Are you hiding your true self behind a facade? Scared to let yourself be seen for who you are, to showcase your gifts, or to speak. up for what you care about?
Standing out can be scary- especially when we're standing out for who we really are: for what means the most to us, what we're most passionate about...for what we really care about. It's an incredibly vulnerable place, because when we attract that attention, we open ourselves to a more personal type of rejection.
...Sometimes, it feels so much easier to just blend in, doesn't it?
Just like anything, what's easiest isn't what is most worthwhile. The cost of blending in, of not letting yourself stand out, is so much true connection, opportunity, and alignment, waiting for you at the other side.
Join us for Episode 8 of The High Esteem Podcast for more on WHY you should stand out, and what there is to gain when you do.
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Welcome back, guys, welcome back to the High Esteem Podcast. You know, this whole podcasting thing every week brings me a new lesson. And I am reminding myself as I remind all of you to enjoy the process, because it's actually often quite funny. I'm sure you all have that experience at a job or in your life in general, where you've had to record an answering machine greeting. And I was just redoing my podcast intro to make it a little bit clear. And it took everything to remind myself and I even did it a couple times. to not say, Hello, you have reached the high esteem podcast. And yeah, because what else do we do that? You know, when else do we record our voices over and over and over saying a greeting and announcing who we are. So you know, something in my brain just kept saying like it kept going to that example, and having to fight it was making it takes so much longer to record my greeting. Also, it's kind of the same process, right? You can never get it quite right, you can't get the right expression. We had to do it many times. And just for those of you who are starting a new podcast, because I talked so much of a certain new things and going for those things that you want to do. I want to make sure I'm speaking to you people, if you are out there starting a podcast, we are all doing it. We're all fumbling behind the scenes, and we're all figuring it out. Okay, so let's just laugh about it together, let's have fun about the process. I know drop into the highest team Facebook group is called your high esteem. And let me know how that's going for you. Because I would love to have someone else to talk to you about that experience. And we can help each other through it on that confidence journey, right, which is what that group is all about. So this week's episode couldn't be more in line with where I am in my life right now, which is, frankly, a very exciting and scary place. And it's a place that I have wanted to be in for a long time. But a place I was scared to be in for a long time. And really, it has been like a lifelong journey to say the least. And I'm sure so many of you can relate. And I'm talking about the process of learning how to stand out. And so we talked a lot about authenticity on this podcast, right? About being yourself and owning your strengths as we did in the last episode and all that stuff. And part of that, you know, we own it for ourselves. And then and then what? Right, we really want to reap the benefits of those gifts, we have to get to a point where we can take those steps to allow people to see them. And it is terrifying.
Believe it or not, your girl here was actually really scared of standing up. I used to never talk in class. Honestly, anyone I work with who's probably listening to this is like, well, because once I started, I truly could not shut up. But I I was so scared to you know, when I was younger, I'm talking elementary school, I'm talking High School, I'm talking the first three years of university. It was only in my final year of my undergrad that I actually started to speak up in class. And then it continued through my master's degree. And I did a post grad certificate as well. And people used to say to me like, yeah, right when I told them that, because I found out that when I was actually participating, I could pay better attention and be more engaged and learn better. And for the ADHD brain, let me tell you that it's very important to be engaged. But I was so scared of the criticism, right, I was so scared of being seen. Because a give me a chance to be seen as what I didn't want to be seen as, right. So I had a complex about whether or not I was smart when I was younger. And that also ties down to some of that self esteem stuff that that does come along with undiagnosed ADHD when your brain works a little different. And sometimes you're a little bit delayed when people are talking to you or, you know, you might not see things the same way. Right away, you might have a different learning style. And so I had this complex about that. And I was scared of being found out right, I was scared of people seeing that I didn't know as much as them, which wasn't actually true. It was my perception. But regardless, I didn't want to have
