This has been a tough week and I have tried to think my way through it yet something still seems unsettled..
Calling myself an ambivert has felt right for a while…I have long since identified with the need to recharge quietly by myself and truly enjoy solitary activities alongside feeling pure joy in the company of others. That being said this week has been extremely eye-opening to how introverted I can be. I have had the privilege to spend time with a group of amazing people while training for our newly launched initiative and I was able to learn from a woman, a speaker, I greatly admire.
A long time ago I heard Gayle speak at a conference. And the manner in which she captivated her audience and shared a powerful, and somewhat emotionally tricky message, changed my life and set me on a public speaking journey that I will be forever grateful for.
A part of me knew that I would be changed forever as a spark ignited deep inside, starting me on a path as a motivational speaker.
My work with poverty awareness has been very rewarding and I am happy to be connected to such an amazing initiative doing great work for my community…I am grateful for what it has taught me about humanity and how my increased self-knowledge and awareness have propelled me on this additional leg of my journey, coaching and supporting other women to find their path.
For awhile now I had not given much thought to how my work with poverty awareness and community involvement had impacted the woman I have become and looking back it seems silly that I have not included it in my story as it is such a part of my every day life. I have come to realize, that for me, my work in poverty awareness can not be the only thing I focus on as it creates an energy imbalance in my soul (which I experienced early on). However by uncovering my ultimate passion, coaching others to take the courageous leap towards their true authentic selves, I realize that my passion was lit by and still holds true in my community work.
This realization comes after a very trying week, inside my head. For the first few days of my training, where I was meant to take in, process and connect this expansive and extremely important initiative to the comprehensive work being done in my community; where so many community partners are counting on this new initiative to make a significant difference…
My introvertness (is that even a f’n word??…shit well it is now!) reeked havoc on me for 2 solid days. Maybe because I am just coming off have the flu…who knows?!? What I do know is that during the first few hours of the very first day, while the team of trainers poured their heart and soul into ensuring we felt welcome and supported, I proceeded to have a panic attack (which I did my best to keep to myself).
I was sweating, I couldn’t really hear or comprehend what was happening. I had tunnel vision that went in and out of focus and yet I still managed to speak when spoken to and “look” like I was engaged.
I couldn’t understand why I felt the way I did…I started to think that maybe I wasn’t the right person for this job, that I obviously didn’t care enough, or was engaged enough. That I wasn’t prepared to handle the work load or the politics or the bureaucracy. I envisioned myself failing and letting people down and not being able to step up and do the work. I had convinced myself that I was the wrong person at the wrong time and I was a complete and utter fraud
Holy shit …
it was like “Inner Critics Gone Wild” up in my head!
I have been shooing away similar thought for months, since I got this job actually. I had been thinking that because I have desires to be an entrepreneur and follow my dreams to coach women like myself that I could not also be good at this work.
BULLSHIT!! Right now I call BULLSHIT on myself!
Not until right now, as I write this, did I realize (or reflect on) the fact that I have experienced many different levels of anxiety in many situations where I have been asked to participate, share my thoughts and or do an activity that was new to me with other people. Where I was not in control, not the one with all the right answers, not the one people were turning to.
The panic attack I had on the first day and the smaller one I had on the second day, (I am just realizing now), are the extreme effects of my perfectionism. I may have thought that I was in recovery from this debilitating dis-ease, that I had been working very hard to put myself in “uncomfortable” situations, trying new things, saying yes often. Yet the one realm I had yet to challenge myself in was discomfort that I did NOT plan.
Wow that sounds so fucked up. Here I am over here…spewing out posts and memes about change and empowerment, priding myself on being this “evolved” person who steps outside her comfort zone, only to realize that, that is true, but only when it’s on my terms.
I am not quite as evolved as I’d thought!
And that’s okay!
The amazing thing is, that I have had this time today to reflect on my actions and my thoughts. I’ve been away from home all week and been able to rest and relax when not at the training. I’ve been meditating every day, which has helped me to keep my cool even while my insides were trying to lurch out of my body. I’ve kept up with my journalling and my art in my hotel room which has been comforting. And I believe that because of the self-care systems I have in place, including the writing of this blog, I feel a great sense of peace right now.
I feel so light, enlightened even.
I am so grateful for the time to clarify this new layer of my Self.
The awareness feels relaxing and invigorating simultaneously!
Will I have more panic attacks and moments of deep discomfort in the future? You betcha! And now I will recognize it for what it is…learning! It is one of the more powerful and visceral responses my body has to the process of changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Growth takes courage and stamina, energy and trust. Change of this nature is not passive it is intensely felt physically, emotionally and spiritually.
As I have said many times before, learning creates the environment where change can happen, change that is necessary for the growth we desire. And no learning occurs in your comfort zone… so get ready to be uncomfortable.
Okay universe… I get it NOW…NOW I’m ready!
All good things are rooted in love, laughter and learning!