’s also why the end of an intimate relationship can be so distressing. “I gave her my all, how could he/she do this to me!?” You allowed yourself to be vulnerable around him or her and it created a deep bond. You put your guard down and let them in your inner world.
Now, when I say to generalize our vulnerability to others, some people may be put off if you are very honest. It may conflict with their level of disclosure. You have to exercise your own good judgment. But that’s also the beauty of making ‘mistakes.’ More often than not, it won’t be the end of the world.
In the wise words of Robert Kiyosaki,
Recognize that all of us get vulnerable. Unless you are some enlightened being, vulnerability is not something we do easily and naturally. It takes practice and it takes courage. I have a lot of insecurities still and they make me vulnerable. These insecurities are my vulnerabilities.
With that being said…
What I don’t want you to know about me:
- That I have doubts about whether or not I can make a successful living as a Life Coach, how the hell I am going to make it all happen, and what the next steps are. And at these times, I’ve often tried to overshadow the feeling to myself and especially others by telling others how great I am going to be and how I can’t see myself not succeeding. There’s some doubt underneath that I haven’t let go of yet.
- That I get intimidated by people I perceive to be more successful than me in any area I find value in (coaching, finance, relationships, entrepreneurship, etc.), and I tend to withdraw in some way from these situations. It’s often an unconscious retreat to preserve my pride. I may also talk down on people and try to perceive a weak point in them to inflate my self-esteem, either to others but mostly to myself, especially when they have qualities/skills/opportunities that I desire. Just some of my insecure reactions.
- That my strong desire to support myself completely on my own – without any financial help from my parents – stems from all of these years feeling like they’ve given me too much and I’m one of the most fortunate people I know who have parents that love, care, and support me with all their heart. On the other side, I now have this deep pain whenever I do receive something from them because I feel I don’t deserve it, that I’ve been given more than enough, and I don’t want help. The pain is deep-seeded and comes close to physical pain, a discomfort I experience in my shoulders and chest. I want to find a way to resolve situations on my own to prove to myself that I’m self-sufficient. I’m still naïve in ways and some might say I’m naïve to be looking for struggle and do not appreciate my circumstances. I don’t come from struggle. I’m eager to know struggle and how I manage myself in the face of hardship and self-reliance. It will make me a more effective coach as well.
- That I strive to put systems in place to achieve financial abundance, where I can travel freely, purchase direct flights without having to stress about the price, work on my own terms, support my immediate and future family especially when emergencies occur that can’t be anticipated, freely surprising my family and friends with gifts, the comfort of knowing that I am earning while I sleep. I don’t believe I need a lot of money to be happy, but I want to travel the world and still have a considerable amount of money I can save at the same time. More money definitely allows more freedom to save and travel. I still have a glass ceiling regarding how much money I believe I can earn and it has prevented me from negotiating for higher wages. Even though I am slowly breaking out of the middle-class mentality of playing it safe and prioritizing stability, it still has a firm hold of me.
- I believed I wasn’t ambitious enough and could never amount to the potential of my brother. I would constantly compare myself to his ideas and it would lead to consistent negative self-talk. Obsessing over comparisons can be a very dangerous line to walk on, and I had certain ideas about the roles an older brother should play, rather than having the courage to follow my own dreams. This was a big hurdle for me to get over, but the truth will set you free.
- That I have no idea where my next destination will be once I come back to the States. I am open to change and want to venture to another place other than Los Angeles where I was born and raised and have been contemplating leaving to another place without any steady income and figuring out a way to make it work, but the idea is also a frightening one.
- That I am sensitive. It’s quite easy for my feelings to get hurt. But I’ve conditioned myself not to convey it most of the time. Of course, this has to do with my pride and I don’t want you to see me when I feel weak and ‘naked.’
- That I wake up on the wrong side of the bed a lot. I have to train myself everyday through certain rituals to foster the state that I desire. I am not always successful at this.
- That I often act impatiently, which is why meditation has been so valuable for me. Many people may think I have a lot of patience, especially since I worked in Social Services for 2.5 years before coming to Japan. But this patience has been a lot more difficult to generalize once my shift ended. Just ask my girlfriend haha.
- That when it comes to coaching, I really don’t know what I am doing. I have a general plan, but it rarely goes as planned. I am figuring it all out as I go.
- That I often use cleaning my room as an excuse/distraction from tackling higher priorities like completing another blog entry, researching something website-related, doing an online course, studying Japanese, etc.
- That I use my peripheral vision a lot to assess situations, like “Are the people over there looking at me? What might they be thinking? How am I coming off to them?” It’s a self-conscious mechanism that I engage in frequently.
My intention by sharing more vulnerabilities is to express myself despite discomfort, which will connect me with others and perhaps inspire others to share their stories more. From there, we can begin to create a new story filled with excitement, conscious decision-making, glory, among other things. But, it will have all started because we decided to get honest with ourselves and the world.
I believe that more time will be needed to see the benefits because it’s only the beginning. But, it makes me more optimistic for the future. I see everything that I do as a stepping stone. And this was a step up.
Now, who’s willing to step up with me?
I challenge my readers to take the 5-day challenge. For 5 consecutive days, I challenge you to write down one thing that you don’t like others to know about you each day:
What I don’t want you to know about me, Day 1: ________________________________________________
What I don’t want you to know about me, Day 2: ________________________________________________
What I don’t want you to know about me, Day 3: ________________________________________________
What I don’t want you to know about me, Day 4: ________________________________________________
What I don’t want you to know about me, Day 5: ________________________________________________
Vulnerabilities are not weaknesses when you are brave enough to admit them. It connects us to one another because we all have vulnerabilities. The more honest we get with ourselves, the more we inspire others to be speak their truths. We start from a place of honesty so that we then can carve out the path we consciously decided for ourselves, rather than living life based on someone else’s expectations.
I want to know your efforts. Let me know how it all goes in a comment below!
Please share this to anybody you think would find value in this. Share freely.