by Karen S. Exkorn, for GalTime.com
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We all have different sides to us, right? But do we always embrace them?
The truth is, I almost wrote Fifty Two Shades of Blue-ish (a parody of the book you know well) under a pseudonym. Why? Because I was afraid. Close and caring friends and colleagues echoed my fears. “Are you sure you want to write this book under your own name?” they’d ask. Their concerns matched my own--that people might not take me as seriously in the business world and the autism community if they knew that I’d written a humorous erotic book. After all, I was known as a “serious autism author,” and “serious corporate consultant.” How could I add “silly, sexy parody writer” to the mix?
But then, something shifted. In a moment of self-reflection, I created a Bucket List. Only, unlike that typical list that people hope to accomplish before they die, my list was something that I wanted to accomplish NOW (or at least soon). So I renamed my list. I called it The F***KET List. And in the process, I found the courage to get out of my own way and embrace my crazy creative side that I’d been hiding away.
I was able to get in touch with my inner voice (or inner princess, that is), who told me to “Just go for it!” (actually, she used more colorful language, but that’s for another story…). And that’s the message that I’d like to pass along to other women who might be hiding away parts of themselves for fear of being judged or criticized.
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Here are 3 tips on how to celebrate yourself and get to that bucket (or F***KET) list.
DO IT. DON’T OVERTHINK IT
Listen to your heart. What part of yourself have you been hiding away? Did you used to…dance, sing, play the piano, play tennis, or do something else that fed your soul?
I led a corporate seminar recently and many participants in the group shared that they had given up something special and meaningful in their lives, because they felt that they had to “act like adults.” I know what that’s like. I used to dance professionally and then gave it up for 10 years to become a “serious corporate consultant.” Like the seminar participants, I felt that something was missing in my life. So I encouraged them to do what I did— bring that something special back into their lives in a way that doesn’t add stress. For me, that meant taking one dance class a week. I didn’t quit my day job, but I discovered that adding in that something special that gave me pure joy enhanced my work and home life.