The challenge of showing up

Has your soul been urging you to show up more than you've ever done before, but you're struggling to figure out how to do that? Would you secretly like to show your true self to the world, but you're terrified of what might happen if you do?

Over the past couple of weeks I've been called to show up more authentically on my blog, and so in an effort to meet my soul halfway, I wrote some posts that were deeply personal and real. But do you think I could bring myself to publish them? You're right, they're still in my draft folder calling my bluff. 

You see when I attempted to edit these posts, my fear of exposure skyrocketed. My inner editor who's fierce and perfectionistic wasn't having a bar of what I'd written. I'd hit the proverbial brick wall. In the battle between ego and soul: Round 1,115 to ego.

Blogging for the past six months has been amazing. And yet I’ve discovered it’s challenging to show up publicly. Whilst I write about issues impacting or inspiring me, I've kept myself out of the writing as much as possible, hoping it will apply to more of you that way. But as a former copyeditor, I have a habit of polishing words until the end product is clean, rational and safe. And my creative, spiritual side is not happy.

Safe just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. Safe is another word for hiding and being scared to death of really showing up. Safe is how we justify selling out to comfort and conformity. This is exactly why I created this blog, because I knew that for me to get my work out into the world, I would need to show up far more than I've ever done. And also because I know this issue affects so many women with incredible gifts that are so safely hidden away, no one ever gets their benefit

If your soul is asking you to become visible, to speak up and share your truth, then that is your path.

You can fight it with all you've got, but it will tear you up inside and keep circling back to you via different situations until you finally face the truth. Yes it can be tricky when so many people on the planet have no interest or urge to show up. And that's okay because it's not their path.

The truth is there are many people awakening to a higher level of consciousness and possibility who are doing the work to show up every day. They're being called to transcend their personal limitations and make a difference to the collective. So if this post resonates with you; if you're hearing the call, even if no one else in your life is, then your path isn't to be like everyone else. Your path is to recognise who you are and to embody that truth, for the greater good. 

Of course it doesn’t help if you’re sabotaging your best efforts every step of the way. Because this is what happens, isn’t it, to any of us who want to take our growth to the next level: we hit walls. These walls may feel impenetrable, but they are simply internal constructs of our minds and limited fearful selves.

We literally build our own prisons and hide behind the bars and then forget that we hold the key to free ourselves. That's the most maddening thing. Our fears are rarely as real as they feel. Only the ones that protect us from actual danger are valid. The rest we can liberate ourselves from. Crazy isn't it? That's why it's worth knowing this: 

Every time you take a genuine step towards owning who you are, within milliseconds your ego will launch a counter-attack. 

Its weapons are slippery and bullish: no less than your deepest fears, doubts, shame, confusion, defences, criticism and judgment tormenting you. I call it an ego hijacking. My commiserations if this is where you find yourself right now.

But congratulations too. The fact that your fears are so great indicates just how important this step is for you. It shows you're on the edge of taking the next step towards your destiny. How incredible is that! 

This place of fear which has so much power to keep you stuck in your life, if you let it, is in truth an extremely fertile threshold. Think of it as a doorway, full of smokescreens and tricks. At this threshold, you have two very clear (but equally challenging) choices: 

  1. You can run towards what you truly desire in your life and step through the door, or
  2. You can run away from what you fear and step away from the door, and stay put.

It's challenging because when you move towards what you truly desire, you have to gather up all your courage and strength and plough ahead, without any guarantee of what your future holds. But if you run in the other direction, you're giving into the stories that were never true in the first place. You hand your power over to your fear and you sell a piece of yourself in doing so.

I feel so much love for anyone who's struggling to show up and keeps coming up against this threshold of destiny. Truly, if it was easy to show up, we'd all be doing it!

Just like a baby bird will take many attempts to fly from its mother's nest, it takes many attempts to trust your soul over your mind and to act from that place. This destiny threshold is so worth recognising because this is precisely where you're most vulnerable to being hijacked by your ego. I was shocked this week to realise how often I’ve believed my fear's mean stories about myself and walked away from projects that I’d given a tonne of attention, devotion and love to. 

Maybe you've done this too.

What I can say with certainty is you get many chances to show up. Your soul never gives up on you, it sends you many opportunities to blast through that fear. In the meantime, you might want to examine your fear stories and see if you can spot the lies, the voices of other people's opinions and judgments, and all the shoulds and limiting rules that are stopping you from grabbing that key to free yourself.

So how can you tell if you're being hijacked by your ego's fears? 

A very brief explanation is fear is a contracted, unhappy, uncomfortable and angsty place inside. The reason we so often give into our fear is because we want to escape that awful inner state as quickly as possible. Hello smokescreen.

Your soul, on the other hand, feels expansive, open, excited, full of possibilities, potential and lashings of hope. And if your soul is saying "no" - the feeling inside will be neutral. It's not personal - it's just not the right choice for you or timing.

Getting to know the fear feeling is well worth recognising in your body - because when your fearful mind is tormenting you it can be easy to miss your body's signs. If you're in fear, you might one day decide to act anyway and see what possibilities open up for you.

So in the months ahead, I will be sharing many more posts where I will practice sharing more of who I am in the hope that in doing so, it encourages you to share more of who you are with the world.

Because the world needs all of our light, including yours. 

Are you finding it challenging to show up? I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or send me an email.

We've got this!