by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE, CAPP, CPPC
You’ve been on my mind a lot over the past few weeks. You see, as the subject line of this email says – Huffington Post published my article about what it was like to have both of our sons come out as gay.
When my article went live a little over two weeks ago, one of my first thoughts was that I needed to write to you so that we could celebrate together.
So, why am I only now telling you?
Because I lost the courage to hit send.
You see, the day my article went live I was fielding calls, emails, texts, as well as Facebook comments and messages from various places in the States as well as from people in Africa, Ireland, Canada, France, and Germany.
Thus making it difficult to write my message and get it out to you.
The dreaded comments…
By the weekend, I had read the comments online and then Monday I read the comments on HuffPost’s Facebook post. And they weren’t pretty. (I know what you are saying. And you’re right, reading the comments wasn’t a healthy decision.)
Interestingly, when I texted my family to tell them I sent my article to HuffPost a couple of weeks prior to the article being published, my daughter called me brave.
I told her I didn’t consider it a brave act – that it was just me being me – telling my truth. (In fact, it was harder to send it to my family than it was to HuffPost – just like it’s harder to present in front of your peers than a room full of strangers.)
But after reading the ugly comments online… I get why she called me brave.
Being vulnerable and putting my shame out into the world, a world where people can stay anonymous, cast judgment and belittle anyone with whom they don’t agree is a very brave thing to do.
I began thinking that offering my story to the world was actually a dumb thing to do.
That’s why I couldn’t hit send.
And then I coached myself and turned it around.
Re-reading the supportive texts, emails, and messages I received also helped me put things in perspective.
In the many messages I received, people affirmed my belief that putting my story into the world would help others going through a similar situation as they wrote to tell me that it helped them find closure, begin discussions, not feel so alone in the world…
While the nasty comments wrecked me at first, my heart is now filled with compassion and gratitude for those who wrote the nasty comments.
Firstly, I believe their hearts are riddled with unresolved angst that really has nothing to do with me thus I feel empathy toward them.
Secondly, the comments left by the anonymous “Internet Trolls” as Luke fondly refers to them, reminded me to approach all stories I read on the Internet with empathy and openness. For this, I am grateful.
I learned that prior to my article going live, I hadn’t really comprehended the import of approaching all things with empathy and openness. You can read my post where I give thanks to people who supported me as well as the “Internet Trolls” here.
Further, how can I not be thankful for their comments when the very act of withstanding what they said has boosted my confidence and my desire to live bolder.
Confidence is built
on the shoulders of action.
As such, I’m more determined than ever to keep my message to “Choose Love” moving forward.
How to gain the confidence needed to move forward
I recently talked with a client about not waiting until she has the confidence to go for what she wants
I told her, It’s the act of taking action that will build your confidence.
I live by the mantra that confidence is built on the shoulders of action and once again, this played out in my life.
I have no doubt it will in yours as well.
It also helps to surround yourself with people who will encourage you to take action toward making your dreams a reality and with people who know how to make it happen.
You may know the why and the what of your dream but not know the how
Write a book to expand my story and my reach – my what.
But I didn’t know how to write and publish a book.
So I committed to my dream by plunking down money and hiring a self-publishing coach who will guide me in writing a book about our family’s story.
What do you want to put out into the world?
What’s keeping you from taking action?
Is it a lack of confidence?
Take one action step today.
And another the next day.
Your confidence will grow with each step until you can’t remember not having it.
Love to you and yours,