Because trailblazers create new methods by disrupting old ones, you will face resistance at some point in your journey. People form all sorts of opinions about the changes you want to make, the way you make them, and the simple reality of you taking up space. Come on. You’re rocking the boat, and some folks prefer the familiar current.
This means that trailblazers face resistance. It’s part of the journey. I’ve heard the stories and lived some of them myself. People have lost jobs, relationships, or a reputation, but they persist because they prioritize the vision over the obstacle. You believe that something else is possible. (Yep. We’re hitting the ground running this week.)
However, this does not mean that you do not feel pain along the journey. Of course, you do. Trailblazers are compassionate humans who sometimes feel like a victim when they encounter systemic oppression and individual mistreatment. Your anxiety might escalate and your internal alarm might try to convince you that you are doing something wrong.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
I experienced an internal fire drill recently when my alarm told me that just that. I’m doing something wrong. It’s an old refrain that keeps me in survival mode because it fears growth. As I got coaching on the alarm inside my body and the anxious thoughts that my mind created to match the urgency, I recognized it as old debris from the past that I’ve been carrying. We all have some of it. I likened it to limiting beliefs and coping strategies that I had been scraping off a wall of my mindset like old paint. I chipped away at it but did not bring out the Shop-Vac. Therefore, I worked diligently at scraping but was covered with the mess of micro and not-so-micro aggressions, cautionary tales of women leaders I admire who endured harassment and misogyny on a national stage, friends and family who experienced sexism, job loss, body shaming, social media trolling, and so much more.
The thing is that I have a choice about how I interpret my experiences. I get to choose whether or not to take on a victim identity. This is not toxic positivity. Shit happened and will happen again. I will feel it. I still get to decide my next steps. I get to decide who influences me. Maybe it’s time to shower off those paint chips and dust so that I can emerge. It’s time to plug in the Shop-Vac and clean up around here with three steps.
First, generate awareness. We become the thoughts that sneak under our radar. Here are some familiar thoughts that keep us small and fearful. Catch them so that you can move on to step two.
I can’t do it.
I’m destined to fail.
It works for everyone else but me.
I’m doing something wrong.
I don’t deserve it.
Second, take stock of the internal alarm you feel physically in your body. You don’t have to do anything but notice. Sit with the physical sensations even if they feel uncomfortable. Click on the downregulation meditation below for guidance.
Finally, remember your WHY. Keep it front of mind because it’s easy to play the second-guessing game, especially when confronted with resistance. However, the backlash might be the sign that you are blazing a new trail, shattering the glass ceiling, and making real change. Let’s be honest. No one would care if you weren’t shaking things up.
Keep going. I believe in you.