Authentic content creation needs a liberated mind (and soul)
Part 5: Facing my fears around rejection
At this point, I am sharpening my message and I know what is keeping me from unleashing my authentic self...yes...I was still struggling with that.
I found another demon.
This one was the fear of rejection. I was afraid that I was going to be rejected by people I didn't know and I thought I could not afford to have that when I am just getting started. In my subconscious, the thought was that only people who have made it can afford to lose fans. Everyone else has to play along.
How cute of me, still stuck in high school, wanting to be liked by the cool kids.
Except now I am in my 30s and promoting my course and I am wasting precious time worrying about the opinions of people I don't know.
Again, I let this be for a while and trusted that I would figure this out. That's when I realized a couple of things:
- There is no shame in feeling this way. It is perfectly normal!
- Being online is not easy, even if you are a digital native.
- Authenticity is hard when you are the product. You'd think it is easy because you are an expert in yourself, but it is hard because that vulnerability and transparency can trigger memories and past trauma around rejection and worthiness.
- All of this is magnified even more if you have not acknowledged ANY of your trauma and if you don't understand how society at large expects you to assimilate and comply. If you want to be authentic, you have to fight through that conditioning.
To be loud, to be seen, to be heard, to have a contrarian message is a revolutionary act.
This whole time I've known what I wanted to say, but couldn't get myself to do it. I'd make up excuses for myself, such as, "I don't know enough to stir the pot". I'd push myself a little bit, but not enough so people wouldn't notice the anger that drove me to create this course in the first place.
I was trying to be a nice girl when everything in me was screaming "NO MORE!"
No wonder my nervous system would feel like it just got into a fight every time I tried to express my opinion online. Every time I posted, my body would react, even though my mind was not obsessing about the post once it was out there. I'd carry this weight on my chest, and I would feel exhausted.
Part 6: Owning my revolutionary vision
I keep posting while mulling over this issue I had with my anger...
I didn't think my anger was out of place. I had learned the hard way that repressing anger only turns into self-hatred. I had learned that there are no bad or good emotions, so anger is a valid feedback mechanism and I should honor it. I learned that no revolution has started from a place of contentment - this anger that I carry is not because the world has "wronged me", it's because I see the horror of it all and I wish I could fix it.
I know how the world at large feels about angry women, and I know the trope of the feisty Latina. My fear was not about being put into that box, but I was afraid that the anger would show and prevent people from getting my message.
Another block I had was a fear of the magnitude of my anger - I was still operating with a belief that I could not control it. I'm a recovering perfectionist, remember that...being out of control makes me feel like my life is in danger. Hence the madness of planning every minute of the day and being obsessed with productivity. It's our way to keep the lizard brain happy.
Liberate your mind by knowing the fears, anxieties and traumas associated with content creation
Mindset issue around content creation is thinking that "organic reach is slow and difficult". A trauma issue is "my message goes against the norm and there is danger in not fitting in".
I am grateful to live in this time, the internet has done damage but it has also helped people to learn, connect and change lives. One of the first books that opened my mind to emotional trauma was a recommendation I saw on Instagram. I don't think I would have found that knowledge through traditional media. So yeah, social media is complicated.
An interesting thing is happening right now. It has been happening for a long time, but George Floyd's death finally broke the illusion that the effects of white supremacy and colonialism is an isolated experience that only affects BIPOC.
So, when you are about to do something that dares to criticize the status quo, when you dare to suggest that there is more to the issue and that there is no right way, and when you challenge the knowledge of what is considered the standard...you are going against supremacist work culture. That might not put you in danger (regular nobodies like me still have a freedom fantasy), but your nervous system doesn't know that.
This realization made me feel so agitated already. I had to take a shower to relax so I could be ready for my call with my coach later that evening.
As we started to talk about my issue with anger, I just started to cry...clearly, I had been bottling it up. As much as I was aware of its existence, I was still repressing something and my body was letting it out through my tears.
