From a very early age, my school reports would repeatedly comment on my quietness and my lack of contribution in class. These kinds of comments didn’t really affect me until I entered my teens and started high school.
My quiet, introverted nature became more obvious as I compared myself to my outgoing, seemingly confident peers. I began to see my personality as inferior.
I held this perception and belief that my personality was inferior right up until my early twenties.
And whilst I knew it was pretty obvious to people that I was quieter than most, I still kept my feelings around it very private.
Because I was ashamed of it!
When someone would say to me, ‘You’re quiet aren’t you?’ I don’t recall ever admitting that I was indeed quiet. I would simply grow more and more annoyed (internally) with each time and try to shrug it off, change the topic, or move away.
Shame is an all pervading and very powerful feeling (just ask Dr Brene Brown), which, left unchecked, has extremely detrimental effects on our mind, body and soul.
It was only when I really began working on myself – by honestly exploring and seeking to understand and heal my thoughts, feelings and experiences so far – that I realised the true impact of this shame on my life.
It was at this point that I decided to train as a wellness coach and for the first time ever, I was invited to write out my ‘life story’ which was to highlight my biggest challenges and biggest breakthroughs.
This was how I identified who I wanted to work with and support once I became certified.
It felt amazing (and still does!) to know so clearly who I wanted to help.
But first of all, I had to actually share my story with others.
Now that didn’t feel amazing. It felt scary as hell.
How could I possibly reveal everything about myself that I had kept private for so many years???
What would my friends and family think if they read it?
Would they think I was pathetic?
Would they feel sorry for me (in the worst way)?
Would they think that I was being too sensitive or too dramatic by revealing my story?
Fortunately, despite all these fearful thoughts, and despite feeling very vulnerable and exposed, I created my first blog where I published my story and…shared it on Facebook *shock horror!*
To my surprise, I received nothing but supportive, encouraging comments.
People started telling me that my story was inspiring.
Wow. I didn’t think I was capable of that. And all I did was share the truth of my experience.
It was then that I started to research more about what being introverted actually meant. I was in for more good news!
I learnt that it’s simply a personality type (no better or worse than any other type); that it’s a lot more common that you think; that it’s to do with our increased sensitivity to stimulating environments and activities (which effects our energy); that it’s to do with how we process information; that it doesn’t equal being shy and lacking confidence.
Wow again! To me, this was revolutionary information that I could actually accept and embrace!
Slowly but surely, I started to feel more comfortable talking about my story, my introversion and my mission, with people in person as well as online.
And now I can confidently say how glad I am that I took that step.
You see, all that shame and fear of judgement that I had lived with finally had an outlet. The intensity of it (that had been confined to my mind) became less and less.
So much so, that today I sometimes find it hard to really remember how it used to feel, since my emotional state – along with my mindset, relationships, health and lifestyle – have transformed so significantly.
I no longer have anything to hide.
So what I want to highlight here is that: the story we least want to tell is the story we most need to tell.
Not only for our own well-being, but for the well-being of others!
Yes it will feel extremely scary, and you’ll face a lot of internal resistance around it…but once you do it, you’ll be setting yourself free.
You’ll be healing yourself and you’ll be healing others. And that ripple effect of healing and inspiration across the planet is more powerful than you can even imagine.
So don’t let your past limit your future.
Don’t let your story so far dictate the rest of your life without you having a say in it.
You are totally capable of healing your shame, both internally (by doing the inner work) and externally (by sharing it with others).
Then, and only then, will you be truly free to rewrite your story (from victim to empowered) and to consciously create your reality from now onward.