Little Girl

Hand-coloured studio photograph.

 

Say you’ve chosen to make a move to be more visible in your business or career. Does a feeling pop up to stall your confidence? Right when you’re preparing to speak, make a sales call to an ideal prospect, ask for a raise, or write a book?

I’ve been exploring this phenomenon and found a concept of practical value. There may be something here for you.

I have a little girl inside me who doesn’t like the limelight. When acquainted with her recently,* I found she has a rejection response. She’d felt shunned or passed over when she had put herself out there. She had experienced rejection, ignoring, been judged not important, and not being accepted in the group. And that was very, very painful for her.

My four or five-year old self wanted to keep me safe from the possibility of such hurt, by stopping me from going out there. So as I prepared to speak, call and otherwise open myself to potential rejection, in her terms, her energy would come up repeatedly to make me doubt and stall.

Instead of judging myself a scaredy-cat, which I might have done in the past, and being stuck with that frustration, I tried a new path to acknowledge, connect with and understand this little girl entity.

After I found out what she feared, I asked her what would make her feel better. Someone just being with her over in the corner was enough to start with. Then some gentle chat, art or looking at a book together.

I let her know that she didn’t have to deal with the challenging situation of today, I had it handled. Would she be OK with that? Yes.

Her stuff while I did mine

To continue the concept, I set up a few pages of patterns and some pens and pencils on the floor ‘for her to colour in’ while I tackled a potentially stressful phone call. This seemed to work well.

I’m going to be consulting and not judging my little girl in future. Hopefully this might continue to clear my doubts when it comes to anything “in the limelight”. In the past I would have pushed through it, but these days I’m looking for a gentler method and one that includes growth.

Long ago, being rejected by the tribe could have equalled death for our caveman ancestors. Our species fears it in our bones and it can form the basis of anxiety about bringing forth a vulnerability or shame.

I’m a long way from that little girl in age but she still lives on in me, making herself and her worries felt.

Inside us there may be other versions – maybe your 9-y/o self at school being rebuffed when you are vulnerable; it could be your 13- or 15-y/o self just branching out socially and having challenging experiences.

Could this concept apply to you and your business or job?

Actions   Try it.

1. When you’re feeling halted, explore whether a younger self is trying to keep you ‘safe’ this way.

2. Have a conversation with that entity. What’s coming up for them? Find out what you can learn from them to free your adult self.

3. Take practical action around it.

 

As this is tricky to do alone, consider booking a coaching session with me or your existing coach to get to the bottom of it with you.

As usual, let us know over at the Flourisheer Facebook page how you fare. We continue to learn so much from each other.

 

*Thanks to an episode from Rachel Jayne Groover and some coaching with Heather Clark. You are both amazing.)

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