I am a huge fan of Seth Godin – the entrepreneur, author and master blogger. Recently he wrote about a topic that seems to be rising to the top of many conversations these days.
“Everyone is, at some level, shy. Everyone has the instinct to hold back…Those that overcome it aren’t born gregarious, they are people who realize the self-fulfilling truth of finding what they are looking for. The connected person is no different from you, they’ve merely made a generous choice, confronting their innate fear instead of hiding from it. The reward for overcoming this inertia belongs to the connector and to everyone she connects.”
This speaks not only to the idea of connection, but also to a willingness to really put yourself out in the world in a way that allows you to genuinely ‘be seen’. For those who deliberately make this a practice, you already know that, while it gets easier over time, it always involves taking a somewhat scary first step. For those who tend to let others go first, perhaps you are living with the assessment that they have something you don’t have? Or, experiences in your life, when you did put yourself out there, resulted in rejection or pain, and you have decided you’d rather not risk it.
If you are someone who holds back, I’d like to challenge you to think about this in a different way.
Bring to mind someone you care deeply about. Now, imagine them in a difficult situation where they need help. Do you hesitate to jump in and lend a hand? Did you have to muster up some courage before you stepped up? Probably not. Because you instinctively knew that they needed you. Next time you find yourself hesitating to ‘take the first step’, ‘be a leader’, ‘speak your truth’, look at it as a way to express your care, and desire to help. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for them. And remember, most of us are brave and afraid in the exact same moment all day long.