Have you ever turned down an invitation to speak or to write about your work when you know it would be a great opportunity to get in front of your ideal clients?
If that sounds like you, you’re not alone! Like many of my clients, the fear of being seen is one I’ve struggled with in the past too.
An experience in childhood set me up to feel uncomfortable being the centre of attention, crushed my self-confidence and self-belief, and severely limited my ability to show up later in life and be visible to my ideal clients – until I did the inner work to rewrite the story!
As you listen in, my story may trigger some relevant memories for you too and give you access to a place within where you can do some deep and powerful healing.
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Please scroll down for the transcript
It’s the annual Rose Queen Carnival and my little sister and I have been chosen to carry the new Queen’s train at the crowning ceremony.
We squeal with delight at the news, so thrilled to be chosen, not least because we’ll be allowed to wear our new white dresses and new shoes. Which happen to be red.
You’ll understand why that matters in a moment.
Great excitement as we attend rehearsals to practice handling the train and walking at just the right distance behind the Queen. This is the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to us!
There’s a problem. At the final dress rehearsal, Mrs So-And-So points out that we’re wearing the wrong shoes. They should be white ones, not red ones!
A horrible knot forms in my stomach as I hear her say this. We know there’s no way Mum can buy us new shoes for a one-off event, and white shoes not being entirely practical in the dirt and grime of a mining village in the late 1950s, we’re forced to accept that our red shoes mean that we’re out, we’ve failed to reach the standard, we’re not good enough to take part, someone else must be chosen.
In that moment I feel the first tentacles of Shame About Who I Am begin to wrap around those shoes and creep up over my little 6-year old body.
All is not lost
Miracle of miracles, Mum appeals to the Organising Committee and she manages to swing it for us. And oh yes, we jump up and down with excitement and are beyond thrilled again that we ARE allowed to take part in spite of our ‘wrong shoes’!
On the Big Day, all goes according to plan and my little sister manages to concentrate long enough to play her part perfectly and not to fidget while the photographs are being taken.
So what a pity
A week or so later we’re in the Village Hall and people are looking at the display of official photos of the beautiful Rose Queen and her coronation. I feel so proud of us both as I scour the images and see us reflected there, my little sister and I, holding up the train and grinning broadly.
“What a pity those children couldn’t have worn white shoes” one woman says to another. “Ruins the whole effect, doesn’t it?”
I freeze. I feel so ashamed. I’m willing the ground to open up and swallow me and praying that she won’t turn around and recognise me as one of ‘those children’ who ruined the whole event with their red shoes.
And the beliefs I create in that moment?
Here’s further proof for Little Me (not that I really need it) that my family is different. My family is not as good as the others, not easily included or accepted, and ‘people like me’ will always be on the outside, feeling left behind, always different, struggling to fit in, yet standing out like a sore thumb for all the world to see.
Further proof that there’s something wrong with us, we’re less than them, the people who belong, who have money and can afford to buy their children white shoes.
How does this show up in my adult life?
Fast forward a few decades and the feeling of being an imposter had really solidified and was holding me back big time.
I was being held hostage by all these beliefs, that I’m not good enough, I’m going to be found out, I’m different to everyone else, I’m defective in some way, I’m just not the kind of person who has money and is successful in business, and on and on!
I had dreams and goals for the future, of course, but at some level I just couldn’t believe it was possible they would ever come true for me, and opportunities to become more visible and grow my business simply passed me.
Until I got curious about my insecurities and started doing the inner work to reveal and re-write the stories my Inner Child had been telling for years about Who I Was in the world and what was (or rather was not) possible for me.
Over to you now
Does my story trigger any relevant memories for you, where you might have decided you were less than ‘they’ were? That you weren’t good enough, or would be found out as defective in some way and be rejected?
And if so, what will you do about it? Please share in the comments – we’d love to know.
If you found this useful
Here’s a free Quiz to help you identify even more of the stories, or ‘mistaken meanings’, that are holding you back from all the success you want and deserve:
Discover Your Blocks to Money and Success
Click the button above now to access the Quiz. I guarantee you’ll be surprised at some of the things you discover about yourself!