Underneath anger, there is grief.
It took me days to understand what that meant for me. I slowed down completely on the work related to my launch, I started to do a lot of embodiment work. If I could "flush" my anger out of my body, I would at least start to feel better...
In one of my meditations, I understood that my rage needs my heart to be useful.
My rage needs to be fully blended with love.
That was the issue I wasn't seeing this whole time...I had to expand my heart, so to speak, so I could use my rage.
I understood that I did not need to be afraid of my rage. I am not a guru, nor a spiritual leader, but I can trust that who I am right now is enough to hold that rage with love.
As a perfectionist, scarcity mindset is a thing. And it doesn't stay within the realms of money and goods. It also applies to love. I was having a scarcity belief around my capacity to give enough love to my rage. I was worried that I couldn't do it, and I'd go scorched earth and destroy this beautiful dream before it even began. Even typing this is making me teary eyed.
What I've been calling anger and rage this whole time...is actually grief. It's a grief that has always felt overwhelming because I do not know what to do with it. Again, perfectionist here, I believe that everything requires action.
But what kind of action could one person do to undo centuries of violence, injustice, slavery...? I freeze, like a rabbit hoping to deceive its predator.
My grief is the most potent emotion I have that ties me to the collective. This grief is not about my life, it's about how we've built a narcissistic, exploitative, empty existence. It's about everyone who feels like me and still tries to comply in order to survive, and the end result is depression, isolation, anxiety, addiction, illness, suicide.
It's about where we are going. Off the cliff, at full speed, with no backup plans.
I see it now. I've carried this belief for so long, that my anger makes me an outsider.
In reality, my anger is a mask to protect my grief, and I can only feel this grief because I love humanity.
But, that love is hard for me to accept at times because it is scary. Accepting it fully means that I will be stretched to do things that will make me uncomfortable and afraid.
I don't need to do anything about this.
I just need to be willing to receive my grief. To be the container for it, a container that won't break under the weight because IT IS SUPPORTED BY UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
Unconditional love is the only thing that can sustain us. I am human, I will make mistakes, change my mind, offend some people, attract others. And all of that is okay.
Unconditional love is the only thing that doesn't demand that I should always be right, strong, and determined. Unconditional love lets me be okay with doubts, fears, realizing I am wrong, having moments of self pity. Knowing that I can go there and that that doesn't mean anything about my worth as a human being is the ultimate liberation.
When I am conscious of that unconditional love, everything else dissolves in the background. I am able to write. I am not thinking if I should dial it down a notch. I trust my decisions. I feel safe.
Am I completely out of the woods now?
I don't bother with that question.
What's funny about these experiences of growth and transformation is that they come full circle. I said that I did not want to take money from people to tell them that the answer is "love yourself" but I'd say 99% of the time the answer is that or know thyself. The real question is, how do you get there? There are many ways, and I humbly offer one possibility.
I am now experiencing how this radical self-love is supporting me as I keep pushing my upper limits. As I push them, I expose more truths about myself and plenty of those have been uncomfortable. The only thing I need to do throughout the entire journey is to remember that the radical self-love is always present and I won't run out of it as long as I nurture it.
This six-part story was about one seemingly innocent question - how can I show up authentically when I am the product? It took me down a rabbit hole where I had to see how mindset, fear, and trauma were affecting me. I had to do many things - sit and listen, journal, meditate, vent, cry, have sleepless nights, do my own rabbit hole journey, until I gained enough clarity to continue.
Even though the things I have shared are a bit painful, there was no frustration or desperation in any of this process. This is completely opposite to the way I used to handle emotional issues when I was deep in my perfectionism.
I was open-minded, curious, and happy and grateful that I got to experience this range of emotions. Some days I felt physically tired, but it was the good kind of tired, like when you put your mind to do something hard and meaningful and you finally get results.
I hope you find the healing you are seeking. The world needs the full force of your talents and gifts. ❤