“The world needs You to shine your light bright.”
My journey to embrace all of who I am starts here…
I was your classic shy child growing up. It wasn’t because I didn’t have a lot to say or share, quite the opposite. Around others, I so badly wanted to shine and express who I was, but I often allowed fear and outside noise to take grip of my thoughts and extinguish my voice and chance to share who I fully was.
Every once in a while, I would take the bold step and burst into the limelight. More often than not, when I put myself out there with gusto and passion I felt amazing and excelled. But instead of using these successful moments as fuel to keep building and sharing, I would retreat. The feedback and attention I received as a result of shining bright became overwhelming. Sometimes others’ remarks were laced with negativity or jealousy and I would crumble under the weight of worrying how others may view me.
So on I went into early adulthood, battling the side of me who wanted to shine authentically, with the inside voice telling me I wasn’t good enough or didn’t deserve to step fully into the person I was yearning to set free.
As so often is the case in life, it was a shattering event that led to a drastic change in my mindset. When I was in my early twenties, I found myself married for exactly one year and one day. At the time, I was a shell of who I truly was because I was too afraid to be vulnerable and live up to my full potential. Being dealt the news that I was no longer wanted or needed in my new marriage was a pivotal point that initiated the start of positive change in my life.
This life changing experience didn’t cause me to blossom overnight, but it did wake me up to start listening to my inner wisdom. I began taking steps to live my life more authentically by incorporating more of the things in my life that made me feel alive. I started to muster up the courage to take more chances and ignite the passion for life that had become paralyzed through my fear of showing up to be fully seen.
My first step was to complete my University degree that I was half way through. I knew in my heart that the goal of completing my education would help me gain a sense of pride for going after my dreams. In time I learned it was the journey of taking consistent steps forward that would help me see that anything is possible. Getting through each obstacle helped me realize my perception and attitude in life were the determining factors in how far I would go.
Every morning I would get up very early to run outside before work so I could clear my head after a night of burning the midnight oil. During my runs, I would often visualize how it would feel to be up on the podium receiving my diploma. While running, I would also spend time thinking about my dream life. I would imagine having a family of my own and a partner who valued who I was. I would think about how it might feel when I fully and truly believed in myself. This daily ritual helped me feel a sense of hope, strength and worthiness by realizing everything I wanted in life was possible and that I was deserving of experiencing it.
When I completed my degree, I felt elated! Unfortunately this feeling didn’t last long. My school counselor asked me to be the valedictorian for the graduating class and I knew there were going to be hundreds of students taking part. There was a big part of me that yearned to take this role on and have my voice be heard. I had a huge dream of being in a place where I could inspire and empower others to believe in themselves, but the thought of getting in front of such a big group was too overwhelming.
I had made some big steps in going after what I wanted and had reached my dream of completing my degree. However, I still didn’t have the courage or confidence to take the next leap of faith and go after my heart’s desire. I showed up to my graduation with my head hung, instead of it held high. While it felt like a big mistake at the time. I now realize the whole experience was a wonderful blessing and lesson in disguise.
The events that took after my divorce and subsequent graduation really expanded my view of myself. The setbacks helped me to gain awareness of the areas I continuously limited myself in and had me looking at how I could do things differently. Facing my disappointments head on, helped me go after my big dreams even when it required me to be vulnerable and push through fear.
My divorce helped me to grow in that I made the choice to move forward and expand my horizons, instead of shrinking in the face of failure and rejection. It wasn’t easy, it required a lot of steps forward to account for the setbacks. Those small steps coupled with spending a bit of time each day thinking about the amazing possibilities for my future definitely lifted my spirits and mindset.
Saying no to be the valedictorian, when I really wanted to say yes, is now something I avoid doing at all costs. Now when I am presented with an opportunity that is something I’d love to do, I say yes! I’ll say yes even if I’m afraid. If I fail miserably after saying yes, it feels much better knowing I tried my best instead of wondering what could have been if I only had the courage to try.
It has been over a decade since both of those events and in my heart if feels like a lifetime ago. I am thrilled to have a family of my own, and to live a life I feel blessed to be in every day.
The wonderful thing about living from a place of worthiness, is that I now honor my voice, my hopes and my dreams. I practice sharing who I am out into the world regardless of what the outcome may be. The actual act of going after what I am passionate about is what makes me feel alive. I still take part in my daily ritual of filling myself up with positive thoughts and feeling deep gratitude for my life, even if it is just a few quiet minutes. I approach my goals and challenges by taking consistent baby steps each day. I still have stumbling places and roadblocks that come up, so I call on my support when needed and dig deep to gain the courage to get through the tough places. The best part is feeling that no matter what happens in life, I still get to be the full version of me.
The outcome of our efforts is never guaranteed in life. How we feel about who we are and how we choose to show up is what makes the ride worthwhile. So embrace and love who you are, you are one of a kind and you are worthy of shining bright!
Believe in Yourself – ❤ Emily
If you are interested in connecting to who you are on a deeper level, or if you would like to create a self-care and self-love practice — come on over and join our growing community within my E-Course, ‘Fall In Love With Your Life, One Week at a Time’. It is a chance to create your own life practice in a way that is meaningful to you.❤