Reading Time: 13 minutes
Here’s a secret: I wince and cringe when my family tell me they’re going to give my blog a read. Not because I’m ashamed of what I’m sharing on here, or because I wish they didn’t care about what I do (I’m so very grateful that they do!), but because when you really think about it, the nagging voice of self-doubt often sounds like the people who know us best, and it can be terrifying putting ourselves out there knowing that it might change the way they see us. Because I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a photographer, a translator, a business owner… And some days I feel like I can be all these things at once and balance them all confidently and perfectly, while on other days I need to separate them all in neat, tidy boxes so that they don’t overlap because it feels much safer and much more comfortable. I sometimes think that if I could run my business undercover, on a separate part of the Internet where no one I know in real life had a chance of ever finding out about it, I’d feel so much more confident and free. (Anyone else feeling that way?!)
It’s hard taking up space, isn’t it? Whether here, in this small virtual bubble, or out there in the real world, it’s not easy raising our hand and standing up to say “This is me. Here’s what I do. These are the things I love, and the things I care deeply about. This is what I want to be known for. Take it or leave it.” Often we’d much rather make ourselves as small as possible and not make any ripples, because it minimises the risks of being judged, shamed, criticised or misunderstood. And we try to back these feelings up with reasons, too — “I’m not ready” ; “I have nothing to say” ; “no one will care” ; “it feels too narcissistic”.