There was no pretty, sparkly, birds singing. No princess in the woods and fairy tales “a-ha” inspirational moment.
What I experienced was an “oh shit” moment.
Oh shit…. I’ve let this hold me back.
Oh shit…. this has been going on for years.
Oh shit…. this was all in my head.
Oh shit…. this is FEAR. False Events Appearing Real.
This is what happened to me only short time ago at Festival Of Doers in London, where I’ve flew from Texas. I was taking part of one of the ‘doer’ workshops in the afternoon. As our success coach, Silvia Christmann, walked us through the exercises I was amazed at the honesty flowing out of my pen and on to the page of my new notebook. My thoughts came flowing down as quickly as the rain out of the London sky – things I had not dared to admit out loud and had been carrying for years.
Then she challenged us to share those fears with our nearest neighbour. I was in a row by myself. To connect with someone, I would have to move back a row and over three seats, to a woman who was desperately NOT making eye contact with anyone else. Well, Silvia said “pair up” and I’m a rule follower, so over I went!
Although we had little else in common on the surface – we were from separate countries, speaking different originating languages, in different career fields and life paths – myself and my partner soon learned we had written down the same fears.
Over and over again, as we shared, we realised, in any language, women are the same.
Our struggles are the same. And we are all ashamed of telling others about imperfections.
We laughed a bit and hugged and (I finally got my A-ha!). When Silvia challenged us to ALL read our fears out loud together, we all did. And released them. It was so simple!
Relief flooded over me. And this was just the beginning. The connections made, the interests sparked, the challenges issued by Miisa – not to be ‘inspired’ but to go be a “DOER” will resonate throughout the rest of my year in both my personal and professional life.
When I planned this trip, I thought I was going across the pond from Houston to London for a little birthday fun to celebrate the big 4-0 and have a little adventure. I did not know it would allow me to put down burdens I had carried from a trauma that occurred 5 years ago. I did not know it would embolden me and change the way I behaved and the things I would do the rest of my life. I did not know I would leave there walking taller and breathing freer, a new, whole woman starting out on the rest of my life.
Can I tell you, I got WAY more than the ticket I paid for!
And most importantly I realised that it’s so easy to keep going in circles in your own head and keep staying stuck for years. I realised it was ME holding myself back because I was ashamed to share my fears with others. I realised that through a small act of vulnerability, by braving up and sharing our struggles with other women we can release our fears so easily. That’s all it takes to move forward to a bigger life.
I will be embracing these principles of DrivenWoman, treasure the gift of vulnerability and join forces with like-minded people to move forward together.
Alexis Lockhart is a social media executive who flew to Festival Of Doers from Texas, US.