Fear of Exposure

Winter is the time we are most apt to cover ourselves with layers, especially those of us who live in areas where it can be mid-40s in the early morning and mid-60s to low 70s in the afternoon.

We want to keep our bodies warm – keep them from being exposed to the elements. For many of us, the thought of writing brings up fears of exposure of our life and our feelings to others.

Having grown up with an alcoholic mother, I spent most of my teens and early adulthood afraid that others would learn what my home was really like. I rarely talked about what happened there – and then only after I had known someone for a long time. There was no way I would put the truth down on paper.

Yet I was a therapist and an educator. I worked in agencies where it was critical that you write down the work that you did in order to get credit, and in some instances, reimbursement for the work done. Writing was part of what I did every day. Yet every word and thought was carefully screened before being put down on paper.

Eventually the time comes when it is important to share the lessons we have learned from the life we have lived. None of us has lived a life without struggle or difficult decisions to be made. Yet we hesitate to share that part of our lives – the part that makes us most real to the people we want to share our message with.

Marianne Williamson is well known for her quote about fearing our power rather than our inadequacies. My experience has been that the fear that interferes with self-expression, more than the fear of success and showing our leadership skills, is the fear of exposing those ways we are less than perfect.

My mother had a favorite expression “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing – poorly.” I am the middle of five sisters who are each talented in different ways, yet none of us would consider ourselves to be experts in all that we enjoy doing.

One of the more dramatic examples of this is my next older sister Pat who loves music. Unfortunately this is not one of her natural talents. She is basically tone deaf. At different times in her life she has been asked to mouth her words rather than actually sing with the group. She never hesitates to remind us now that the directive in the Bible is to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, not to sing only if you can make harmonious music. And she joyfully joins in with all the others who are singing.

Most of us want the rest of the world to see us as capable and accomplished. We hesitate to expose the steps we took to reach that point. We support and encourage a baby first learning how to walk who falls and gets up again to try another step or two. We are afraid to let others see how we did taking those early steps while learning a new skill or trying to help others with our intuition or other gifts.

Yet sharing the baby steps is how we connect with others – how they can trust that we know what they are going through as they begin to develop a new skill. Or begin to risk sharing themselves thru writing articles or a book.

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Ready to start writing, yet hesitant about how to get started? Give me a call at 843-593-0045 or use this link to schedule your complimentary Enchanted Book Session.

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