Hearing two different women business owners share the same story this week reminded me that I've heard their story before. As we discussed who they were communicating their million dollar vision to, they both started the conversation with an apology (not a good sign), and shared that the people closest to them had no idea they had started a business. Or, had a website. Or, that they were so passionate about their business they were losing sleep over it. In a good way. The conversation went something like, “I’m sorry to say that my (fill in the blank with the name of those closest to you) doesn't know I’m doing this.” I've heard this story many times over my last 23 years as a business coach and mentor. Why are are so many women hiding their true passion, afraid to open the door and share their dreams with those closest to them? The common answer is FEAR – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of putting ourselves out there to be judged by the people we know and love the most. Our inner circle knows the “real” us, right? I don’t think they do. It’s the reason I titled the first chapter of my book, “You’re Not Who Everyone Thinks You Are.”
Here are 5 Things You Can Do To Stop Hiding Your True Passion:
1. Stop worrying about what your friends, family, co-workers, cousins or the neighbor next door thinks about you. While it might be easier said than done, realize that their judgement is based on a lack of belief in themselves, not you. They are not capable of supporting you to come out of hiding because they’ve locked themselves into their own limiting beliefs. It’s their "shift", not yours.
2. Go Full Monty. Letting the real you shine through is a lot like being naked. Suddenly, there’s no place to hide and you’re out in public during bright daylight. You feel exposed and vunerable, wishing you had a pair of invisible Spanx to put on. Have you ever been on a Caribbean vacation with a “clothing optional” beach? You'd think everyone would be staring, but when everyone is naked, no one seems to really care.
3. Free Your Dreams And You’ll Free Your Fears. Letting the real you out is scary and exhilarating all at the same time, kind of like a roller coaster. Let’s face it, it can be a wild ride. After you’ve faced the “Demon Roller” you’ll be ready to conquer the world! When everyone knows you’ve acted on your passion and purpose, there’s nothing left to stop you.
4. Take Responsibility For Keeping Your Passion A Secret. Hiding is such a convenient excuse as to why we’re not getting to where we want to be. We could totally be a success “if only” we could get out. That excuse plays well until you show up at an event and discover that your cousin just started her own business and is soliciting everyone to get the word out. Ouch. It’s not her fault she's getting all the biz, she had no idea what you were up to.
5. Be Proud, Out Loud. If you’re not shouting your vision off the highest roof top, why would anyone believe in you, your business or your product? It takes courage, belief, persistence and determination to act on your passion and purpose. Proudly celebrate your achievement and set out to be the best in your field. As Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” And don't keep it a secret.
Lynn Bardowski is a 23-year entrepreneur, best selling author, national speaker, mentor and radio show host. For insights on entrepreneurship, leadership and vision, read her book, listen to her radio show, follow her blog and "LIKE" her Facebook page. You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.