“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”—Brené Brown
Breathe. This is it. The first step. Don’t worry about what to write. Just write. Oh, and keep breathing.
This is my first blog post. If you’re here reading this, welcome…and thank you! Yes, I’ve got some fears. What if I’m not a good enough writer? What if I don’t know enough? What if no one reads it? What if everyone reads it? Making a decision to open up and share parts of myself that I’ve kept hidden for so long feels really vulnerable. The fear of being exposed, of being judged, of feeling shamed, of failing, of not being perfect, is very real.
As Brené Brown says, “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” So, this is me showing up and allowing myself to be seen. I’ve told my inner critic, whose name is Merciless, to take a seat, I’ve got this.
Fear can be exhausting and paralyzing. It can also be exhilarating and liberating. By facing our fears and summoning up the courage to overcome them, we learn how to be brave, how to slay our dragons, how to trust ourselves, and how to live life fully and unapologetically.
I have learned through my journey of self-discovery and recovery from an eating disorder that fear is what we feel and courage is what we gain when we step into that fear and choose to move forward anyway. Courage keeps us moving toward our desired goals and dreams. Fear, if we let it, will hold us back. It may help us feel safe temporarily but eventually that safety will turn into stagnation, and when we’re stagnant we’re stuck. Stuck isn’t a fun place to live. Trust me, I’ve been there. Stuck can keep us in the dark, isolated shadows of shame, preventing us from living our best lives.
Is there an area in your life where you are feeling stuck? Is there something you’re afraid of? Maybe you’re not sure what you’re feeling but you know you want something more out of life. Perhaps you have a story similar to mine of years of chronic dieting, disordered eating and self-loathing. Maybe you’re looking for a way to get off that dieting roller-coaster but don’t see a safe way to do that. It’s understandable. It can be scary, given this diet-obsessed world we live in. Maybe you also have a merciless inner critic telling you you’re too big, too small, too short, too tall, too quiet, too loud, too messy, too weird, too broken, too much or not enough.
What if I told you none of those things are true and instead helped you believe that you are just right? Exactly as you are. What if you believed right now, in this moment, that you are the perfect amount of you? What would that feel like?
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a world where you weren’t on a constant journey to fix yourself. No need to shrink yourself or change your body, no need to meet other people’s expectations of you. Imagine the freedom and joy you would feel. It’s possible, I promise.
Are you ready to step into your own fears, show up and let yourself be seen? I hope so. Your life is waiting.