While I was in high school, several of the guys in my class made fun of me by routinely saying, “Just crawl back into your little Erin shell.” Those words gnawed at me and hurt me deeply, though I tried not to show it and to laugh it off or ignore it. I have always kept a protective “shell” around me, like a turtle or a snail. Ironically, that shell emerged years before because of similar circumstances and people saying ugly things to me. Even if they were simply joking, their words only made me loathe myself even more.
I’ve been an introvert much of my life and only let the real me out when I’m feeling truly comfortable….which takes a long time unless there is alcohol involved. But this blog has been an incredible outlet, allowing me the space to safely share my creativity and innermost thoughts. Many of you know I long to write a book and I often say that “I have a book in my head.” Yet that book has never quite made it onto paper or into my computer. Fear stands in my way, fear of so many different things, but obviously failure is near the top of that list.
Over the weekend a Twitter friend, @SarahRobinson, messaged me about her upcoming conference: CIP, or Creating Irresistible Presence. Sarah is also the author of Escaping Mediocrity. I recently saw a link on Twitter to her Burn the Ships post, which made me cry with recognition.
I bit the bullet. I overcame incredible nausea, called @SarahRobinson herself as well as @KatJaib and spoke with them both about potentially coming to the conference. And I did it. I hung up the phone, got on the computer, and made my reservations. It’s a done deal. Hotlanta, here I come!
My walls are coming down.
My armor is coming off.
I’m making myself vulnerable and opening up.
I’m burning my ships, or my “shell,” as it were.
(Thank you, Sarah Robinson!)
No more excuses, no more hiding, no more waiting.
I begin my journey at CIP in Atlanta in September.
I need to be pushed, pulled, stretched to my limit.
I need to be taken out of my comfort zone.
Like @SarahRobinson said, it’s as if my words
are all there, but they’re “stuck” in my throat and I can’t get them out.
I’m going to find myself, that part of me that is ready, waiting.
She’s perhaps buried under some rubble and wreckage, but she’s there.
She just needs someone to help pull her out.
Who’s with me?
And what are YOU waiting for? It’s time to pull out all the stops. Burn your ships!