“This is it, don’t get scared now.” (Name that movie!)
We’re a quarter of the way into 2021 and we’ve spent time focusing on action planning, self-love, and fulfillment of our needs. Not bad for three months, right? You didn’t know it at the time, but we’ve been steadily working our way toward this month’s focus and I am SO EXCITED. It’s time to put ourselves OUT THERE! It might sound a little scary (or very scary, depending on your personal feelings) but I promise it’s going to be okay. Take a deep breath with me and get ready to grow.
Before we actually take that step out of our comfort zones, you can breathe a sigh of relief because we’re going to start by taking some time to think. To ease into more challenging territory, I have always found it helpful to mentally “gear up.” (We’re not just going to jump out of the plane and free fall without reviewing how to release the parachute.) So, let’s start by reflecting. Ask yourself this: how does being “seen” make you feel? Nervous or scared? Maybe a little excited? All of the above? It’s important to take an honest look at these feelings. You might even want to journal about them. Here are some prompts to get you started:
· How you do you feel about being seen on a physical level?
· Then take it deeper. Do you feel differently about being seen physically as opposed to emotionally, mentally or artistically?
· Why do you think you feel this way?
· Is there some root issue shared by each level? Or are there different fears associated with each?
· Can you think of ways to overcome these issues/fears right now?· Do you need help with this process?
Consider everything! You deserve to give yourself the time and space to look at your feelings and answer these questions. Once you’ve put pen to paper and culled through your thoughts, I want you to reflect on what you wrote. Did you come to any realizations? I will say again, it’s so important to be honest with yourself here. Remember, everything you feel is valid. The good, the bad, the ugly. It’s all okay. Facing our fears is all about learning how to work with those emotions and allowing them to serve us rather than to hold us back. Sometimes, our emotions can be hard to deal with and we’d prefer to put them on the back-burner rather than face them head on. But it’s important to take the time to listen and actually hear yourself. That’s the only way to really move forward and grow.
As artists, we must always remember that emotions lead to some of the most compelling art. Facing my emotions and then channeling them into something beautiful is why I love being an artist. If you found something especially challenging pop up during this self-reflection exercise, maybe you can use it to your advantage. Write a song. Paint. Choreograph a dance. Find a way to pour those feelings into something creative and see what you come up with. If you find this is a particularly challenging feat for yourself, take a look at my coaching offerings. I have been there myself, and with clients struggling to do the same – sometimes a little help is all you need to make a big breakthrough.
I never regret giving myself the space I need to get in touch with my feelings. It serves me so well, in art and in life. I hope you found this reflection exercise helpful. With this new self-awareness in mind, what should you do next? Do you remember earlier this year when I talked about the Kaizen Muse principle of small steps? (If you’re new, check that post out here!) Let’s apply that same principle to putting ourselves out there. Have one small goal for yourself and start by conquering that. Maybe it won’t be as hard as you thought. Or maybe it will be excruciating but doing it will give you that effervescent feeling of accomplishment and that is a high that’s hard to beat! Regardless of how you feel during the task, I bet you find yourself inspired to keep going once it’s completed. You build momentum with each step you take, regardless of size. Once you’ve reached your first goal, you don’t have to jump to big action steps. You can continue to keep them small and manageable so you don’t get overwhelmed. One of the most common productivity-killers is feeling overwhelmed, so it’s very important that you don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Practice patience with yourself and you’ll be amazed at how much progress you’re able to make.
To keep things moving forward, I challenge you to write out some small action steps you can take this week to start working towards one of your goals. Let me know what you’re going to do in the comments below and keep me updated with your progress! I know you can do this and I am here to cheer you on every step of the way.