Over the past three months, I have participated in the Pivot and Rise Mastermind course led by Diana Patton. This past Tuesday I, along with six other amazing women, officially graduated as rise advocates. What is a rise advocate, you might wonder? A rise advocate recognizes when FEAR (false evidence appearing as real messages) is holding her back, pivots to realize her truth, calling and voice and never gives up. Every two weeks we focused on a different aspect of mastery: calling, mindset, personal development, advocacy, professional development and service.
One of the biggest “a-ha” moments from Diana’s class for me was the concept of lower one’s identity gap. The identity gap is the difference between the self you portray to others and who you really are inside. While my identity gap is not “0” yet, I am working toward that goal and the freedom that goes with it. For years (decades?) the fear of having an anxiety attack or panic attack kept me from realizing my true potential and kept me quiet. As soon as the onslaught of physical discomfort triggered by anxiety overwhelmed my body, my instinct has always been to back track and avoid. Avoid, avoid, avoid. The physical discomfort would recede, but the mental anguish and disappointment in myself remained.I know there will be times I will be overwhelmed by anxious feelings again. However, even if I temporarily retreat to avoidance, I know I will get back up and push through it like I have in the past.
Along with focusing on narrowing my identity gap, Diana had as complete the “breadcrumbs” exercise. In this exercise we gathered old photos of ourselves and then reflected and journaled on that period in our lives. This gave me clarity and helped me follow those breadcrumbs and how they formed who I am today. I learned about the importance of my story. Even though in the back of my mind, the negative thoughts say, what does my story matter? Who even cares about my story? Why even bother sharing it? What I learned though – through listening to other people’s stories – we all have one – is that my story does matter and so do yours. My story might not resonate with everyone – how could it? We are all uniquely different. However, my story will resonate with someone, somewhere. If using my voice and sharing my stories and my truth can inspire one person, I’m in.
And so, I have once again renamed my blog in an effort to align it more with who I am and where I want to go. While serendipity is still something I look for in my daily life, I am also undaunted in sharing my authentic, vulnerable self. For someone with anxiety, that’s huge. I may not be there completely today or tomorrow, but I’ll get there.
If anyone is interested, Diana is starting a new cohort of the Pivot and Rise Mastermind Course at the end of September. I highly recommend it! Go to https://www.riseadvocates.com/ for details.