Playing Small in Business
Putting yourself out into the world can be a scary thing. You may or may not be familiar with Abraham Maslow's proposed theory of the hierarchy of human needs - beyond the essentials of survival, we crave a sense of belonging and acceptance.
I am a child of nomadic parents, not in the traditional sense but certainly in the finding greener pastures sense, gypsies if you will. This means I experienced 3 different Kindergartens, 5 different Primary Schools and 2 different High Schools by the time I was 15.
I had become accustomed to being the new girl. Curious children questioned, stared, sometimes laughed and sometimes threw learnt racist slurs. I encountered some nastiness, but overall we humans seem a rather lovely bunch. I didn't encounter a behaviour that I couldn't really understand, until I went to high school.
It was my dream to be a part of a high school musical, since leaving ballet at the age of 6 and moving to locations where it wasn't possible to pursue my childhood dream of dancing. Having let that dream go I was still extremely excited to be back on a stage and dancing. I made it through the auditions and into rehearsals, before running into a girl who openly hated me. She spoke about me and in front of me to others, openly declaring her loathing of me, after watching me dancing my heart out in rehearsals. Unable to fathom why I was being loathed, for what seemed to me no apparent reason, my confidence took a bit of a hit and I began to play small. The need to be accepted saw me tone down my dancing initially and eventually I quit to get away from the pain of her verbal attacks.
But as they say, the universe will continue to provide you with the same lessons, where ever you move to in the world. These often represent themselves in the form of the same type of boss, at different workplaces.
Runway to Stage.
I never followed a traditional path from day one and left school early to pursue my fashion passion. But as I grew and matured, I sought a greater meaning from my work and started businesses and self educated myself to new paths. I faced many a backlash from well meaning family and friends, who couldn't understand my desire for non traditional pursuits and I always found myself somewhat on the outer and still looking for that belonging or acceptance.
In my pursuit of my Diploma teaching Gita Hatha yoga, I was somewhat confronted by my journey to become the leader. I worried about how I might demonstrate postures with my body on a stage and how speaking my energetic truths would be received by my students, who at the time were doctors, professors and corporate professionals off the mat.
So I chose to focus instead on my purpose. I had decided to pursue yoga teaching, after regularly attending yoga classes to manage my stress in a productive way. I took a yoga class after a particularly long and stressful period at work, bringing in the new seasons line to go into production. I completed the class feeling amazing, released and aligned with my true nature. When it struck me! I wanted to be able to give this gift, this release to the world. Bringing the gift of yoga ( - union, connection between mental, physical and spiritual) to those around me became the focus and purpose of what I pursued and it drove me forwards through each perceived pain of growing on my journey.
Confront the confronting!
In April I had the chance to confront again. I took some time out to travel to Thailand for a marketing intensive, the least of which were taking some pictures and creating some video's. Having never been fond of myself in photos and quite self conscious of being in front of a production team and set, I immediately began to freak out after making the decision to really go for it. I felt literally shaken for a few days at the very thought of what was to come. Thankfully my husband's wise words snapped me back to reality and he reminded me of all my previous successes overcoming obstacles and how this by comparison would be a drop in the ocean.
Of course he was right, but what I was confronting was the fear of myself and others seeing me as I truly am. I was ready to run away again from the judgement of those I knew or didn't even. The fear of being back on the outer and losing my belonging, was like a physical threat and produced the same physical flight or fight response. It almost had me retreat back into the safety security of playing small again. But I was able to reconnect to my purpose, my reasons for going into business again, the reasons I get out of bed and love what I do in assisting others in
achieving their full potential.
When I received my marketing material I was surprised by how I sounded and looked and cringed through the first watch. But I made a peace with myself, I embraced all the parts that others have to see, as I look on from the inside. Other's may judge me and sometimes do, but as I look from the outside in, I have total clarity on my 'why'.
There may never be an acceptance or agreement for the paths we choose in life. But to follow the wishes of others ultimately leads to emotional bankruptcy. Find something worthy of you. Find something that deserves to exist and something that the world needs. Your desire to give will be greater than there are hours in the day and the universe will have your back. If you're keen to see how my video's look post production, visit the home page for a peek. ;)