My worst fears materialized, which I thought might happen if I actually allowed myself to stand out a little bit. And I knew all along that I had stuff to say, right? I had that like burning thing inside that was like a no, yes, actually, that I was, you know, at the tip of my tongue that I wanted to speak out about. But there was always that doubt that that element of people are going to notice, and therefore, what does that mean? And again, going back to the unknown, you know, I've talked about this, the fact that when we don't know things, when we don't have that new information at our hands, because we haven't allowed ourselves to experience that, we fill in the gaps with our minds, right, with our anxiety, with our perceptions, with our catastrophic ideas of everything that could go wrong. So we tell ourselves that we're going to be criticized, right? And we could be right, we are opening ourselves to criticism and judgment that is absolutely true when we're standing out. But what we miss is the fact that we're also opening ourselves to opportunity, we're opening ourselves to praise, we're opening ourselves up to things like mentorship, and we're opening our things ourselves to things like connection, right? Because when we're out there, when we're being our real selves, when we're talking about our interests, speaking up about our beliefs, whatever we're, we're standing out with, right, even if that's just our personality shining through, we're showing people who we are so that the right people, and the right opportunities can find us know, for any Bernie brown fans out there. I am a huge fan of hers myself. And she talks a lot about her research on shame, and her research on vulnerability. And it all comes down to the fact that vulnerability is necessary for connection, we need to be vulnerable. In order to find connection, we need that authenticity that comes with a vulnerability to really connect with people and have ourselves be seen and heard, right. And standing out is as vulnerable as it gets. in whatever area of your life letting yourself be seen is so vulnerable, especially when we're coming from a place of authenticity, because we take those criticisms, personally, because because they're us. And that's why so many of us put on, I was gonna say a mask, but I feel like this is the wrong time in the world to say that everyone wear your masks,
we put on a facade and essentially hide behind the facade, then we're not standing out right, then, you know, we might be speaking out. But we asked inside who we really are, is not standing out, we're not being seen. And therefore their criticisms we can take less personally, right? It doesn't mean as much because it never really mattered that much to us, because it wasn't really us. And I think that's why so many of us hide behind these facades, because it's so much more vulnerable, for our true selves to be open to all of that judgment. That's a really scary place, let's be real. And that truly is the journey of an entrepreneur who is creating content for an online business. because let me tell you, when I started this, I didn't have an audience. So where was I putting all of this on Facebook with my friends and family and I still am, they're still there. And I still use that same account. But for me, it's been so much scarier to be seen to the people who I know. And I don't know why I think it's cuz because they know me. And I'm really exposing myself and I guess because their criticism and judgment matters more to me. It has been such a scary process. I started off by posting my first video, and literally hiding under the covers and putting my phone in airplane mode until the next day, and just like screaming under my pillow, and that that's just real, right because I have that idea in my head. And I'm I'm sure that this sentence is going to ring true for so many other entrepreneurs, so many people doing new scary things, and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone. But there's this idea of now people are noticing me What if I fail and they see it? Will I ever come back from that when this is the true me putting myself forward in a way I've always wanted to and I've been so scared to do and what happens if I fail and they see it and there are so many parts of that that I can kind of pull apart here because a What is this idea of failure? Is it me making a mistake with my brand that you know choosing to go a different direction and people seeing that
Because why is that a failure? Is that not making money? Why is that a failure? Why can't that all be part of the process? Right? And then there's also that piece of why are you assuming you're going to fail? And why is failure such a bad thing when mistakes are necessary in this world, and also, what else might come from it? What else might be noticed bring you. And I can tell you that as my business has been picking up, as my brand has been growing, as more people have started to notice my content, it is all the more terrifying, but I'm getting praise rather than criticism. For the most part, there's a lot of good stuff that comes along with that, you have people really impressed by your ability to step out of your comfort zone, and other people are coming to me and telling me how that's helped them watching my journey. And then you know, I'm having people at my workplace, notice my business and notice my podcast and come talk to me about it, which is terrifying because of how open I am on here. Right, I talk about my ADHD journey, I talk about my professional journey, I talk about being fired in the past. And, you know, I'm having the opportunity to see that people hear all of this through an inspirational lens, where they recognize me for all of my strengths. And they see that as part of my process and not as a failure. And they're able to recognize that this is something positive that I'm doing and see