Our guest blogger Cathy is back with more of her insight and wisdom. As 2016 draws to an end, she reflects on expectations; those that others put on us, and those we put on ourselves. She thinks the solution to this is learning to face fear and live up to your potential. Read on...

 

This year has been quite a rollercoaster: saying yes to life, granting myself the opportunity to grow towards new insights, and so much more..

(In fact, the last 35 years were.)

 

I’ve been taking major steps towards growth in these last six months. Some of you may have already read my biography on Boomcast’s community page, which has been a huge step in opening up. I also gave my first TED-talk in front of an entire room of strangers as well as other big, life-changing steps some of which I’ll keep private for now.

Nevertheless, each of those steps meant big points of reflection, even crashing into a wall from time to time…Those walls… Each time you might think “woohoo victory”, another point of awareness becomes clear.

 

So let’s start with the writing of my story.

Writing my story lead to an emotional storm inside, which lead me a step closer to granting freedom to who I truly am. I never expected however that all those hidden emotions and fears would surface again when the day of publishing came…

It was like taking a cold-water-jump or standing all alone in front of a crowd, preparing to face the risk of being judged … that’s what your mind full of little fears tells you!

 

When I came to finish writing, I never anticipated the emotional impact that would flow over me. In the weeks to follow after it was posted, I received so many wonderful messages that were absolutely heart warming. Others brought a flood of tears, of people opening up about their own life! There’s this one story that I’ll never ever forget, the positive impact and growth that followed in that person’s life is beyond amazing. Up until today, we’re still in contact and I couldn’t be more proud of her!! This is what I opened up for, the knowing I have inspired some people to feel better about themselves or provided some fraction of insight, which might lead to a better/happier life eventually.It fills my heart with joy and gratitude!

 

On the other hand, I became overwhelmed by my own emotions and subconscious fears that were lurking below the surface.

“Omg, now everybody knows.”, “What if people will only see me as being transgender (still hate that word… but it is  a label to comprehend) and won’t ever see my other qualities”… OK there it was, again, that silly monster called “self-doubt”.

 

Once again I told myself, “we’re all more than just our story…”

 

Not that self-doubt automatically has to be a bad thing, because when we’re aware of its presence, we’ll be motivated to try and improve ourselves. And we’ll learn to tackle it!

After a week or two I managed to pick myself up again and intrinsically I once more began to grow a little more self-confident.

 

Two months later I decided I had enough of a certain toxic situation/environment, that I had been procrastinating to get out off for more than a year! I told myself to throw away all the “what-if’s” and all the excuses of why not to take that certain step. It was time to grow up a little.

I am someone who immediately acts whenever I make a decision. I took the step and created the space I needed to grow further and said goodbye to the situation that had been holding me back for nearly all of my life on so many levels.

 

For 18 months I had been thinking and working so hard in order to make big changes on every level of my life… (conscious that is, because the process had been starting subconsciously a few years earlier) 

I took the step… Now what???  I didn’t have to wait more than a few days before life responded.

Within five days, I was asked to do my first TED-talk! Again there they were, the little monsters… “Will I be able to do it?”, “What-if...” 

Within five minutes I kicked those thoughts behind me and I said “YES!”

And what a week it became…

 

 I started writing with the support of a few of my wonderful friends, making me look back on all the steps I already took in life, whenever I had a moment of “weakness”.

That Friday, for the first time,  I found myself traveling all alone to Austria, where everyone would be a “stranger”.

(We should really travel alone more often, by the way.)

I had so much fun by myself in the airports, listening to my music, talking to strangers that were traveling alone, and learning about their wonderful life stories. Open-minded and full of positive excitement, I arrived in Austria where I met with the most wonderful people. So many likeminded spirits, with their own amazing and utterly inspiring stories and talents.

 

When I returned home, I felt there were so many insights and new emotions to process. It was like having a major hangover. In addition to feeling blessed of having been given this wonderful opportunity, there also was a whole range of awareness, about things that had been kept hidden in my subconscious mind.

 

It’s not at all about being thick-skinned, or being able to stand up for your beliefs and share them with the world. On the contrary, it is about being courageous and aware of your fears, and taking action anyway; to show your most vulnerable side. In fact it’s because you’re aware of what you went through, and you are able to realize that there are so many others feeling holding back from, that you become who they truly are...

 

It’s a true desire for everyone to feel safe and free to be who they truly are in a world that is more righteous!  

It’s about wanting to make a statement for the world to see that there is such a strong power within diversity and embracing everyone’s uniqueness.

 

As reflection is to be found everywhere around us, standing on that stage with nerves raging through my mind, stumbling upon my words (so it seemed in my head), I found myself receiving so many wonderful “aha-erlebnissen” ("aha"-moments). I again became dared to once more discover new sides and new ways of processing  within myself. 

But isn’t that just the awesome part of life? Being able to keep on evolving, experiencing, overcoming… 

Of course as I am not a robot, standing in front of so many people sharing your most vulnerable side is quite scary; especially with the conditioning I went through in life ...

 

The most tormenting thing that I came to realize, while speaking in front of so many people, was  feeling the pain I made myself go through all my life; trying to live up to the expectations and pre-set labels of society and the people in my surroundings.

We have all heard them before; “Don’t talk so much”, “Don’t ask so many questions”, “Don’t be so extroverted”, “Don’t be so sensitive”, “Don’t be so straightforward….” “Don’t …

Well I came to discover that ever since I started towards becoming “my true self”, people appreciate me for who I really am!!!! 

 

Even though some will disappear from your life, it does not do well  to mourn them, because the minute you start loving yourself… Life will make you meet more and more like-minded, awesome people!

Embrace those processes and keep looking through the eyes of wonder with a heart full of love to share!!

 

What a useless fear it is that so many of us carry within, “the fear of rejection”… the only one who needs to grant you any form of acceptance … IS YOU!!!

You are awesome and perfect the way you are… Just act as you want life, and people to act towards you!!!!

 

Each day I discover new parts within myself. I have chosen to set myself free and start using my talents encrypted in my blueprint, but it still is an ongoing process. But wHAT a magical process this is.

 

Every once in awhile I discover things surfacing; making clear that there’s still so much to learn about myself, life and people!

How on earth is it possible that the conditioning we experienced, has such a big impact?

There’s no logic at all about starting life pure, growing up and later having to work so hard to become our true selves again????

Although it might take quite some effort accompanied by tears of pain and release from time to time, it’s so rewarding and quite amazing, granting freedom to those hidden parts of the true you!!

 

Say “YES” to yourself and “Yes” to life… Learn to know your amazing talents that fill your heart with joy and energy, they will lead the way on your life’s mission. And get ready to become surprised in the most wonderful of ways!!!

 

Love,

Cathy Kwanten

 

 

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