Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: April 1, 2022
In living almost 50 years, I’ve had quite a few “aha” moments. I can sincerely say that my recent breast cancer diagnosis was a HUGE aha moment – and not just for the obvious reasons we often think about with cancer.
In December 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While my case wasn’t the worst cancer case ever, it was more involved than I had ever imagined. When I first found out, I was shocked. Then I was scared, but only briefly. Deep down, I always knew this wouldn’t kill me.
I then switched gears and got real quiet. I went inside and got still. Still enough to listen to my heart and soul. I tapped into my faith and inner power. It took awhile, but it happened.
As a result, I didn’t share my news with many clients or friends until I had made a decision to have the recommended surgery. On February 22, 2022 I had a mastectomy on my left breast. I’m now healing nicely. I’ve been incredibly blessed and overwhelmed by the love and support of so many friends, clients and of course, my family.
Yesterday, I was reflecting on one of Stephen Pressfield’s inspirational writings. In his amazing book, “The War of Art”, Pressfield, who is one of my favorite authors, enlightens me with what is now another post-cancer “aha” moment. (By the way, if you haven’t read this book of his please do so. It will change your life for the better, if you let it!).
Pressfield comments that often we write/self-express from a place of inauthenticity. In other words, we write what we believe our audience wants from us. We’ve been taught it’s good marketing to get into our audience’s mind and give them the content that they desire. Sounds fair, right?
As Pressfield brilliantly writes, when we do this we are not writing authentically from our heart. We fear what we really want to share won’t “sell”. He likens this person to a politician who consults the polls and then takes a position. Someone who panders. He posits that we should be writing what WE feel is wanting to come through us. As Pressfield notes, writing the other way may produce results, but it’s really at the cost of your soul. You have sold out your soul and your inner muse.
For so long, I’ve been writing (weekly emails to my list, blogs, articles, books, etc.) from a place of wanting to give my audience exactly what you want and need. I’ve felt good doing so because it was altruistic – like a good mother hen or inspirational figure would do.
HA! What a wake up call I have had post-cancer around this topic.
Not only was it arrogant of me to assume I was your inspiration and knew better than you, it was also very hollow not sharing what I really want to share with you all.
It’s almost exactly what I preach against to all my clients: be your authentic best brand by sharing exactly who you are and what moves through you to share in that moment.
I’ve always felt Spirit moves through me, as the vessel, to convey certain information at the right time. Who am I to not do so?
I am just the humble vessel conveying the very important message.
I’m also the courageous one willing to take the risk (and opportunity) to be authentically me.
Both of these facts require two things of me:
1. Faith: I choose to trust that I am guided by a higher, benevolent power that wants the best for you and me, always and forever. That said, I can trust what I’m sharing to be exactly the right content.
2. Self-awareness: It takes incredible self-awareness to tune in to my higher self and convey the right message and content. If I’m not self-aware, I miss the mark and don’t necessarily convey the right content.
Both of these facts provide me with a huge gift: Freedom.
When I self-express what I feel I should be sharing, I feel a HUGE sense of freedom to be me. How often do we go through life censoring ourselves? We stifle our real selves for what we think we should be saying and doing.
I find that as a woman and a lawyer (and a refugee and younger child), stifling myself was my best practice. Doing so felt familiar AND uncomfortable, just like that rock in my shoe.
This practice is so common, that it feels like the only acceptable way to be. It did for me. Until now.
However, this practice emotionally drained me and left me numb and lacking emotional connection – to myself and others.
I know this isn’t just my problem.
SO, going forward you’ll find all of my content is what I am moved to share with you. I’m going to trust it is for the highest good for me to share this content with you – for my highest good AND for your highest good.
Get ready. We’re gonna have some fun!
What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
• where in your life do you stop just shy of expressing your authentic self? Do you censor yourself professionally because business is meant to be that way? If so, how does it feel?
• what would your life be like if you relaxed and trusted life to allow you to self-express freely and creatively?
• what’s one small place you can start self-expressing yourself because that’s what feels good to YOU? Small steps make huge differences.
Reply back and let me know how this topic resonates with you. I’m happy to support you in any way I can.