the assets that I have, that I'm also able to bring into my other work as a social worker, right. And that idea is still in my head. But it's so important that I got out here and did this. Because otherwise, those strings aren't being recognized. And those those strengths that we bring forward in our everyday life can really transfer over into other areas of our lives, they blend over, they cross the boundaries, it's our whole self. And when we're seen for that, that's where the opportunities start coming. That's where you start to actually get that validation and that praise that says, Oh, wait, I actually am accepted as who I am. And back to that connection piece, right? We might weed some people out in this process of standing out, there will be people who don't like you. And I'm sorry to say that, you know, and there are always people who don't like us. But why do we want to spend time with the people that we don't mesh with, right? Because we likely if we're not matching the values of those people, if we don't have commonalities, at least in our outlook on the world or worldview, then they're not going to be the ones that we really want in our lives, because we're not vibing with them. So we weed out the people who don't fit. And then so much opportunity comes for connection with people who do, right, how do we find each other, we don't find each other when we're all hiding behind that facade, or we're just staying silent. Right, we're connecting on a superficial basis in that regard. And, and we're not having an opportunity to really get to know each other. And then when like minded people meet, incredible stuff happens, right? People have business ideas, they collaborate on people, you know, put together political campaigns, and they work on causes that they care about. And they have genuine connected friendships where they're there for each other. And they, you know, find people who meet their unique needs. And all of that is so beautiful, but it really isn't possible when we're not standing out. And guys, this also means in in your workplace, right? Like, I had a really great moment with my manager the other day, where she told me that one of the things that she liked about me was the fact that I literally outed myself as a queer woman. In our interview, we were talking about diversity and inclusion, and I thought that my lived experience would be important for future clients. So I said that I said, you know, as a queer woman, this is something important to me, because, you know, I know what I would be looking for and in a therapist, and I'm able to bring that critical lens through my own experiences. You know, I didn't even remember saying this to my manager, but the fact that she appreciated it, and it was part of what I was hired based on was, I guess, my story and that authenticity and how I was able to bring that forward into an interview. So you know, there might have been an employer who was like, oh, to open, you know, not stuffy professionalism, not what I wanted. But ultimately, I would have been way less happy on that team than where I ended up. So you know, it, it all comes down to what you bring forward, is what you're going to get right and if we're bringing forward something that is not the real us, then we're gonna find misalignment in our lives. We're going to find that we feel stuck and we don't feel like we're in the right place and we feel stifled and we feel like we have so much potential and can't get it out where we are
Because we went in under false pretenses, and we were hired based on that, and we formed friendships based on that, or regarding relationships based on that. And then we wonder how it happened. And we blame the world for, you know, not giving us the experience that we want when we're really participating in it, in a sense, and I'm sure you've all heard the term, the personal is political. This is where I really practice that because I truly, with every fiber in my being, believe that if we want to create a better world where we're more connected, and people are more at peace being themselves, then we have to practice what we preach, we have to actually put that into action every day. So if I am showing my vulnerability, and even some of my failures, and showing people that I come back from that, and I am resilient, and I get through it, then that opens up the door for someone else experiencing that to feel less alone and feel like that's normalized and wait, hey, you know, maybe that wouldn't be so bad. If I talk about my experiences with ADHD, maybe I make someone else who has spent their life losing things and being told her making careless mistakes, and maybe being called stupid or being yelled at for not paying attention. Maybe I make them feel less alone. If I talk about my experiences with anxiety, maybe that's the same thing. And this is something that I really think means a lot to a lot of people. It's visibility, which matters in so many areas, you know, it matters that we see people like us reflected in the world, with our sexuality, with our gender identity, with race, with class, with our personalities with all of it, we need to see ourselves reflected. So when we're not standing out, were still participating in this idea that it's only okay for certain people to stand out for a certain facade to stand out. And then we contribute to more people struggling like we are. And you know, we're all at our own point in that process, right? I'm not saying that I'm not judging people for not doing it, it's scary