They All Laughed at Me
I had a fear I let hold me back from fully living the life I desired. It all goes back to a situation that happened to me in the second grade. An event like this may not have had you bat an eyelash, but for me it was the biggest deal in my little second grade world.
Step into little Tara’s second grade kangaROO sneakers for a moment. I woke up just like any other day and got ready for school. My mom and dad walked me to the bus stop and I got onto the bus. While on the bus I sat by myself because I decided that day was the day I was going to lead the pledge of allegiance and I needed to give myself a little pep talk.
Leading the pledge was the ultimate privilege for me and my classmates and I was going to do it. I visualized myself doing it. When I got to school I put my stuff away as fast as I could and took my seat not talking to anyone.
The time came and I raised my hand. Thoughts came into my head that said, “This is scary. Who are you to lead the pledge? Put your hand down and shut your mouth.” So I did, but my teacher saw I had raised my hand which I rarely did. She called on me and asked what I wanted and I mumbled as quietly as possible, “I would like to lead the pledge.” She couldn’t hear me because I spoke so quietly and asked me again in a really angry tone.
I freaked out and started to sink deeper and deeper into my chair curling my body into a ball making it as small as I possibly could hoping somehow I would disappear. I didn’t disappear. My teacher screamed at me while all the other kids in the class laughed and I then I got punished by getting my name on the board.
I bought into a lot of beliefs that day. I unknowingly carried them with me into adulthood.
It’s surprising to most people because I seem so outspoken and outgoing. I even used to cheer for the NJ Nets in front of 30,000 people, but I didn’t have to open my mouth so that didn’t scare me. If I did have to talk all of the anxiety I felt that day would come rushing back as if it was yesterday and I could feel the little girl freaking out within me. She would stop me in my tracks from shining the way I was born to shine in order to protect herself from getting hurt and scared.
I didn’t eat at my wedding shower because I lost my appetite because I was so scared to open presents in front of people even though it was something I had been looking forward to for months. I was at an event and the band called me out and shared gratitude for what I do for my community and I noticed my body scrunching down as if trying to make myself so small I would disappear like I did that day in second grade.
At a conference for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition the founder Joshua called on me and asked me to share in front of over 2,000 people. I found my body reacting by trying to shrink and disappear, I got all sweaty and felt like I was going to throw up even though the IIN community is one of the most supportive communities out there. I woke up in the middle of the night on my wedding day and vomited for hours because I knew I had to say my vows in front of everyone. It started happening every time I was presented with an opportunity to speak in front of people. It was getting worse and worse until I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
The thing is, I love to speak in public. Once I’m up there I love it and feel at home. It’s what I love to do. It’s the place I come alive.
My second grade self had a strong desire to lead the pledge, but chickened out at the last minute. She was trying to protect me from getting hurt again. I learned a lot from her. I learned a lot of false truths that all stemmed from that one tiny but extremely significant event in my life.
I worked with a coach and forgave my inner child for chickening out that day as well as for buying into the misunderstanding that:
being in the spotlight is scary
people don’t want me to speak up
I can control how other people react
I’m not meant to shine
I’m not brave
The day I finally forgave myself was the day I started to allow myself to shine. It allowed me to GO ALL IN and fully live my life. I even performed a “Poetry Karaoke” Maid of Honor speech at my sister’s wedding in front of 200 people and I’m tone deaf.
I stepped into my spotlight and now I serve the world in an even bigger and better way. If I can do it you can too.
What’s holding you back from GOING ALL IN and fully living in all the areas of your life (career, relationships, self-care)?
What are you getting out of holding onto whatever that is?
Are you ready to let it go?
If you answered yes, try this…
Right now wherever you are sit still and focus on your breath. You have no where to be, but right here right now.
Visualize what it is that’s holding you back from GOING ALL IN.
Shake your hands and feet and feel it leaving you.
Take as long as you need.
Give yourself a hug.
You are so brave.
Feel what it feels like to be free from those beliefs that aren’t serving you.
Feel it in every cell of your body.
If you can feel it, it can be true for you. It is true for you.
What are you willing to forgive yourself for?
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