Recently a very good friend of mine shared his personal journey relative to a major event that happened in his life. Reading his story, I felt deeply touched. I realised what he'd been through and was moved and impressed by his strength, his resilience, his drive to overcome it. He was showing up big, A HERO.
And there it strikes me: it's only when you open up, dare to show your weakness and vulnerability, dare to share the struggles and obstacles on your path that others can truly see and understand and identify with your story and be inspired for their own journey. Only then can one's story make a decisive impact on others. Struggles reveal the Hero journey. Without any obstacles, without any adventures, without any surprises, a journey is simply nice and smooth, nice and clean. Kind of bland, featureless. Pale. Faded. It doesn't make any impact, there is no suspense. No one is eager to know how it's going to end, what tricks, twists or cunning the hero had to find or use to make it! It doesn't make you feel vibrant and excited.
No challenges. No story. No emotion. Little or no impact.
It reminds me of one of my Facebook articles that I posted by mistake on my public wall when it was actually meant for a closed group... In it I was sharing about my recent failure in the Arrowhead 135, a 135 miles Arctic race that takes place in Minnesota, how shitty and shameful I felt, etc. I tried to delete it but I couldn't: too many people had already seen and commented on it 😱 This post got more views and comments than most of my usual posts!! For once, I had opened up and shown people my vulnerable side, and I guess that most of my followers could identify with what just happened to me: failure and huge disappointment. Simply showing up very human. Sharing with my readers and followers my obstacles and struggles on my journey. That was totally new to me.
I grew up with the idea that one should never show their vulnerability and weakness to the world. That was to be kept hidden, protected, only for the close family circle...and still... External people should only have access to the strong and solid image you chose to show them. In charge. Confident. Flawless. The Perfection Mask. It was more about staying safe and protected than anything else. Intimacy, struggles and personal feelings are nobody else's business, so keep it for yourself, darling. So I guess that's how I've come up with the idea that it was dangerous and a sign of weakness to share one's difficulties with others, that they will use it to wrestle you to the ground...
Guess what? I've often been described by people as cold, tough skin, reserved, unavailable, distant, etc. I was only showing the real Rachel to my very very close friends and some members of the family. To the rest of the world I was showing the mask that best fitted the situations. It was always about showing up strong and smart, in charge. Any struggles I would face, I was dealing with them on my own or with the limited help I would let in. Never lower the guard! A real Image and Control freak !
Over the years and thanks to people and events on my personal journey, I've slowly started to open up and am now showing up way more authentically in every circumstances than I used to! It changed my life in ways you can't even imagine! It's not about telling anything and everything to everybody. It's about being truly YOU.
Still, I am very reserved on what I share with others and very few people know the whole story. I've given bits and pieces but never openly told it. As a result, some of my personal victories and successes never appear that remarkable because very very few knew what it took, what I've overcome to get there. Yet if we hide, how can we expect others to find out??
Recently, I've realised how much I love inspiring others to boldly take the step and open up to their full potential, believe in their dreams and live their life as they really want to, not by default. We are all the Heros of our own life. We all went through struggles, we all faced incredible obstacles and learnt amazing lessons that enable us to become the individuals we are today. We all have amazing stories and experiences to share with the rest of the world because they have value and would bring benefit to others. And I'm passionate about that. About helping people find their life adventure path and shine their own unique light! It's my calling. Yet, if I don't share ever my own Hero journey, how can anybody identify or be inspired by my story? "Practice what you teach"...
It's not something easy to do. Speaking up requires trust and openness of heart and mind. Letting go of the fear of judgment or how it will be perceived by others. And giving up on perfection and a flawless image. The hardest part isn't so much about addressing the public in general, it's about telling those who know me well and have no idea about it...
Perfection is an attractive Superhero condition that might impress and look nice but will never make such an impact as a potentially flawed yet real, moving, exhilarating, fascinating "human being turned Hero" journey!
As I'm convinced my Hero story can inspire and help others, as the story and testimony of others have help me - and keep inspiring me - on my path, because I want to make a difference and empower others, because I now believe in authenticity and wholeness, I'm ready for it!
Are you ready to embark on my life adventure quest with me? Like in every (good) story, I promise you adventure, challenges, darker moments, romantic love and a happy end!!
My Adventure Quest -Part 2 - Coming Next!
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