Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
Dear friends from all over the world!
Here is my first blog post! Some of you may be discovering my service, “A Good Life in Paris”. And for good reasons, as I haven’t communicated so far 😉 It took me nine months to feel ready to talk about my new service. I have a professional background in marketing, so it wasn’t for a lack of communication skills… Neither were ideas or motivation missing. My website has also been ready for many months. However, a website without communication is like a restaurant in the desert: it is totally invisible.
In fact, my blocking was exactly that: an irrational fear of being visible with my new career!
I am comfortable and effective in helping others express themselves. I believe in them and I help them hold a vision for themselves, and share it with the world (my marketing agency tagline is actually “Tell the world how great you are”).
But as far as I was concerned, it was a lot more complicated. Let’s be clear: I love what I’m doing now, I thrive on this new path, and I have no doubt about my abilities to provide good services. This is also the feedback I am receiving from my dear clients. Despite all that, I felt a sense of shame, some kind of impostor syndrome. I was attacking myself with thoughts like: “Who are you to pretend you can help anyone? Shouldn’t you solve your own issues first, and get your life together?” All in all, I wasn’t feeling “enough”, I wasn’t feeling ready… This irrational feeling was very present, and it gave me a lot of trouble…
This reluctance to communicate, to talk about oneself and one’s services, I also found it in many people who launch (or want to launch) their own activity: artists, coaches, creatives, solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, writers, etc. Finding your way, then believing in yourself to share your vision with the world is a profound process that takes time and courage. My situation was not isolated. Maybe it resonates with you as well?
Then, one day, I read with amusement this quote (attributed without any certainty to Oscar Wilde):
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
After my first laugh, I realized that the idea was deep. It actually made me think and progress a lot. I understood that my life path shaped me and led me to become who I am today. What I bring to the world is unique, it is built upon my own strengths and experiences. And it is the case for each and every one of us.
The courage to be more authentic
If it takes a little bit of courage at first to show our more authentic self to the world, and do what we love to do, the peace and joy that comes from this shift is priceless. This new service, A Good Life in Paris, fits me perfectly. It is an ideal platform to express my talents with authenticity and joy, while contributing to the world as best as I can. Is this not the best way to live one’s life?
Maybe some of you will recognize themselves in my story. If that’s the case, and you’re wondering how to make progress toward something that makes you feel alive and joyful, remember that the longest journey always begins with just one step!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Chapter 64 of the Tao Te Ching ascribed to Laozi)
It simply starts with that: be nice to yourself, and stop feeling guilty. Guilty about not having enough clarity, not making progress fast enough, never feeling ready. Guilty about feeling afraid to get started, feeling afraid of change, etc. First, because it doesn’t feel good! Second, because it doesn’t do yourself any favors. And third, because it is actually detrimental to you and people around you.
So, instead of beating yourself up with fearful thoughts, do things that bring you JOY. For example, go on a trip to Paris!! But it can just be a nice walk in nature, or cooking a delicious dish, or reading a good book, or playing music, or going for a swim, or visiting an art exhibition… ANYTHING that brings you a sense of calm and peace.
Then, from that more serene place, decide to take all the time you need, and just take one small step every day in the right direction. Small changes are the most sustainable in the long run.
In that process, do not forget to keep your vision! (If your vision is still not clear, and you’re wondering how to clarify it, I’ll talk about that topic in an upcoming post, stay tuned!)
I would be happy and very interested to read you in the comments below, and learn about your own experiences regarding the fear of jumping into the water to advance your projects, whether personal or professional. What is (or was) your biggest challenge? What baby steps do you (or did you) take every day to move forward?
If you would like help in identifying small steps to take, in order to move towards your goals and dreams, contact me, I’m here to help!
With love and gratitude,