Sharing your story is terrifying.
I want to tell you what is even more terrifying.
Living your life locked away inside of yourself. Feeling as if you aren’t good enough or aren’t worthy of anything in your life. Feeling trapped in your own story is painful and dark.
The only way to move past that darkness is to light the light in. Sharing your story is terrifying but living your life smaller than you should be is something that you will regret.
As I get older, I realize that regrets are the only true pain in this life.
You see, the thing is, I remember that feeling of being terrified. Like I was going to be judged and blamed for everything. However, I was already blaming and judging myself so there was no amount of judgment or blame that anyone else could give me that I already didn’t give to myself.
Instead, there was this weight that was lifted off of me.
FEELING THE WEIGHT OF RELIEF FROM SHARING YOUR STORY
The weight that lifted meant freedom.
Freedom from trying to hide.
Freedom from the past.
Freedom from him.
Freedom to heal.
There was no longer this burden of secrecy that had to be kept. It was out in the open and that meant that I had let in a sliver of light into the darkness that had taken over. When that darkness feels that light, it wants more of it. It wants to be consumed with the warmth that the light brings and so you begin to heal.
When I was hiding what had happened, I still felt like everyone knew. Like they could just see it written all over me. The shame that came with that alone, paralyzed me. I hid myself.
I hid my true self from my husband.
I hid my true self from my kids.
I hid my true self from myself.
There comes a point in time when the fear becomes bigger than you. When everywhere you look, you see pieces of yourself disappearing. Eventually, you feel like a shadow walking among people. They don’t see you. They don’t notice the pain even though you want someone to desperately see it without having to say it out loud. You secretly wish that they would hold you and tell you that everything is going to be okay. That doesn’t happen. Not because people don’t want to do it BUT because we are holding so tight to keep the secret that we don’t let anyone in.
How do you move past that fear?
How do you step into your power and begin to love yourself?
How do you begin?
5 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO OVERCOME FEARS OF SHARING YOUR STORY
I felt the fear all the way from writing that first blog post to hitting the publish button.
I felt the fear as I typed my blog post link into a Facebook group and shared it with a group of moms.
I felt the fear as I waited for the judgments to come in via message or left as comments on that blog post.
And then something different happened.
I began to get messages from women but they were different than the ones that I imagined they were going to be.
Instead, they were messages of hope and love.
Instead, they were messages of me too.
Instead, they were messages of thank yous and you are not alone.
Messages that I was craving from the moment that my sexual assault happened. Messages that I needed to hear for eleven years. They all came pouring in and that is when I knew that fear was a liar.
Fear was never keeping me safe. It was keeping me trapped. The only way that fear has power is to maintain the darkness inside. Fear itself is scared that you will leave and not look back. It doesn’t want to be alone so it makes you feel alone.
Start small and with a safe story
When you first start sharing your story, you don’t need to begin with the scariest experience of your life. Start small and grow from there.
I call them safe stories. What is an experience that you have had that you can share without bringing up massive feelings? What is an experience that you have had that you can talk about easily and share what you learned through the process?
Start with a safe story and build from there. It really doesn’t matter the story that you share. What matters is that you share your truth and you share it from your perspective. I don’t believe in sugar-coating our experiences. We all experience life in different ways. Share your experience and let others connect with you.
Share it with strangers and not family
Honestly, it is probably easier to share your story with complete strangers than it is to share it with family. It felt safer for me to share it with people who didn’t know me.
Sometimes those closest to us just don’t understand how or why a certain experience happened. They may also have a harder time understanding and trying to comprehend what happened.
My family would have been supportive BUT I also didn’t want them to feel the anger and hurt that I was feeling and so I decided not to tell them. There are so many reasons and they are unique to you.
Ask yourself if you will regret not sharing it
I talked about regret above. I am learning to live my life in a way that I don’t regret anything that I haven’t done. If that means doing something and failing, that is okay. 0
Once I shared my story, I truly wish that I would have decided earlier that my life was worthy of my goals and dreams. I wish that I would have had the courage to share my story sooner.
I do know that I needed my life to work out as it did because it took me on a journey that allows me to help others today. For that, I am grateful for the pain and darkness. My hope is that even if one person decides to share her story after reading this then I have fulfilled my purpose.
Have a trusted friend you can talk to
I know that this isn’t always as easy as it seems. Having someone in your corner can be difficult. I want you to know that if you don’t have anyone in your corner, I will be that person for you. Reach out to me and I will be there to listen and support you.
The best thing that I learned from my best friend, Jody, is how to start a conversation. She has this incredible way of asking me…
Do you need me to give you advice or do you just need me to listen?
This is my goal for you. I will be there to give you advice or to just listen. Find someone like this so that you will always have an ear that will be there when you need them.
It will get easier the more that you do it. It is like building muscle.
Keep showing up.
Here are more healing tips that can help you take control of your healing. There may be times when it feels like it is for nothing but there is something that I want you to remember.
You are showing up for yourself. Healing is slow and intentional. It isn’t always going to be beautiful and honestly, healing isn’t beautiful. It is dark and lonely but when you start to see and feel the transformation that the healing is bringing, you will know that you were correct in continuing.
I also want you to know that you aren’t doing this for those readers who are commenting on the blog posts that you publish or the social media posts that you create. You are doing this for the silent followers. The ones that you don’t even know exist. They do not yet have their voice ready to be heard but every day you decide to show up, you are giving them the strength to do the same thing.
You beautiful are changing the world and don’t even know it.
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