Showing Up

by Sarah on August 9, 2013

They put me here to try to make the world betterI’m sitting in an airport right now about to board a plane to Idaho. After a few days there, I’ll take a bus to Portland, Oregon. Later in the month, I’ll embark on a cross-country road trip back home.

To me, this is all small potatoes. Between my life in the theatre and my crazy adventures last year after quitting my job, I’m no stranger to travel and I love traveling alone.

On the other hand, standing up in front of a theatre full of people to tell a story about something that happened at the 4th grade lunch table twenty years ago… well, that had me shaking in my proverbial boots.

And putting that video up on the internet where people are starting to actually pay attention to it?

Downright terrifying.

(Click here or scroll down to see the video.)

This is particularly fascinating for me because as a coach, most of what I do is help people figure out how to feel safe putting themselves (or their businesses) out into the world in the most genuine and empowering way possible.

I even have a lot of tactics for this (many of which I will be teaching in the class on Talking to Fear.)

And in my own exploration of what it would take for me to feel safe sharing this story, I discovered a lot of things…

…like the fact that I have no problem with the whole internet seeing that video, even the trolls. But I worry a lot more about how my family and friends will react it.

…or that one of my main fears is of appearing melodramatic or attention-seeking.

…or even that my fear of being misundestood or misinterpreted greatly outweighs my fear of being made fun of or stigmatized.

But this year I’ve been committed to figuring out how to show up more fully. How to ask for what I need. And how to let myself be seen.

And thanks to a lot of practice, I’m making progress.

This video is the result.


If you want to know all the strategies and tactics I use to work with my fears and do all the crazy things I do, check out the class on Talking to Fear. It will be happening on September 17th, and it may be just the thing you need to help you take the next step towards creating the life or business of your dreams.

And if you liked the video, if it helped you feel seen or understood in any way, please share it with your networks using the buttons below and help do something about ending shame, stigma and invisibility. Thank you!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen J August 11, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Oh, {{{Sarah!}}} Yes – all that. Well done!

It can be a VeryGoodThing to *know how* to be Invisible… but to feel that way even when you you don’t want to, yeah, not-so-much.
The Universe is definitely tuned in to the courage of “becoming liberated” from our shame these days, by Becoming Emphatically Visible: yesterday’s “Moth Story Hour” (on the radio) was on the topic of Shame, and the first piece was a runner talking about how she decided to rock her artificial legs instead of hiding them. And on “Snap Judgement” this evening, the last story was by a man who’d been put on a “Sex Offender Registry” for one incident when he was 12(!), how he’d paid and paid and paid for that socially-exaggerated outrage, and how he decided to go public with his side of the story.

~ Love you, and that 4th grader inside you, and Lisa Shacht, too.

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Karen J August 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm

PS – I was “over 100 lbs” by 5th grade, too. And had a genetically large bust already. Jr. High was *not* a GoodTime… 😉

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Sarah August 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I didn’t get the bust until college… interestingly enough, my boobs were my entry into loving my body. Maybe I’ll tell that story one day. 😉

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Sarah August 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I changed her name, but yes, thanks! 🙂

I agree that invisibility can be a useful super-power, but only when it’s chosen.

Those sound like amazing stories – I’ll have to go find them. xo

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Michael Roberts August 11, 2013 at 10:26 pm

I have a big head, and I’m not saying I’m arrogant. Some kid at some camp I don’t even remember laughed and pointed at my head, and I can only remember the feeling of shame all these years later. There’s no way that the kid who insulted me would possibly remember what happened. It’s such a stupid moment, but I think about it whenever I try on a hat.

Thanks for having the courage to share your story. Looking through the comments here, it’s obvious that starting the conversation gives others the chance to be brave, too.

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Sarah August 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

That is my whole goal. Thanks for sharing, Michael. It’s amazing how much one little moment from childhood can ripple out through our whole lives, isn’t it?

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Annie Sisk August 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Holy hot tamales do I ever empathize with the whole theater-didn’t-prepare-me-for-THIS-much-exposure thing! It’s one thing when you’re saying someone else’s words – another thing ENTIRELY when the words aren’t just yours – but so deeply, personally, intimately yours. Cheers to you!

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Sarah August 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Thanks, Annie! So glad you stopped by. 🙂 Cheers right back at you.

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Tammy R August 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

We just watched this together and were really speechless afterward (hard to do to us!). We were both deeply moved by what you said.

I am an avid reader and was just wondering what, besides horrible LA teachers in middle school, could have scared me away from reading in middle school. It just struck me after watching your video and reading Joel’s comment. I was reading a book in 5th grade when I heard, “Mooooooose.” It kept happening until I looked up and three or four boys in my class were saying it and looking at me. I happened to realize the title of my book was Call Me Moose. It stuck all through middle school. I’d walk into class and one or more of the boys would say, Hello Chocolate Moose Pie. Hello Cherry Moose Pie. I was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but isn’t it just crazy what we keep all these years? Thank you so much for sharing that, Sarah. It has really made me think so much.

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Sarah August 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Awww… thanks for sharing your story, Tammy. I am consistently amazed by how much this video is resonating for people, but it’s so nice to know that this is such a shared experience. I’m excited to be shedding some light on that. Thanks for watching and sharing. You rock, as always. xoxo

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cj August 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Incredible poise, Sarah, under such emotional pressure. Your commitment to risk and grit is glowing here. Have a fun weekend!

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Sarah August 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Risk and grit… I love it. 🙂

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Joel Zaslofsky August 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm

First Ignite Stamford, now a story slam champ… I see great things coming your way, Sarah. You are oozing vulnerability right now and helping me be more comfortable revealing what’s hiding in my own shell.

Kids in school used to tease me about my super long neck. I’d hear, “Hey, Giraffe Boy!” or “Look. It’s ‘The Neck'” all the time. I don’t blame them though. I was an a-hole to many other kids in my own way. But it gave me a two-decade-long complex that I finally came to terms with a couple of years ago. I used to buy T-shirts, sweaters, and other shirts that covered as much of my neck as possible because I was hyper-sensitive to comments about it.

Now, I just joke about my long neck like I joke about my bald dome or anything else that’s “undesirable.” I’m liberated, and you’re becoming liberated too.

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Sarah August 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Thanks for sharing your own story, Joel. I love that idea of becoming liberated – that’s exactly how I feel. 🙂

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Erin August 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I want to know the strategies and tactics! Goodness, I hope we have our Internet set up by then… 🙂

I love your story, Sarah. Thank you for sharing it, and then sharing the video of you sharing it. <3

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Sarah August 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I’ll share the strategies and tactics anyway… it’s not that I mind sharing them for free. Just that they’re all rather overlapping and involved and it’s really going to take a 90 minute class to go through all of it. Some of them will work for some folks better than others, etc. But I’ll explain ’em to you and/or there’s a recording if you miss the class! And when/if we get to work together we’ll probably use a lot of them. So yay for all that. Thanks for readin’.

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