It’s Time To Stop Hiding
In the work I do one of the things I notice is that people think they ‘must be the only one who __(fill in the blank)__’… When people believe they’re the only one who feels that way/ thinks that way/ is dealing with that thing, they judge themselves as ‘there’s something wrong with me’ and in turn they tend to feel bad about themselves; in coach lingo that would be they ‘disempower’ themselves.
Disempowerment sucks. It really does. It has you question yourself and feel a level of shame about yourself. It has you question your value or your worth and it holds you back and has you play a smaller game than what you’re capable of or are actually interested in playing. It has you settle…
With that in mind, I wanted to share a universal truth with you in the hopes of shifting the disempowerment needle. Ok. Here goes: you are not alone.
Let me say that one more time…
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Sometimes it can be hard to believe that’s true… because come on let’s face it, when you look at everyone else from the outside, there’s no way other people could be feeling/ thinking/ doing what you’re feeling/ thinking/ doing. Right?
Listen. I know, like I know, like I know, that you are not the only one. Period. You’re not alone in having made the ‘bad’ choice or having done the ‘bad’ thing. You are not alone in questioning if you can ‘do it’ (whatever that is) or if you’re doing a good enough job. You are not alone in feeling depression, anxiety, overwhelm, frustration, or defeat. You are not alone in feeling angry or disappointed about how your life has worked out. You are not alone in questioning your purpose. You are not alone in feeling not good enough. You are not even alone in feeling like you’re alone! You are simply not alone.
Now I know that’s easy enough for me to say… way harder for you to believe I’m sure. I still feel like it’s an important discussion to have though, so hear me out.
When you feel like you’re alone a few things happen. Firstly you tend to emotionally (and sometimes even physically) separate yourself (even more than you have already) from people. It’s like part of you believes that since ‘there’s something wrong with you’ it’s better if you keep yourself at a distance from other people… Because if they found out what YOU were dealing with or what was WRONG with you, then for sure they’d judge you as ‘wrong’ and they’d definitely not want to be connected to you.
Of course that’s not actually the truth, yet we still seem to believe it. This act of separation creates more of an experience of being alone, thus perpetuating the feeling of ‘there’s something wrong with me’, which amplifies the need for separation from others… It’s a pretty vicious cycle if you don’t put a stop to it.
The thing is, as a human being you are designed for being connected to other people – your psychological wellbeing depends on it quite frankly. The more you believe you are alone and therefore separate yourself, the more you break connections in your life with people. Even if you are still physically connected with people the emotional separation or distance you create pushes you further down the hole of disempowerment, making it that much harder to climb out of.
So here’s the thing… as counterintuitive as it may seem, you need to talk about whatever it is that’s making you feel alone. I understand that idea could seem extremely confronting and I promise, it’s the thing that will make the difference. Experiencing genuine connection with another human being will help reduce the experience of feeling alone and disempowered.
One caveat to this idea is that you have to be strategic about who you share your stuff with:
- You don’t want to share this with someone who has made you feel shameful, stupid, or judged when you’ve shared tender pieces of yourself with them before.
- You don’t want to share this with someone who often gossips, judges, or ridicules other people in regular conversation.
- You don’t want to share this with someone who regularly tends to shift the conversation so the focus is on them.
- You don’t want to share this with someone who is easily overwhelmed or struggles to deal with their own life effectively.
So what constitutes someone having earned the right to hear your shame story? I bet in just hearing/ reading that phrase something percolates for you about that. Maybe you realize that some of the people you’ve previously chosen to share with haven’t actually been good choices? Maybe you can see there are other people in your life that would be better candidates to talk to…
In my mind, when I’m considering who to talk to, it’s important to me that the person is relatively grounded. I want to talk to someone who I can trust to not lose their shit for whatever reason when I’m sharing with them. I also look for someone who has demonstrated a level of compassion in the past. The goal here is picking someone you feel emotionally safe with and obviously choosing someone who is generally judgmental isn’t likely to meet that end.
You have to be careful who you choose to share your stuff with, and just because someone’s been in your life for a long time doesn’t earn them the right to hear it.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the people who care about you already know… They may not know exactly what happened or the specifics and they still know there’s something going on for you. The people that care about you know what your patterns and behaviours are and when you deviate from that they can tell. Those people only want for you to be happy… because you’re not alone – you have people in your corner if you’d only let them be there for you! Those people don’t really care what the specifics are, they just want to help make things better for you. So. Stop hiding out behind whatever your coping mechanisms are and share.
I Get It
It’s scary to think about sharing your story. It’s scary to think about airing out the dirty laundry you’ve been working so hard to cover up and hide from people. I totally get that. AND. If you want to stop feeling like there’s something wrong with you and no one would or could ever understand, you’re going to have to take that risk.
Even if you decide to keep your story a secret from your friends and family (for now) you still need to find somewhere you can open up. That could be by talking to a professional. You could call a help line. You could find a support group where you’re guaranteed to be with people dealing with similar stuff.
Whether you want to hide something like:
- Feeling overwhelmed with how life is
- The fear of potentially never finding love again after a divorce/ break-up
- The fear that you’re not really worth it or capable
- You don’t like being a parent as much as you thought and you actually have some level of resentment for your child/ children
- You want a divorce and are afraid of what that will mean to your life
- You want to quit your job and are afraid you’re not really marketable for a new job somewhere else for varying reasons
- You feel depressed
- You think you drink too much
- You binge eat
- You’re drowning in debt, maybe even fearing bankruptcy
- You’re really grieving (divorce, death, etc.) but don’t want to burden someone with your grief
- A million other things that lots of different people deal with simply by being alive…
I’m telling you – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are other people out there dealing with similar stuff and even if the people in your life aren’t dealing with your specific issue – they’re human beings and they will inevitably have had similar feelings for their own reasons at some point in their lives. Trust me. Talk to someone and get connected. Feeling alone makes the emotional separation and pain worse than it already is. You deserve to feel loved. You deserve to feel worth it. No matter what. You really do.
Today’s the day. Take a risk!!
PS – Listen… we all feel alone sometimes and what we really need is a good listener. Someone to help us process through the stuff we’ve been avoiding looking at or trying to cover up and heal some emotional wounds so we can see life from a different and more powerful perspective. That’s one of the things I do with my clients… help them feel empowered in their lives despite what their circumstances are. If you could use some of that in your life, send me a note and we can have a free consult call. I have a few client spaces opening up over the summer and I’d love to help you get unstuck!!
How’re You Doing?
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