As women, we are trained by society to follow the rules and not make a scene.
But if there’s a change you want to see in your life — you’ve got to be bold and disruptive. You’ve likely spent a better portion of your life with a mask on – so when you start peeling back the layers and showing your true face, people are going to react. This will happen when you start to do things differently, stand up for things that you let slide in the past, say no thank you to obligations that don’t light you up.
It’s not always easy to re-connect to your authenticity. It takes practice. It takes tools. It takes support and inspiration. But it’s still simple. Don’t do things that drain you, do things that light you up.
I see two things happening: we have fear that is triggered by things around us and a fear that comes from within. Mainstream media produces its own brand of fear, but I’ll leave that one out for now because I think it just layers on top of everything else.
PART 1: What’s happening when we care what’s going on around us.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
One that is common to society is the fear of missing out and this leads to impatience. We think if we don’t do the thing “right now” we will miss out on whatever opportunity. So, we do things we don’t even want to do out of fear.
This is when we start following external “shoulds” instead of our internal desire. It’s our mind telling us that we aren’t Y if we don’t do X. We impatiently dive in headfirst without our aligned decisions telling us to.
I’ve talked about my FOMO in entrepreneurship, but parents can also have FOMO. Maybe it’s the fear that if you don’t put your kids in activities super young, they will be behind. Or fear that if you don’t attend all the events that you will look like a bad parent, your kid will miss out, or that they won’t be enriched if they aren’t constantly moving. Spoiler alert! My kids don’t remember half the stuff I worked my butt off to make happen. I do feel like they felt the love from me in the moment, but there were others ways that may have been easier or better for us that I could have chosen.
I can’t tell you how many times this fear has driven my decisions in the past. Sigh. I admit that I am an impatient person, but I don’t always see that this is what led me to Y…and now I am super frustrated I am there. It happened to me a lot during the pandemic. Even difficulties with low likelihoods of occuring did happen in major ways to my close family members. In our household, we have a high-risk person and we were a little more conservative for the safety of that person. Even so, I still had FOMO for all the things the families who had no high-risk people were doing. I would question myself – should I just be doing these things? Are my kids missing out? There were a few times where I pushed us out of our comfort zone. It didn’t feel good or comfortable to me and I knew why we were doing things the way we were. But, in the end, what we were doing was right for us and I don’t think we missed anything important. We lived life fully and we made safe/smart decisions that worked for us and felt comfortable to make that happen.
I am starting to recognize this more and more before I jump into things because of FOMO. I am feeling much more content in my decisions, even if I opt out of something. It’s for my well-being, so it’s correct. It’s another form of self-care.
Power player example!
Look at Simone Biles— she knew what she was missing out on and could have easily been swayed by it and possibly done some major damage to herself. But she knew what was right for her and she opted out of some participation in the Olympics. Now that’s some internal power.
Fear of Judgement
The fear of others judging us is real. It’s the opposite of having thick skin, though. It’s what pushes us to try to create the perfect Instagram personas. It’s the fear that advertising and marketing can drive. I have spent over twenty years in the world of marketing and business and I can see what’s happening. It’s also the self-judgment you put upon yourself. It’s truly conditioning at its worst. I also think this is one place where excuses pop out, we are afraid of just saying our truth, so we make excuses to make ourselves and others feel better.
In the last week, have you done something just to avoid judgment? Did you wear specific clothes or wear your hair a certain way? Or, did you hold back an opinion when asked, or say yes to something you didn’t want to do so you would be looked at a certain way?
This is why I love Human Design so much! Its intention is to honor and respect differences and slowly eliminate your judgment of yourself and others.
The answer to external fear is developing your thick skin
The process of becoming authentic requires thick skin – but you don’t have to find it on day one. You can find it little by little – but there will be some discomfort.
Definition of thick skin: an ability to keep from getting upset or offended by the things other people say and do. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thick skin
Metaphorically, a person with ” thick skin ” is able to handle criticism.
As you are transforming people will be offended. Sometimes it’s just because they wish they could be more like you…willing to say no to things. Sometimes they’ve realized you are a different person than who they know – because you have been hiding behind a mask. It’s valid that as you change, the people around you may change. Some will grow with you; some will grow apart from you.
In real life…
Before I started speaking my truth and setting boundaries based on it, I admit I was jealous of those who could. I would even go so far as to say that I would get mad. For example, I was working in a direct sales business and was told to do my work on the evenings and weekends which wasn’t ideal for my energy or life – but I did it anyway because I was trying to be a ‘good’ builder. But when I would try setting up a meeting with the very same people who gave me that framework, they would be busy because it was their “day off”, or busy doing some self-care. So, they were asking me to work in a way that was against my wishes and stepping all over my boundaries (because I was letting them)! Simultaneously, they had set boundaries that I couldn’t penetrate. Good for them. Bad for me.
But the problem wasn’t them. It was me. I needed to say “No, I can’t do the work or attend meetings every week on evenings and weekends, I need to do my work during the weekdays right now,” “I need to find the right audience who wants to learn during the day,” or, “if that doesn’t work, then this opportunity doesn’t work for me.”
Moving through some very painful months and years of this mask I wore, I slowly started to take my power back and say no – and it came with backlash. I wasn’t as good of a soldier; I wasn’t willing to do “whatever it takes” to get ahead. I finally said enough is enough and I had to end the business relationship and do things the way that worked best for me. My whole point is, I can see it from both perspectives.
