You, coming out of hiding, now

As the new year begins, we tend to feel full with the energy of possibility, with all that we most want to create and make happen in our business in the coming months.

Now it’s almost a month later and we’re no longer poised at the exciting threshold of the year, but already well into it. So how is the unfolding of your vision and goals going?

hiding_behind_leaf.jpgOne of the biggest things that can impede our progress on behalf of our vision is all the ways in which we hide – consciously and unconsciously.

Feeling in our heart how much we want to do great things with our work, make an important contribution, share a significant message with the world – but then avoiding taking the kind of action that will support the unfolding of such greatness.

So we procrastinate and spend our time doing busy stuff that doesn’t actually further our vision and mission. Or we engage with it enough to feel like we’re working hard and actively moving forward with our vision, but we’re inconsistent and so the outcome we’re after is never fully realized.

We eagerly sow the seeds of new possibilities, but don’t nurture then sufficiently and consistently so they can actually germinate and put down roots.

Or we pretend that we don’t really know what our calling is and we act confused instead. We put our precious energy and attention into searching and seeking, asking questions we already know the answer to but are afraid to acknowledge because then we’d have to take action on them.

We compare ourselves to others and decide that someone else has already done what we want to do, so we can’t – as if a world of 7 billion people could be well-served by one person doing something, with two or more becoming redundant.

We’re afraid to do something imperfectly and risk being judged by others, held captive by the younger part of ourselves that’s terrified by this fairly remote possibility. Or we fear not knowing how to respond smartly to the questions or challenges of others and cringe at how foolish we might feel.

We pass on amazing opportunities because we’re convinced we’re not ready, that we need to learn more, become more – always more. Just this week I had an incredibly gifted, educated, and experienced client tell me that it would probably take her a year to develop the arc of her new work, when in truth, she could probably jump into it tomorrow if the right client appeared.

We resist the inevitable call of change because we’re scared of going beyond our known borders for fear of what we might encounter.

We tell ourselves we’re too young or too old or too something. Or that it will ask too much of us, and that we simply don’t have what it takes. And a thousand other “reasons” that can all sound very convincing in the moment.

One of the ways I’ve hidden is behind the belief that I’m a stranger in a strange land and no one really gets me or wants what I have to offer.  My ideas are too “out there”, too crazy, wild, and innovative, too far ahead of even the leading edge so that they fall on deaf or bewildered ears.

For decades I lived unconsciously inside of this belief, doing really interesting things in a small secluded pond, with a few other crazy outliers. And then seriously dimming myself down when out in a more mainstream context. It felt like a good compromise – at least I could use some of the gifts I’ve been given and unfold some wisps of a vision.

caged-woman.jpgFor too long I fully believed this was all that was available to me – even as I yearned to relinquish the hidden safety of still water and dive headfirst into the wild tumultuous current of a river that was flowing headlong in response to its own deeper calling.

So what if our many variations on hiding are all bullshit? What if you could shine the light of consciousness on these beliefs and behaviors that keep you hiding and playing smaller and safer than what your soul yearns for?

And what if with that awareness, you could decide differently?

Several years ago I did some inner exploration and discovered this core belief that had kept me in hiding my whole life. From there, I started to see many of the previously invisible-to-me behaviors I was engaging in that were primarily intended to keep me hidden.

Deciding to choose differently marked the birth of the business I have now. It’s what allowed for the impact and success I’ve created since then.

And it’s what’s brought me to this threshold of starting a very exciting second business, something I had considered six years ago but was too entrenched in hiding to seriously pursue. But now I’m ready!

Have I come fully out the other side of this belief and relinquished all manner of hiding?

No. As my vision grows and evolves, I still have to work with this belief and the tendencies it engenders, only it’s at a new level.

I need to pay attention and be on the lookout for the more sophisticated strategies my ego has come up with to keep me hidden. Fortunately there are less of them, and I’m on to them sooner. But they still exist here and there.

Over the holidays I was inspired to choose a few words for the year to act as guiding themes. One of my words is “edgewalking”.

This is all about walking the emerging edge of new possibilities, innovative ideas, ways of doing and being that evolve us individually and collectively. Of course for me, these edges are in the arena of conscious business.

edgewalking.jpgBut it’s not edgewalking alone in the dark forest where I’m safely hidden. It’s walking the edge out in the open. Not always knowing where I’m going or what’s around the bend.

Falling when I do and then picking myself up – perhaps with the help of others who, rather than judge me, lend a hand because they too know what it’s like to fall. And then carrying on.

So for you, how would it be to get hip to the clever ways you’ve been keeping your brilliant self hidden, and choose differently?

How would it be to come out of hiding, take the next extraordinary step in unfolding your vision, then the next?

How would it be to exceed your wildest expectations of yourself this year?

If you’re willing to be really honest with yourself, what are some of the ways in which you tend to hide? Or even just one way? And what do you want to decide to do differently, starting now?

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