is hard, but it's so valuable. And I really do think that our world would be so in such a better place, if we all found a way to do so. And found where we fit and we belong, and that we were able to fight the stigma around that. And in fact, the shame should go to people who criticize that, who criticize that authenticity, because as long as someone is not causing harm to other human beings, then I am never going to judge them for being themselves. You can be the quote unquote, weirdest person ever you can be, I don't know, I don't, even if our personalities don't fit. And then always, as long as you're true to yourself and true to other people, and you're honest, and you're not causing harm, I am going to respect and I am probably going to admire your ability to be yourself all the more. So the more different you are. And I'm sure there are other people feel that way too. In fact, I know that because one of the things that I get a lot in my work, all of my work, my work as a social worker, actually, within my relationships. And also from this podcast, the feedback I get is that it feels like they're talking to a friend. And it's really refreshing. Because I myself, and it's my favorite compliment guys is honestly my favorite compliment. Because, yeah, I really don't fake it. But I and because of that, like I will say I have great connections, the clients that come to me connect with me, I've ended up in a workplace that I really like, I have really true friendships, and I have a great relationship where I don't actually feel like I have to hide anything in terms of who I am. And if other people are feeling that and they're saying it, then I know that it means something that I know that I'm right when it comes to that activism, that everyday activism of being yourself so that other people can too. And it's not the traditional way we think of activism. But I think the small everyday things make great changes in the world. And I really want to encourage other people to be part of that with me because
Heck, the world will be a way better place when when we do. So being yourself. necessary for authentic growth necessary for connection, necessary for opportunities. standing out as yourself is necessary to be seen. Have your skill scene be recognized and land in the places you want to be and be you know, live aligned life guys. That's a big reason why I started this podcast is to help people find that alignment. So if there's anything that I can do to help you find that courage that exists within you exists within all of us. You're all resilient. You just don't know it yet. If I can help you find that inspiration to start putting yourself out there.
Connect with me join my facebook group, I want to start doing more of this there. But I really want to break that cycle, the one where you feel alone, because you're not seeing yourself reflected in the world. And then you don't think good things, good relationships, good jobs, good careers, good friendships are possible for you. And then so you don't stand out. And then other people feel alone, because they're not seeing you in the world. And we just keep perpetuating it. So let's please stop, please stop. And start by connecting with me connecting with the Facebook community, I really want to get this conversation going in there. Because that solidarity, that connection is so important. And chances are, if you liked this podcast, if you're inspired by it, then we have similar vibes, and we will probably Connect very well. So I'm really excited to see you all in there. And I hope you liked this episode. And I want to leave it off with something that someone wrote to me one day, and I promise this isn't me here. I am like women, we apologize for everything. But I'm not trying to bolster myself too much is what I was about to say. But how fuck that I guess I will. But someone had said to me once, it was actually a little game I had I guess before I went to New Zealand for a year on a student exchange. And I had it with a little fishbowl. And I had, like little pieces of paper for people to leave me messages that I could read when I was homesick. And I'll never forget it. And I still have it stored at my mom's house. But the thing that the nicest thing that someone wrote, I still don't know who it was. But I think I have a hunch. And it just said your openness makes me feel less alone. And that is my mission. In my business in my life on this podcast. If nothing else, if I can make other people feel less alone, by being a little weird and standing out and talking about my past experiences and if I if that transparency paves a path for other people to find true connection to stand out as who they are, and to find their place in the world and their purpose and their aligned path because of it, then I'm doing my job. Okay, everyone that is it for today. If you liked this episode, don't forget to hit subscribe and leave me a review because of course it really helps me and my podcast out for more tips, training and tools help you hold yourself in high esteem. Follow me on my Instagram page at your underscore high underscore esteem underscore and join the your high esteem Facebook group through the link in the show notes if you would like to do this work with your community together in my group. To learn more about me and my private coaching, head over to www dot high esteem coaching.com and browse my programs and free tools there. Thanks so much for tuning in. And I'm so excited to see you all in the next episode. Bye everyone.