I am shy.
Writing a blog in my second language, singing in front of people, putting Youtube videos up, organizing events, sticking my head into many things, and I am shy???
Yes, I am super shy.
Yesterday I had an occasion to listen to the talk of Pamela Mood, the Mayor of Town of Yarmouth.
It was hilarious. It was colourful. It was so true. And it was very powerful.
She talked about “fearless”.
And she, the successful inspirational speaker who just had a presentation in Washington the day before, said she wakes up with huge fear for her responsibility every morning.
I was nodding sympathetically while I was listening to her.
Speaking up and leading something, you start having the influence to the others.
You influence the others, which means you have the responsibility.
Having your own business is an example. You start something, and you influence to the community. It comes with certain responsibility. It’s a package.
You organize a group for a good purpose, well, at least you think so. And as you go, you face to many challenges you’ve never thought of. It is the cause and result. The ripple effect. You are responsible for the result because you started it.
Being responsible for unknown future is quite overwhelming. Many people are afraid of starting something because of this.
I was, and still am, afraid of being irresponsible for something I start. This fear holds me off all the time.
But unless you do something, you’ll never see what really happens.
If you want to make a change, you have to start.
So I choose to start – speak up.
And when you speak up, of course you are challenged by others.
You are insensitive. You are rude.
You are bossy. You are not organized.
You are too this and that.
You are not good enough for such and such.
And more so, you are challenged by yourself.
My inner voice says:
Your English is not good.
People won’t understand what you are talking about.
They get tired of you blabbing.
You sound like an idiot and people just try to be polite.
You can say something rude without knowing.
Should I say something?
NO! No no no no no no!
Nobody wants to hear from me.
What you are saying is too wacky and crazy.
What you are saying doesn’t make sense.
What if people get upset with my action?
Why bother speaking up?
But guess what?
I choose to speak up.
Well, not always but whenever I can find enough courage.
Because, after all, you’ll never know how the future will be.
Start something, and see how it goes.
Often the reality surprises you in an amazing way when you gather up a bit of courage and speak up.
What I can offer is my unique voice from my unique perspective.
And by doing, hopefully I can provide some courage to the others who feel just like me.
I mean not only an immigrant but literally anyone.
I am unique, but in a way I have lots in common with others.
I am a human. I am a woman. I am in the middle age. I am a mother. I am an immigrant. I am a foreigner. I am a worker. I am shy. I have family. I have friends. I have challenges.
And I am thinking and feeling just like everyone else.
So I share with the belief that there must be something people can use out of it, and with the hope that others start sharing with me and/or someone else.
But my doing doesn’t mean it is easy for me. I’ve been speaking up many times, and still it is not easy at all for me.
Every single time when I feel I have something to share, I also face to the overwhelming feeling. And then I try to speak up. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t.
I understand why Pam celebrates so much when she overcomes her fear.
She, who looks like absolutely fearless, still has the fear for many things and it’ll never end.
She is not fearless. She is consistently choosing to be fearless. In other words, she is always trying to be fearless.
She is not different from you and me. That’s why the message is very powerful.
I am choosing to be fearless in my world, in my way. For some people, speaking up may not be so difficult, but for me it’s a huge challenge.
You have your own fear and challenge, and it may not be the same barrier to me, but it is huge for you.
We may not share the exactly same format, but we all share this challenge – step out of our comfort zone.
To find the courage to choose fearless, you have to face to yourself first of all.
Clarifying what you are exactly looking for in your life gives you the power to step forward against your fear.
What is really important to you?
What is your absolute value you don’t want to give up?
What will you regret if you give up when you die?
What are you truly wishing?
Love comes with courage.
Be brave to listen, protect and raise yourself.
If you learn how to love yourself, you will know how to love others.