I've spent a fair part of my life stepping back. Before I take a step or move towards a goal, I think about what how the people around me will take it. I hesitate to assert myself because I might hurt someone's feelings, and put aside goals because someone may not agree that my goal is worthwhile. It's not fun.
Lately I've stumbled onto a lot of writers who encourage being yourself.
Chris Guillebeau was the first. He advocates living life your way. If you way doesn't include a 9 to 5 job and a white picket fence, learn to become your own person and live your way. Susan Cain reminds those of us who are introverts that the world needs more than confident sales people--writers and musers and musicians and artists are important, too. My latest Team Be Yourself participant is Tim Ferriss. He's a little too plain-spoken for me in some ways, but I appreciate his message. Decide what you want, be very specific about what your dream will look like, and then be deliberate about going after it--and don't be afraid to step on toes if need be.
Now, I'm not really a toe-stepper. I am more a toe-bandager. But I've also spent far too much time making sure my own toes were out of the range of the big feet in my life to get where I want to go. So now I'm stepping out.
I've decided to be ok with me. I'm a little quirky, a little goofy, a bit clumsy. I'm more 'My Mistress' Eyes are Nothing Like the Sun' and less 'She Walks in Beauty.' More Morticia Addams than Martha Stewart. And that's ok. Time to stop trying so hard.
Part of my own stepping out involves reaching out. I know plenty about starting over, rebuilding health, and coming out of fear. This blog is about sharing the things I learn, and sharing other people's wisdom, too. I hope it sparks your own creativity, ingenuity, and joy.
What about you? How do you step out, and brave the big boots threatening your toes? How have you learned to be yourself when you may not be liked for it?