I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this. I have become aware that I tend to dumb myself down to make other people feel comfortable. I play it safe in conversations as I don’t want to come off as a know-it-all or because I want to avoid a potential debate when my opinion differs. My insecurities of not having a formal education come into play BIG TIME when I withhold information based on my lack of schooling. I have decided to stop myself dead in these tracks I’m making. I know what I know, and I know it well. I research the crap out of the things I’m interested in, I’ve run a small business, I’ve cultivated Canada’s largest all-female cycling team with an amazing sponsorship program, and I’m highly successful at homeschooling my children. Jon and I are sitting in what we call the lap of luxury, so why do I feel the need to dumb it down?
Growing up, I was still in the generation of ‘seen but not heard’. In school, we are also taught that if you aren’t getting straight A’s, you are not smart. Between the two, it’s no surprise that I’m full of insecurities. Starting the unfolding project brought out this self-doubt in spades. I had thoughts like “no one will want to read what you have to say, no one cares about your photos, you are not an author.” Sharing the ugliest parts of my past was terrifying because I feared other’s judgement of my past self, and in sharing how great things are now I feared
judgement that I was showing off. It seemed like a lose/lose kind of situation.
I often find myself being careful of how much of my good life I share for fear of rejection. Nowadays, it seems you can’t be too happy or people are going to talk shit. I brought this up with my therapist, naturally, and she was an absolute ray of sunshine. She told me “you don’t see Oprah Winfrey dumbing down for anyone, do ya?!” I was also reminded that "Oprah started from nothing, you know the story.” Yes, I most definitely do know her story. She is so incredibly inspiring and I vow to see her speak live one of these days.
Sharing the ugliest parts of my past was terrifying because I feared other’s judgement of my past self
I decided the only way to move through this was to stop worrying about what others are going to think. The only person that matters when it comes to my writing is me. I’m going to share the good with the bad. I’m going to let myself be raw and shiny. I know now, though it’s taken too long to recognize, that I’m brilliant and I have so much love and wisdom to offer. I know that my stories will touch someone’s heart. I no longer need to hide and pretend to be average or less-than when I have something special that I want to share with the world. It’s been very freeing to unfold this layer of my story.
Have you ever felt like you needed to dumb down? I would love to hear your story.
Be Well Friends.