I was thinking about the things I want to accomplish in the next 5 years. Growing my business, and developing my skills so that I can begin to spread my message to a wider audience. I believe I have the ability, I know I have the passion,
but there is one thing holding me back.
I have never written about it, but as I have been exploring the challenges other people have about blogging — something I feel very comfortable with, and doesn’t create much anxiety for me, when I make the time to do it — I have started thinking about the things that hold me back, and how I am overcoming them. It’s easy to tell someone how easy something is when you don’t have any challenges with that thing. So, when I asked myself what it was that was standing between me and my dreams, I realized how paralyzing it feels.
It’s not really fear, it’s more like a dialogue in my head. It’s the resistance, and it has a strong hold on me. I like to feel confident, I like to avoid looking stupid, I like being in control of how my message is being delivered. Writing gives me the satisfaction that I will be able to polish the message before it is delivered. It’s not the same with video.
Video is not in my control.
I am completely comfortable with public speaking. I don’t even mind when my presentations are recorded live. No, the thing holding me back is the dialogue in my head when I am thinking about promoting myself with video.
Everyone has “The Thing” that is holding them back, and this is mine. I decided to share this here, because I want others to know I struggle with this, and by writing it down, I know I will be able to call it out and start defeating the resistance by holding myself accountable to you, my reader.
The Resistance vs the Lightbringer
I have recently begun to learn how to overcome things that hold me back, things that were once hard have become easier, I have practiced, I have leaned into the resistance, and I now know that I have full control of what I do and don’t do. There’s nothing holding me back that isn’t inside of me — there’s no one to blame but me. Yet, the voice in my head is loud, deafening. When I think about video, the voice chides me with this:
“You’re goofy. Your eyes get buggy, you talk too fast, you use your hands too much, you are too excitable, you don’t have a polished, calm delivery like the pros do. You’ll never be someone people hire for a keynote. Don’t let yourself believe that shit about being a nationally recognized speaker, coach and trainer on community building. It’s not possible. You’re not good enough.” — The Resistance.
I buy this. I agree, I stall. “It’s true, every single word is true.” I tell myself. So, I do nothing, and I remain safe.
But when I argue with the resistance, the argument is also true. Which truth do I want to believe? The safe truth, or the truth that challenges me to do more?
On the days I am feeling like pushing back at the resistance, my voice responds with:
That’s what makes you Chrissanne. You have a story to tell, and this is part of it — overcoming this is your work. If you don’t overcome this noise, you’ll always be stuck, and no one wants to listen to that story. Do you think those who have gone before you didn’t have challenges to overcome? Are you going to stay here forever? The cavalry ain’t coming. You are responsible for creating your future. You are not weak. You will do whatever it takes, even if it feels uncomfortable. You are enough — get on with it . — The Lightbringer
I think we all have this duality in our lives. We tend to focus on resistance, because that is the voice we are listening to. We fail to identify the other voice, likely because we are taking action based on the voice of the resistance. We’re letting it have control of our future and allowing its words to drown out the voice of possibility and hope. We so easily identify the resistance, it’s a familiar dance for all of us, and for some reason, we’re not even giving the voice of the light a chance to be heard. We don’t give her a name, but we should, just like we have a name for the resistance, the lizard brain, depression, guilt, shame. Today, I have given the voice of hope and possibility a name.
She is the LightBringer.
I believe if we call out the resistance, we can start the process of understanding, but that alone is not enough. We have to do something about it — I think most of us would agree that when we are aligned with the light, we begin to do the work, more productively and proactively. We begin to win, we begin to shine our light. We begin to do the work.
This is who I want to be. Someone who recognizes the challenges in front of me, who refuses to dance with the resistance, to defy the voice that holds her back from achieving more. To have the ability to shine a bright light into the world, and allow others to do the same.
My hope, is that you will start to listen to your Lightbringer, and help others (including me) do the same as well. Hold yourself accountable, and then let’s hold up the mirror for each other. But don’t ask anyone to listen to the Lightbringer for you. That is something only you can do. In my case, it’s my job now to do the work. To pick up the camera, and point it at myself. What is the Lightbringer telling you in response to the resistance? And what are you going to do about it? Are you going to listen to the resistance? Or are you going to listen to the Lightbringer? I hope you choose the light.
Also published on Medium.