One of my boldest, sharpest coaches came into Baltimore on business and invited me to meet her there for an in-person coaching session. Full of anticipation, we started our session off with re-capping all of the accomplishments and set- backs that occurred in my process since we last spoke. After a few minutes of recalling all that I’d done, I began to excitedly tell her that my proposal had been accepted to facilitate a training at a State Conference for Human Service Workers. She was excited for me but then abruptly stopped and asked me why didn’t she know about this training skill set and experience that I had.
I had to ask myself the same question. Not only did she not know, barely anyone knew. As my coach asked me that question, I seemed just as surprised as she did. Not only did I not realize how much I pushed this to the background and devalued it, I also felt surprised at the answers that were coming up. The strongest response that came up was that I buried my gift and love because of how I’d been treated when I came to the Washington, DC area. I went on to explain to her that I did have a strong background in empowerment and soft skills training for human service, educational and non-profit agencies but I stopped training after I’d been dismissed from a consulting position shortly after I moved here.
It was a hurtful experience that triggered a lot of limiting beliefs, insecurity and I didn’t bounce back from it. I didn’t realize how much it affected me or the extent to which I allowed the situation to stifle me. Here I was, one of the best trainers in my field-I knew it, a few hundred students knew it, but I decided to let it stop there. What good was that? There was always this gnawing feeling that something was undone, something was missing. I had so much to offer.
I’m really great and empowering at what I do and I’d been keeping it all to myself. I had become my own best kept secret.
How was that serving me? Well, I got to play safe and small. I could complain about what the world did to me but not take the risk to step back out there. I could hide behind the pain and not address it. I didn’t have to take the hard road of standing up for and pursuing what I believed in. I thought it was easier to just fade into black where no one could see me. It was a way for me to keep the root problem underneath the surface. But that didn’t work.
The truth is that even though I needed to blame them for my seeming downfall, it wasn’t their fault. It was an obstacle on the road to success and they served as a mirror of what I’d been harboring within. I blamed them because it hurt too bad to face the job I’d been doing on myself internally. I can’t control their intent, but I can use the lessons the experience held for me and allow it to transform me in a healthy way.
Does any of this strike a cord for you? If so, what have you been holding back from the world and how has it been affecting you? Don’t beat up on yourself, just take some time to reflect and journal. Write whatever comes to your mind. When you are complete, forgive yourself, release it, let it go, and recommit to being the best you that you can be.