As many of you may know, I teach writing workshops—locally and online—and coach those who want to write and publish a book. I also coach nice girls (and guys) who are sick of feeling trapped by their inability to tell the truth. Who want to learn how to draw healthy boundaries, and say no.
A while back, I recognized an interesting similarity between my two sets of clients. Writers, like nice girls and guys, often find themselves paralyzed by the fear of telling the truth, of revealing themselves for who they really are on paper. This fear often translates into writers’ block and/or boring or confusing prose.
I also discovered that memoir writers, in particular, are often the product of dysfunctional families. Like nice girls, they were taught from childhood not to reveal their family secrets. They were told, “Don’t air dirty laundry.” They were discouraged from telling the truth even amongst family members. Even to themselves. And this lying caused them an awful lot of pain. Even if it DID give them GREAT material to work with.
I believe that we are all as sick as our secrets.
I believe that in order to get what we want most in life—connection with others—we have to have the courage to tell the truth, regardless of who will disapprove. We have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We have to risk opening ourselves up to criticism.
To own your own opinions, your own story, is to set yourself free. It is the foundation of superhuman power.
Everything changed in my life when I stopped hiding who I really am/was. The world opened up and I grew to approve of myself, even though I sometimes put others off.
Putting yourself out there is the best exercise there is for standing in your own power.
And there is nobody who speaks to this fact better than Glennon Doyle Menton in this video. Take the time to watch this. It’s just so beautiful.