Wow. It's been a long time since my last Anatomy of an Outfit post. The truth is – I've narrowed my wardrobe down to about 40 pieces total – including footwear. And of those 40 pieces I basically wear the outfit you see above every single day.
I really want to talk about this idea of narrowing down, buying quality pieces, and wearing the same thing every day... but I'm even more excited to chat about this idea of showing up and being seen. The internal dialogue started with me trying to decide whether or not to go to Alt Summit again this year. I wasn't invited back to speak (despite the big crowd and positive response I received at my round table last year) and to be honest, my feelings were a bit bruised. I also got bogged down with a bit of comparison-trap anxiety last year. But I put my big girl panties on and realized that I have tons of friends (and friends-to-be) attending and speaking – I want to be there to hang out with and support them. And the truth is, if you can put your own ego and insecurities in check, Alt Summit is one of the most uplifting tight-knit conferences out there. You don't leave without some radical growth and a big roaring fire under your ass to make things happen.
I also came to realize that showing up and being seen is pretty much my job description when it comes to being a part-owner of Braid Creative. While my business partner and sister, Tara, is all about logistics, methodology, organization and holding down the fort – I'm all about getting us out there, making impressions, taking risks, moving forward, and forging authentic connections and relationships with other dream-seekers. We call this hot spark and slow burn (which are you? you can read more about that here).
Then there is the work / life balance that tells us to say no (there's lots of online chatter about protecting your time and resources) but I'm all about saying yes. When you say yes, show up, and be seen you open yourself up to really making some shit happen. You don't have to work much harder than simply being there to open doors and move mountains.
I recently received this comment / question in one of the Braid ECourses in which I tell the students to practice saying yes for a while:
I'm curious to hear from people who have anxiety around saying yes to all social engagements/putting themselves out there online. Kathleen, do you or others have tips on how to fake it 'til you make it in person? Online interaction makes me a little nervous, too, but I'm definitely way more comfortable with that. So, I always feel a little disingenuous because I'm not nearly as outgoing in real life as I'd like to be or as I'd like to project.Here is my response – and some of my own advice I took when deciding whether or not to go to Alt Summit again:
It's funny because as I was writing the "say yes" section of this ECourse I was going through a time in my life where I really needed to start pulling back and saying "no" a little more. You're not alone in your social anxiety. I have it EVERY time I go to a conference, have a speaking gig or even hit "publish". I had it the day before this ECourse went live!
So let me share a few questions I ask myself before saying "yes" or "no" to an event (and by event I mean party, conference, coffee meeting, potential client meeting, blog post, etc.) - maybe it will help you with your anxiety:
• Will this event connect me to people who can lift me up?
• Will I be able to uplift others with my gifts of knowledge and expertise at this event?
• What is one thing I want to come out of this event having learned?
• Will attending this event deepen my own understandings and expertise?
My main point is that if you go into an event with a very specific goal it makes it a little less intimidating. Also, just depending on your mood or anxiety flip your worries around by asking what you have to offer or what the event has to offer you. It could be a good barometer for saying yes or no.
This also applies to the online world. Are you reading blogs that uplift you? What kinds of things do you want to bring to the table online? What do you want people to know, do and feel? I hope that helps a little.So with that I'm going to Alt Summit. I'm looking forward to connecting with people who have rad ideas on how to be creative entrepreneurs, bloggers, and live-what-they-lovers. I'm looking forward to hopefully uplifting others with my own radical way of living out loud. I can't wait to capture, shape, and share everything I learn when I return. If you're going to Alt Summit be sure to say hello! I promise to give you a big hug.
If you're not going to Alt Summit I encourage you to sign up for a conference, retreat, workshop or something in 2013 that will allow you to show up and be seen.
P.S. Tomorrow is your last day to sign up for our Braid ECourse Shape Up Your Content: Tame Your Ideas and Tell People How To Buy You. It's for creatives who feel scattered and overwhelmed with ideas online and off. Oftentimes, it's those very ideas that leave you feeling a bit paralyzed and stuck. We designed this course to help get you unstuck. The course is $75 and is in-session from Jan. 11-20 (that gives you two weekends to complete it). Register here.