After four years of working as an author and speaker, I finally created a website named after myself and had the courage to make a few videos to market my book and message. I joke that this new website promotes the 2.0 version of myself.
Photo courtesy Heather Cotton
The last version of myself (the person, not the website) was not very confident, often hiding behind my book Super Spark as the author. I also created other tools such as presentations and meditations and hid behind those thinking that they would just have a life of their own. But I was very wrong and had it completely backwards.
I have learned that in almost anything there are two things that people are looking for - connection and authenticity. In order to establish both of these, people need to know who you are, where you come from and why you do what you do. I have learned that you can’t detach the creator from the created. Who you are, your uniqueness and how you see the world matters and must be embedded in your work and offerings for people to be able to connect to them.
How I express myself makes me..well, me. How you express yourself makes you...you. I write books, speak and create meditations. You may crochet, make pottery, design skateboards, build beautiful websites, sell insurance, organize people and things, bake cakes or weave baskets...doesn’t matter what you create or what you do. The reason it’s awesome is because you are doing it. You can have 100 other people doing what you do and it will never be the same. In order to stand out from the crowd, your uniqueness and why you do what you do is crucial. And the number ONE most important thing you need if you want to do anything with pizazz, freshness and worth anybody’s attention is to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Everybody says this but it is the magic sauce behind it all.
I think I may be a slow learner. It has taken me four years to believe in myself...yes, me, the one who teaches children to believe in themselves as a career. Believe me, the irony is not lost on me!! In launching my new website my goal is to let people get a good sense of who I am and WHY I do what I do. The what you do and what you offer is a reflection of you and your philosophy.
The old version of yourself and a new 2.0 version of yourself can also be compared to having an amateur’s attitude compared to having a pro’s attitude. If you consider yourself just dabbling in something here and there and consider it a hobby or of low importance, it will be reflected in the end product. If you have the attitude that you are indeed great at what you do and you consider yourself a pro (even if doing it part-time) then that outcome will be very different.
Your attitude in anything you are doing is so important. That is where I struggled the most. Now I have a 2.0 attitude and know that what I do is making a difference and is of value to children and teens. What makes my books and presentations different has everything to do with who I am and my beliefs.
And here is one more thing I have learned. The old version of myself kept to myself and literally stayed away from anybody who was not into what I was doing or who didn’t understand what I was doing. I did not have the nerve or confidence to stand up for what I was doing and did not want to hear any bashing or negative thoughts. So I avoided those people all together. Some of those people were my close relatives. I thought it was them that were the problem...I thought how dare they think that of me, they don’t understand me, why are they judging me.
Well, as with anything I have discovered during this self-discovery journey, the problem begins with me. I was projecting all of MY own insecurities upon them. I could not face them because they told me things that I thought of myself (hence why it hurt so much). With my new 2.0 attitude I can see how what I think of myself is everything. With a belief in what I do and why I do it, I can easily talk to relatives and people in general without getting hurt. I can hear different opinions (everybody can express whatever they like) but it is ultimately up to me to decide to take it in or not. Absolutely nobody can make me feel anything without my consent. We all have the power to choose how we feel in any given moment and situation.
So I ask you, are you running a version of yourself that has limited beliefs as to what you can do, be or have? Do you procrastinate or avoid doing the things you love doing? Are you afraid of what people may think of you? Are you hiding what you really want to do? Do you feel constricted by what you are doing?
It may be time to step into a 2.0 version of yourself. You can start the upgrade by envisioning all the qualities you think you would need to be the best version of yourself. Whether it be courage, confidence, determination, persistence, faith or any other quality and imagine embodying each of them. Feel your new self and start to act from that new empowered place . Leave all limited beliefs behind and take action towards your dreams. Step by step you will get there.
I came up with some awesome excuses over the years, it worked really well too. I now just go ahead and do it. Am I fearless? Absolutely not. I still feel the fear BUT do it anyway. What’s the worse that could happen really...some people will not like what you do. That’s fine, just turn that “NO” into a “NEXT” and move on.
Light your fire from within, keep your eye on your vision and take steps (even if baby ones) forward on your path. Here’s a quote from my book Super Spark:
“Inside of you is everything you could possibly need, to be happy, peaceful and healthy indeed. Just find silence, look within and your super powers will begin.”
Yep, put on your cape of confidence, courage and faith and soar my friend. You got this!! Excuse me, outdated version of myself...version 2.0 coming through!!