I used to believe that “working hard in secret” was a desirable trait. I would tell myself “Let your results do the talking” “You don’t need to prove anything to anyone”. For a while, I adopted this trait. I held my head high believing that my journey to success was more real and authentic because I wasn’t oversharing my story on social media. I never aspired to reveal everything I worked on. I wanted to keep it to myself and work hard in secret then shock everyone when I achieved it. I told myself “stay humble and work hard”. [As if staying humble meant that I couldn’t tell a soul about my endeavors.] I equated sharing information about my activities to ‘showing off’ and ‘boasting’. In my eyes it was all negative. The thought of putting myself ‘out there’ left me feeling uncomfortable. Partly because the introvert in me wanted to run to the highest of hills and stay there for weeks on end not speaking to a soul. But also because I didn’t want people in my personal space. I didn’t want to open up because well…I didn’t want to be accountable…
So that meant some of my ideas were never fulfilled. I had no one to keep me on track. I had no one checking in on me to see how I was getting on. I had no one to gain advice from, because no one knew what I was doing. I worked hard in secret and gave myself a pat on the back for doing so. I thought I was doing myself a great service. “Boasting will get you no where” and that’s how I saw it. But in all honesty, I think I was hiding behind my ‘humbleness’. I understood being humble as putting myself second and the feelings of my peers first. I didn’t want anyone to think I was better than them (ridiculous I know).
Being humble actually ended up becoming a way to accommodate my fear of criticism. Inviting people to witness the journey would no doubt come with opinions, scrutiny and maybe even jealousy. But being open and sharing my life with the world evoked feelings of vulnerability. I knew it would give people the opportunity to fire opinions at me. I just wasn’t ready for that.
But fast forward a couple of years, I’m now seeing the benefit of opening up and sharing. I often tell people about my businesses, I let them know what I’m doing. I post about my days on Snapchat, I write this blog, I have an accountability partner where I tell her what I’ve done for the day. I don’t do it to boast. I do it to create opportunities, exposure and to be honest…keep me on track!
You’ll be suprised how many opportunities have come about from a simple conversation. “Hey Natalie, you said you have this business let me put you in touch with…so and so”. I’ve created links with people across the UK, done business with them and even gained valuable advice!
So how can you inspire when you hold the belief so highly that working hard in secret is the best way? Who are you inspiring? Who are you reminding that they should go out and chase their dreams? Because that’s what it’s all about. That’s what makes the journey more fulfilling.
I’m absolutely focused on achieving my goals and creating a life that I want. So now all of that criticism/opinion is just noise. I shut my ears and keep on going.
So what if people don’t like me or my idea? Trust me, someone will!
So what if your friends aren’t supporting you? I’ve been there too. Time to get over it.
It’s better to be courageous and put yourself on the line than to stay in the background and never be seen. And that is coming from an introverted girl who would absolutely love to stay in the background!
How do you feel about telling people about what you’re doing? Is it something you do naturally? Or do you shy away from it? Comment below