I’m with my friends on our Mastermind group, a group where we exchange ideas and support each other developing our business and professional lives.  We’re honest, open and sometimes have to have a hard talk.  The other day during my time, when I was chatting about the challenges in constantly looking for new clients Meghann stopped me and said:

‘You’ve got to insert more of you in what you’re writing, people have to feel connected with you and your experience through your stories!’  Laura echoed this sentiment,  both are smart ladies, gotta listen to them.

Expect more

So expect in the future that you will hear more of my story, which will challenge me, as I prefer to remain in the background.  This is my comfort zone, but where they’re coming from is that in order to build my practice I need to put myself out there – yeuch!

When I look at this objectively I believe this hidden part of me, my dark side, fears looking stupid or being judged. By who, I don’t know, but this is the part that stops me from being more open?  Interestingly I don’t like the word authentic when combined with being!  I feel it’s used too often these days.  Is that dislike trying to tell me something? I prefer the word true…

Let me clarify

Where did this fear come from?  I believe it came over many years of being on my own.  My sister coined it earlier this year saying ‘Maeve became independent at age 10’.  I’d never looked at my life in this way and yet it is fitting.  We were boarding school kids. Travelling independently to and from the Middle East, from the middle of Wales, to London overnight, then to the Heathrow onto the plane.  On our own, except for once – the first time I saw a James Bond movie, a colleague of my father and his wife, met us and took us to the film.  It was, for us, really unusual and I believe that’s why it sticks in my mind.

Then there was one

Initially there were two of us, then I was on my own.  I was always the kid who got stopped to answer a questionnaire, who caught an unusual disease, or broke a bone.  And somewhere, instead of growing in confidence I grew in fear, always waiting for something negative to happen.  I grew introverted, and much quieter, preferring long walks/runs on my own although every now and then I stepped into the group, and couldn’t understand why I had difficulty in ‘fitting’ in.  I loved to draw and had a wild imagination however in my family these were not skills that were admired, it was academics that would bring success, and so I kept them hidden.   Only when I moved Countries did I go into the Arts arena and play, and still love to get lost in fibres and wool.

Who am I

I have spent many years getting to know myself. I spend time, a lot of time, reflecting on my days and my meetings with different people.  I know I’m extraordinarily good at building relationships and trust, I like people, I like meeting others one on one, but I always need ‘me’ time.  Meeting people all the time can be extremely hard, as an introvert  I need my alone time to re-energize.  When I’m in a crowd I often feel like I’m on stage, not that I show a different persona, but more I put on a veil to protect myself, and to ensure that my focus is on the people I meet.

This is the beginning of my sharing with you, dear readers (ohhh I’ve always wanted to use that sentence!).  I’m better at listening, than sharing .  I love to support others, and yet have an extraordinary difficulty in asking for help –this is my struggle and I continue to strive to be better.

What about you?  I would love to hear your story, what is your struggle?  What do you fear?  How do you manage with struggle and fear?  And, if you need support, send me a note and let’s chat.