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I’ve had some amazing successes, both business and personal, and I’m so grateful for them. I’m happily married and blessed with two wonderful children – a personal miracle – and I’ve built and run a wildly successful dance studio business. But when blogging guru Michael Hyatt dared his audience to share the stories they’ve been hiding, the challenge really hit home.
Because, I’ve been hiding something from you, something that makes me feel ashamed of myself, and when I think of saying it out loud I feel even more embarrassed because it is so ludicrous!
So what is this big secret?
Are you ready?
Here it is…
I’m hiding that I am new at this. Yes, I am a beginner coach. There, I’ve said it.
At this moment I do not have one client. Not one.
And that makes me feel so ashamed.
Trying to get my new coaching business off the ground has taken all my energy and then some. Laying the groundwork, publishing books, crafting opt-ins, hiring web designers, starting groups, JV partnering, book launching, guest blogging, newsletter writing, commenting, sharing, opening accounts on Elance, Canva, Webinarjam, Twitter, Pinterest, Mailchimp, Wishlist, Facebook, Google+, Shelfary, Goodreads – whew! You get the idea, following leads and you-gotta-do-this-if-you-want-to-succeed bits of advice, casting my net far and wide to get this party started and be a bona fide working coach.
It’s been quite a merry-go-round, and boy, is my head spinning!
And all the time, I’ve been concealing this dark secret: I’m a beginner at this.
You see, I thought I couldn’t be that vulnerable in front of my tribe and ‘the public.’
You see, I thought that, as a coach, I had to be the leader, I had to inspire confidence.
You see, even despite all my belief in radical self-love, I thought I had to pretend to be something that I’m not.
But I can’t pretend any longer. The truth is, I’m new at this and I’m still finding my way.
Today, I’m a beginner, and, ouch, it really hurts my pride to say it.
My ego doesn’t like it, not one bit!
I feel my ego struggling even as I write this, urging me to share about my wisdom, my qualifications, my past clients, my past successes, and why I should not be considered a beginner – anything but just sit with the label “beginner,” anything but just stay with that feeling of vulnerability.
And that’s why I must share my secret with you.
You see, keeping up appearances was how I was raised. But all those years of pretending only led to even more years of unwinding the true from the false. In the past, my vulnerability was abused, and I built up a tough shell so as never to be vulnerable. But that shell only kept me from being truly seen, and from being authentic and, yes, vulnerable – the qualities that I value so highly on this amazing path to self-love.
So I’m shouting it from the rooftops: I’m a beginner at this! I’m new here! I’m just starting out on this path!
The thing is, once I’ve said it, it doesn’t feel like such a deep, dark secret anymore. In fact, it seems hardly remarkable at all. And at the same time, I have more compassion for that little girl who lives inside me who’s afraid to look like a beginner.
When I was a ballroom dance teacher, I was very tender with my students’ egos. My students were often high-powered NY professionals willing to look decidedly un-masterful. They agreed to enter my studio as beginners, completely out of their element and perhaps even awkward at first, before they learned the steps. They deserved my care and respect, and I did my best to make the experience fun and positive for them.
Now I realize that I deserve no less.
I want to walk the path of vulnerability that I preach to others: this is where I am today, on this part of the path, and not over there, at the end of the road.
I want to walk the path of faith that I teach to others: my clients will come in their own best time and in their own best way.
I want to walk the path of gratitude that I extol to others: I am so thankful for this part of the journey, even with all the crazy tweeting, commenting, and promoting. It’s a blast, and I love all the amazing, generous, and inspired people I’m meeting.
I want to walk the path of truth because, as my friend Vironika Tugaleva says, “You’ll never know who you are unless you shed who you pretend to be.”
I want to walk the path of honesty because I am just too darn tired to be anything but myself anymore.
Are you in hiding?
Come out, come out, wherever you are!
What would happen if you stopped hiding?
How would life be different if you let people know who you really are?
Is there something you’ve been hiding that you might like to share?
Share in the comments, below. We are loving witnesses for each other.
If you love being read to as much as I do, you can access this post in audio form here:
Reba Linker is a Life Coach and Bestselling Author. Learn more about the path of self-love: my Kindle bestseller, Imagine Self-Love, is on Summer Sale for only $2.99 – http://amzn.to/1HpLTcP