This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a part of back-to-back experiences doing what I love: using conversation and connection to share and generate new perspectives that cause more creativity and possibilities to emerge. On Saturday, a small group of women came together for a goal setting workshop where we discussed and defined personal values and shared what things we are looking to create in the coming months, year, and in our lives in general.
On Sunday, I was honoured to sit as a panelist to wrap up a speaker series put on by my friends and Kit + Ace, and Saje Wellness. Myself and four other speakers were asked several insightful questions and offered our unique perspectives, strategies, and commentary. It was interesting to be put so explicitly in the seat of "subject matter expert", a seat I have always wanted to be in, but never felt worthy of occupying. And yet there I found myself.
One of the participants asked us how we overcome the fear of judgement of what other people think about us and my honest response was I haven't figured that out yet! Every time I put anything out in to the world (writing, a new program, a social media post) a whole slew of fearful thoughts go through my mind before I hit send or post. And I keep showing up anyway.
Another question we were asked was what we do to get uncomfortable. My immediate thought was "this right here", sitting in front of a group of strangers and saying what's true for me, allowing myself to go off-script and stumble and be imperfect. And I keep showing anyway.
As I sit here and reflect on these experiences, I have a hard time not becoming very critical of myself, picking apart each piece of conversation, wondering if I could have said or done something different - been better. The answer is "yes", but I feel as though my internal dialogue is asking the wrong question. Underneath all the discomfort and self-criticism, what I'm really hanging my hat on at the end of the day is the answer to this: "Did I show up, and was I myself?". If the answer is yes, then none of the other stuff matters. So I keep showing up anyway.
Today, whether you interact with only a few people, or you put yourself in front of an audience, show up, be yourself. There's no better feeling.