I know what it feels like to have a mission and not have a voice to express it.
For most of my life, I was afraid to speak up and hated to be the centre of attention.
I didn't start out shy. I don't believe any of us really do. In fact, I recall vying to be the centre of attention and if you ask my family, I am capable of being loud when I choose.
My path toward shyness began when I was about six years old; the age I ventured from the familiar and safe world of my home into the unexplored domain of school - that time when our world-beliefs begin to be challenged and tested.
My confidence was soon shaken when the value of what I had to say was strongly questioned.
It was my first day of Kindergarten and although the incident may seem trivial to you, it shaped the rest of my life.
My classmates and I were all instructed to sit at round tables. In front of each of us lay a small booklet.
I can still smell the purply-blue ink of the freshly Xeroxed pages as I flipped through admiring the carefully drawn outlines of pieces of fruit, the names of which were neatly printed near the top of each page, the letters spaced evenly between three horizontal lines.
I was thrilled Kindergarten would be just like home where my mother encouraged art and praised creativity. I set to work colouring each picture.
Soon one of my table-mates asked which picture we were supposed to colour.
"All of them", I confidently replied.
"Which colour are we supposed to use?", asked another classmate.
"All of them", I replied again, reaching for another fat crayon.
The teacher circled the class checking our progress.
As she neared our table, I was excited for her admiration of my work. Head-down, I continued colouring expecting her to stop when she got to me.
Standing at the opposite side of the table, I heard her ask, "Who told you to colour all the pictures?"
"Carolin", my new friends replied in unison.
I looked up to find five pudgy forefingers pointed directly at me.
I raised my glance further, smiling proudly at my teacher. She however did not appear happy.
"Well, I told you to colour one picture. Don't listen to Carolin. She doesn't know what she is talking about."
She then collected our booklets and threw them in the trash. We had to sit quietly while the rest of the class finished their work.
My table-mates scowled at me.
I felt HORRIBLE! I had sunken the ship and had taken them down with me.
Because of my words, we were all punished.
I NEVER wanted to feel that way again.
In my coddled innocence I believed her adult words and I took them to heart.
"She's a teacher therefore she is right," I thought. "What I said got me and my five friends into trouble. Obviously, what I have to say doesn't matter. No-one should listen to me."
My self-perception pivoted.
I went from "I can do anything!" and "Look at me!" to "Don't listen to me because I don't know anything" and "Don't look at me! Because if you're all looking at me, I must have done something wrong."
In that moment, I unconsciously decided it was better to stay quiet and behind the scenes. It felt safer there, especially when I'd obviously mis-read such fundamental core beliefs.
The Moment That Changed Who I Was
Taking Back My Power
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Uncovering this moment has been a game-changer for me.
Everything made sense when I saw it through my innocent eyes.
I thanked my six-year-old self for making such a smart decision to protect me from future hurt.
I thanked her for all the gifts I had learned throughout my life because my introverted nature has made me a careful life-observer. I am a thinker; a contemplator, a curious listener and perpetual learner.
But perhaps the most precious gift I've learned is that of writing.
You see, even though my voice had been quieted, I still had something to say.
Writing felt safe. It allowed me the time to contemplate my words and form my thoughts so when I did share something, I felt it was worthy of attention.
As a writer, I love looking for a new way to describe something so it’s memorable.
I am careful and caring when structuring phrases.
I strive to craft and meld concepts and words into thought-provoking text with the intention to make the reader think, or consider a new viewpoint, or confirm what they have always known but didn’t realize.
These are some of the gifts I bring to the table when I work with my clients.
Experience and self-reflection have helped me discover that once I trusted in myself and the skills I had acquired along the way, what I most wanted was to be seen and heard for who I really am, with all the gifts I bring to the world.
I want the same for you.
Today, I am proud to help heart-centred and mission-driven entrepreneurs change the world faster by giving voice and visibility to their work.
I'd love to help you find just the right words so just the right people find you.
Helping heart-centred and mission-driven entrepreneurs
find just the right words that give voice to their purpose
and visibility to their work.
Spread the word. Share the Joy.
© The Joyful Scribe
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