Updated: Nov 12, 2018
If that title makes you feel uncomfortable, it should!
We all hide. We procrastinate. We avoid. We duck.
And, life goes on.
But hiding is likely impacting you personally and professionally in ways that are holding you back from achieving your goals.
One of my clients is avoiding the fact that her parents are getting older–she literally ran out of the room when her father tried to talk with her about the plans they’re putting in place for the future. She’s in her mid-40’s.
Another client is hiding from speaking up in meetings. He’s comfortable one-on-one but in large groups he becomes anxious. He also hides behind email, preferring it as a method of communication over speaking with colleagues directly.
Another client hides behind her spouse when it comes to money. She’s not comfortable making decisions about money, even though at work she’s a professional and a leader. Avoiding money has become an Achilles heel for her at work as well–by avoiding jobs that require budget responsibility she’s dimmed her career opportunities.
A stimulating, time-consuming job can enable you to hide from taking care of yourself–exercising regularly, eating well and sleeping enough.
Other common things we hide from are giving presentations; having a difficult conversation with your boss to request a raise or promotion; growing your business; making a job transition; or winding down your business or career.
If we’re hiding, it’s because whatever we’re hiding from feels difficult, daunting, frightening or simply impossible. It can feel like there’s a mountain to climb, and we can’t see what’s beyond it.
So, how would it be to stretch, pull yourself out of your comfort zone and reframe your fear as a challenge for this year or 2019?
We offer 3 approaches:
Connecting to our fears and anxieties is one approach. If you let yourself move towards the fear, what’s there? Where does the Saboteur, (or inner critic), energy come from? How long have you been holding onto this way of thinking, and what’s the impact on your life? What would open up for you if you could stop hiding?
Another approach is to be bold and look for opportunities to say “yes” where previously you said, “No way!”. Build new skills, practice, don’t dwell on your failures, and then take baby steps or even a big leap. Put yourself forward to speak up in meetings, give a presentation, ask for a promotion or look for a new job or start a business. You can build confidence and competence as you go.
This approach comes from my colleague Diane Garga. She says: “Imagine you’re already there!” Think about a ‘brilliant’ moment that you’ve experienced where you were visible and not hiding, where everything was going well, you were happy and being your best self. Ask yourself: “Where was your focus? What did you let go of in order to be present? What did you notice about how you were showing up?”Knowing what your qualities are that make you shine can help unlock yourself. And, being fully present lessens your fear about extraneous things.
So, what’s one step you can take from here? What’s possible in your life and in your career?
Stop hiding! We can help you be your best self.