But for me, it feels best to be on the side of speaking your truth. I will admit, I am an empath and I still worry about the backlash sometimes from speaking my truth. I may take a day or two to open a response from someone to whom I’d spoken my truth. I know I could have said what they wanted to hear to keep the peace, but I couldn’t anymore. I am not an attacker, I am still pretty level-headed when I am speaking with authenticity, but it’s still a very vulnerable place. It means I shared the real truth from within me and now I have to see how other people react to the real me.
Often, it’s a good reaction, but I haven’t quite mastered the bravery to face it head-on instantly. I also think that’s okay. It’s also a powerful tool to take in the emotional energy when you are ready – not when the other person is ready. When they wrote the email, they were ready – when you decide to read it, you are ready. It’s obviously different in person – where you are in the moment. In that case, you have to be ready for it. Or, you must learn techniques for clearing afterward. You just don’t know how others will react – but that is not your problem. I actually believe you will be more upset at yourself for holding back your true beliefs than you would be at their response.
For me, I believe it all came down to fear. If you have ever done direct sales, or are a parent – if you are human! — you have fears that drive you. I have done many sales jobs. In a sales atmosphere, the fear of missing out is something that is impressed upon you. Fear if you don’t do it their way, you will fail. Fear if you don’t do it fast, you will never achieve it.
PART 2: What’s happening on the inside?
Animal Instinct Fear
Does fear ever just paralyze you from moving forward? Do you feel stuck even when the tasks at hand are simple? This may be the animal instinct fear kicking in. But fear is a primal instinct that we simply do not need to use in the same way we did ten thousand years ago when our ancestors were running away from dangerous wild animals. Many of our daily fears in today’s day and age are actually remnants of very old fears that are no longer relevant.
How can Human Design help?
This type of fear is driven by instinct which aligns with the Human Design Spleen Center. Let’s face it, fear plays a major role in our lives and many of us even feel paralyzed by it. Seeking to understand the fears that could potentially hold us back helps us to move past them and move forward with life.
Is animal instinct fear still relevant in daily life?
We can easily get stuck in our fears. There are many different ways our fears can be expressed and we can gain insight into which ones are consistently affecting us by looking at which gates we have defined in our splenic center. I have many of the fear gates defined in my chart and I will tell you a story about each of them. Again, those animal instinct fears are typically no longer relevant in our modern world. Unconsciously, we think we are going to die if certain things happen or don’t happen— like I might think if I write this blog and no one reads it, I am going to die. But we all know that’s not true! You are reading it, and even if you were not, I would most certainly survive.
Spleen Center energy is the oldest energy in Human Design and it is there to keep us safe from harm. It is the survival instinct. In the 21st century, there is very little that will actually kill us (where most of us are living anyway), so all we need to do is push through the fears. I am not telling you to ignore your instincts if you feel unsafe – like if you feel that you shouldn’t walk down that dark alley, or you are hiking and you think you hear a bear, listen to your instincts! – this is entirely about the fears that hold us back in daily life.
The fears in the Spleen Center seem to do more to keep us stuck than keep us safe in our modern world. You’ll need to learn to bust past that one second of fear and then it simply dissipates. A moment later, you will find yourself wondering why you were so worried to begin with! If you are curious about the instinctual fears that might be holding you back, check out the gate energy in the gates of the Spleen Center. It’s too much to add in here, but it could be very helpful to your journey as you step into your bold, disruptive energy so you can move forward.
I have many stories of how fear can play out for almost all of the gates because I have all but one of the gates defined (colored in). Check out the Fears of the Spleen blog to read them.
It takes a great deal of courage to be yourself.
Do you want to know how to overcome your fears? The key is to push past that one moment of fear. It’s like stepping that first foot through the door. Once you walk to the other side of that door the fear instantly dissipates. This is certainly easier said than done, especially if you have stayed in your own personal safety zone up until this point in your life. To support you as you begin to practice moving through your fears, I invite you to try using an essential oil that can support you with each gate (each expression of fear) as you see them come up in your day-to-day life.
3 things you can do:
Develop your thick skin little by little:
- When you have Fear of Missing Out, pause when making a decision and see how you feel. Are you jumping into the decision because you are afraid you will miss out? Not necessarily in the particular activity, but from being the type of person that would do that?
- When you have Fear of Judgment, start to notice the twinge of discomfort when you make decisions based on the story that you might be judged. Take one tiny step forward, you just need to get through that one moment:
- When you have Fear from the Spleen, this will actually feel different than the other two. You will notice a little excitement with it and maybe even a little pull forward if it’s something you should “just do” anyway. Take a look at your Spleen Center gates that are defined and see if any of those things are holding you back.
What fears are holding you back? What can you do to bust through them?
If you can’t identify the specific fear and just feel stuck, I invite you to try incorporating this one essential oil, Cypress, and see what happens. It may just lighten you up or help you flow so you can take one step forward. And that one small step might be just enough to push you to bust through something you wouldn’t have done otherwise.
You might be able to start to imagine the new movie of your life instead of regretting things you have done in the past, like “if only I had made the authentic decision back then.”
Rather, imagine what could happen if every time you made a decision going forward you mustered up the courage to do what’s right for you. You can even consider that when you are deciding. How will I feel if I make decision A or decision B? Sometimes if you can guess you will be frustrated or uncomfortable or annoyed with decision A and do it anyway – you likely will be. But what if you can imagine making decision B where you feel content, happy even, and glad you made it. That’s the decision to make – no matter what external fears are putting pressure on your decision or what animal instinct fears are holding you back.