“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.” – Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo
If you asked me to picture a female powerhouse, I picture PJ. PJ is a fierce horse-trainer married to one of the most prestigious chiropractors in the US. She was brought up by a strong woman and has raised her own strong daughter. She has style, sensibility, and a drive like no other. There’s a reason she runs her husband’s practice – no one else could do it with the patience and ease she can.
She walked into our last SPEAK With Confidence with a gorgeous chip on her shoulder. Her hair was pulled severely back into a rider’s ponytail with her knee-high boots & sharp gaze. She was ready, yet, at the same time, not willing to go where she needed to go.
After her first full day, I found her sitting in a dark corner almost in tears. She was struggling with what to say. She felt in her soul that she was about to hit something, but couldn’t figure out what it was. I asked what she was wanting to say and she blathered on about putting on blinders and just doing what needed to be done. From caring for her dying mother to running her husband’s busy practice, she just did the thing. When she was done, I looked her in the eye and said “would you tell your daughter to put blinders on and do what needs to be done?” Incredulously: “NO!” “Then WHY would you get on a stage and say that?”
I told her to write down what was standing in her way. She did and looked up to say, “Me!” Nah… that was a cop-out for the woman who put herself last. There was something bigger in her way.
Next, I told her to go for a walk. She did – and she shouted at the sky, at God, and at the Universe asking for an answer. When she was done and thoroughly frustrated, she walked back into the venue on the verge of more tears. My Momma Julie stepped in front of her and asked if she was ok. She didn’t say a word out loud and just stared.
Without hesitating, my mom told her a story about how her own step-father told her – the day after she married my dad – that she would never amount to anything. My mom spent the next 40 years proving him wrong. All that energy going into someone who would die without ever knowing how much he hurt her.
In that moment, PJ saw exactly what was in her way. Mrs. Wells stepped in front of her and said, “You’ll never do anything with your life.”
You see, when PJ was in grade school, she was asked by her teacher, Mrs. Wells, to read in front of class. PJ had a tough time reading (like some kids do) and was told she wasn’t enough. This invisible barrier stood between her and what she wanted for over four decades without PJ realizing where it came from.
UNTIL THAT DAY!
That day, she picked up tiny Mrs. Wells (in her ugly shoes) and moved her out of her way. PJ hadn’t been standing in her own way. She’d been telling herself a story that someone else told her – one that wasn’t true. Someone who didn’t matter to her. That story stuck with her and shaped who she became. She was grateful for her fierce drive to prove her wrong, yet sad to realize that she didn’t have to push so hard. Now this story has no weight. PJ CHOSE to remove it from her reality.
She walked out of SPEAK With Confidence with a softer outlook on life. No more blinders. No more severe ponytail. No more chip. She had stepped fully into the fierce powerhouse role with a softened heart and a gentle touch. PJ was finally here to show up & show off for the world. These photos below – they’re proof that the woman who walked in wasn’t the same as the one who walked back out into the world.
If I asked you what was standing in your way right now, could you identify it? Maybe you’re like PJ & you think it’s you, until the right person reminds you of something you’ve pushed down for so long.
For a lot of us, the biggest thing that stands in our way is imposter syndrome.
IMPOSTER SYNDROME is a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.
In simple terms, imposter syndrome is the thing that keeps you from saying things because someone else in the room knows more about that thing than you. And it’s all in your head.
Imposter syndrome can stem from a sentence that cut us to our core in our formative years, or the real belief that we’re not good enough. It could be our nature or the nurturing we received. It could be that we just don’t trust ourselves. Or that we’re terrified of being wrong.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. …And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson
You have something to say & if you don’t move whatever’s in your way, you’ll never make the impact you’re put here to make. You are powerful beyond your wildest imagination. It’s all within you right now. All it takes is a little bit of courage to take the next step and find your confidence.
When our lights are shining bright, we stand out. Which can be SUCH a scary thing for those of us who love to live in the shadows. And yet our light shines in the darkness where others have been hiding – worried they’ll be exposed as frauds.
“You are one decision away from a totally different life.” – Mark Batterson
What if I told you that THIS was your moment? Well, it is. THIS – RIGHT HERE – is your moment. If you’re reading this right now, say that out loud “THIS IS MY MOMENT.”
Make the decision to come play with us at a live event. Don’t be what’s stopping you.You have a light to shine.
Step up, be brave – I can’t wait to see you shining.