We all have at least one in our life. Some may be as innocent as stealing a pack of gum in 6th grade while others may be more serious such as an addiction, an eating disorder, an affair, or something else.
The one that I kept mostly quiet, and unassuming, was my relationship with alcohol. As a nightly drinker, the story I told myself was that I was sophisticated and well cultured. It sounded good, plus it helped ease any guilt that arose from time to time.
Another secret I had for years was my closet smoking. I worked in the medical field and couldn’t let anyone know that “health-conscious-me” was a nightly smoker. I had that dirty little secret locked-up tight!
I recall many times holding a cigarette in one hand, and a glass of wine in the other and thinking I must end both of these habits one day.
Okay, now, what’s YOURS?
It’s uncomfortable, isn’t it?
We all have something that we rather keep buried.
Why does this cause you to feel bad?
Your inner voice is letting you know that it’s NOT helpful to you. It most likely is causing you to have a tremendous amount of guilt and problems in your life.
Great, you know this, so now what?
Yes, that’s right. Tell another human.
By sharing your story, you can begin to release some of that guilt and shame. I know, you might be saying, “but I can’t do that!”
It’s embarrassing and others may judge you, am I right?
This is the #1 reason why many remain stuck, and their secrets become more entangled. You worry about what others might think, not to mention how this could negatively affect your reputation. The danger with remaining silent is eventually it will be forced out under different pretenses.
The weekend that I had my last drink, I told my husband, my kids, and two best friends. The next day I called my parents, three more friends, and a co-worker.
Looking back, I was very forthcoming about my secret. I realize this isn’t the norm.
But what changed my course is when a friend told me that one day I would start my own business, become a coach, AND share my story with the world to help others….my response went something like this… “Um, no, NO, and HELL NO!!” In that order.
There was NO WAY I would ever tell anyone outside of my immediate circle that I had been drinking too much and had a “problem”. That would tarnish my reputation! Everyone thought I had it all together, plus I couldn’t allow myself to be so vulnerable.
That was the story I told myself. Little did I know that by sharing my story, it was not only helping others, but it was helping ME!
The burden of guilt and worry was lifted.
I felt a tremendous sense of freedom.
Okay, I know what you might be thinking. There is NO way you’re going to share your secret with the world like I did, let alone telling another person. It’s too heavy and hard to do that.
I’m not suggesting you shout it from the rooftops or post it on social media, but rather to begin with a close friend, loved one, or perhaps a pastor.
Sometimes it helps to tell a stranger. You might find a therapist/counselor, or work with a coach that will walk alongside you.
Whatever your secret is that is keeping you stuck in a shame pool, know this; you are not alone. We all have something that holds us back from feeling free. And that’s what sharing your story can do for you — it provides a sense of freedom.
Maybe your drinking is more than you’re intending it to be. Maybe your sick of stashing the bottle out of sight, or tired of pretending to have it all together when you’re just trying to do your best to keep up the facade.
Or perhaps you don’t want to drink this weekend but feel pressured to keep up with a social circle.
Maybe you’re just plain tired of playing the blame game and enough is enough.
What would it feel like to get this off your chest, and feel free from it all?
If you’d like to share your story with me, I’d be honored to hear it. Together we can work through the secret so you can have peace within.
Start with D.E.C.I.D.E.
It’s a 7-day free email and video series to make a shift out of the silence. Knowing your why and having an area that you’d like to expand in your life while experiencing harmony, can be yours.
Secrets aren’t dirty when you shine a light on them. They become part of your journey and an opportunity to help someone else while helping yourself.