Being yourself in the online world is scary business. Or so we think.
We’re afraid people will judge us.
We’re concerned we’ll be found lacking.
We’re worried we won’t be good enough.
Rubbish. It’s all just a self-limiting lie we tell ourselves.
Mark Whitehand of Storytelling Entrepreneurs challenges everyone to a little experiment: get truly personal about yourself on social media for 30 days and see what happens.
So I did exactly that.
I just turned it into “33 Things About Me” instead of 30, because I happen to like odd numbers.
And guess what? The dreaded social media monster didn’t devour me!
Here’s the list of all 33 Things About Bart for your reading pleasure. You can read the full posts on Facebook or LinkedIn.
#1 – I’m always late
I’m always late. It’s a filthy habit, I know. One that nearly made me miss meeting the love of my life! Being late isn’t so much a matter of time management, but priority management.
#2 – England, my spiritual home
Every English teacher I’ve ever had used to ask me the same question. Every. Single. One. “Bart, why is your English so good?” I didn’t know back then, but I do now!
#3 – My man crush on George Clooney
I have a serious man crush on George Clooney. It’s that mesmerising natural charm of his that does it for me. Here’s how a dream about George turned out to be a valuable lesson about myself.
#4 – I used to be chubby
I used to be chubby as a child. Too many chocolate biscuits. I realise now that I was trying to fill an emotional void by stuffing myself with sweet sweet goodness. Didn’t work obviously.
#5 – I regret nothing
I regret nothing. Oh sure, I have memories I’d much rather forget. But would I want to change the actual events, if I could go back in time? Here’s why I think that would be a bad idea.
#6 – Fun, laughter and silly faces
Once upon a time I was afraid to show my funny side to the world. I thought nobody would want to work with a holistic life coach who also has a sense of humour. And a rather silly one at that. How I’ve changed!
#7 – The magic of spiritual retreats
In our loud and hectic world, it’s important to press your pause button every now and then. Get away from it all and reconnect with yourself and your mission in life. Knowing from personal experience how transformational a retreat can be, I want to share this gift with others.
#8 – More than just brain farts
I’m not one to obsess about my dreams. But that time when I dreamt about a wolf, things got a little bit too “interesting” for me to ignore. Especially when the family dog decided to join in.
#9 – My beloved Avebury
Avebury is the most favourite of my favourite haunts. Not just the famous stone circles, but the entire area. It’s one of the places why Britain feels like my spiritual home.
#10 – The wisdom of horses
I’ve had a life-long love affair with horses. Powerful emotional healers, horses live in the moment and pass no judgement on anyone. When you’re around a horse, you feel that you are good enough. Just the way you are.
#11 – I’m an extroverted introvert
I’m an introvert. Maybe that sounds ironic coming from someone who’s posting 33 personal things about himself on social media. But being an introvert or an extrovert is a preference and not an identity.
#12 – I used to be shy
As a child, I used to be shy. Really shy. And I cried a lot. I’m not doing an awfully good job of self-promotion here, am I? But finding out why I was shy, turned out to be half of the solution.
#13 – My mesmerising voice
I’m told I have a mesmerising voice. Not all of the time obviously. But when I put energy and intention into my voice, the effect can be very relaxing, mindful and soothing. As you would expect from someone in my line of work.
#14 – I was a professional web junkie
I was a professional web junkie. I got paid to surf the web and write about it. Full-time. For four years. It left me with many wonderful gifts, like better writing skills. Oh, and an Internet addiction.
#15 – I love trees
I love trees. And why wouldn’t you? What’s not to love about trees? But there’s a more spiritual side to my fondness for trees as well. Which is why on occasion I’ve even been known to give them a hug or a loving kiss.
#16 – I’m a recovering perfectionist
Most of the time, perfectionism is just fear. An excuse to hide behind. Because we’re afraid to fail. Afraid to be judged. Afraid that our idea or project isn’t good enough. Afraid that we’re not good enough.
#17 – My Greek island paradise
I’ve been in love with the Greek island of Rhodes for decades. And it’s not even because of the sun, the beaches or the Greek hospitality. On this little island paradise I experience the essence of any retreat: disconnect from the busy distractions of the world and reconnect with the true riches of life.
#18 – Slow to catch on?
All of those wonderful things that are such an important part of my life and my business now? I’ve resisted them all! So am I really that thick? Or simply a bit too fond of my comfort zone?
#19 – Why I do silly animal voices
It’s not easy to admit and I’m not exactly proud of it. But I do silly voices for the animals in our house. Very silly voices. I guess it’s a release for my inner comedian.
#20 – Why I love making videos
I love making videos! Even though I resisted the idea at first, for all the wrong reasons. Here’s a video (obviously) about why and how I changed my mind and learned to embrace video.
#21 – Hilarious coaches & dreamy artists
I like to think of dreams as vehicles for communication. So what was my subconscious trying to tell me those times when I dreamt about a hilarious life coach and a dreamy artist who expresses himself freely?
#22 – The special gift we all have
I’m an energy worker (aka a “healer”). But that’s nothing special. Some call it a gift, something you’re born with. I say it’s a gift all of us are given at birth. And all it takes to reconnect with that gift, is your intention.
#23 – Why cats rule and dogs drool
I’m a cat person. There, I’ve said it! I like dogs, but I love cats. And I’m painfully aware that my reason why says way more about myself than about any real or perceived differences between felines and canines.
#24 – The magic of looking at the stars
I’m a star gazer. But not the sort who goes out at night with a telescope. I’m more the spiritual and romantic type who, when faced with so much wonder in the sky, starts musing about things like beauty, perspective, stardust and mindfulness.
#25 – How self-doubt cost me a holiday
In 2009 I made the most important career decision in my life. And immediately created a dilemma for myself in the process. I thought I had found the perfect way out. Only to learn a valuable yet expensive lesson about trusting your heart and not giving in to self-doubt.
#26 – I read the Tarot (and so can you)
I can read the Tarot. There’s nothing magical about it. Because you can do it too (although it’s likely to take some practice). Tarot cards are basically a tool to access your intuition. And don’t we all have an intuitive and a sensitive side?
#27 – The power of storytelling
I love writing and I love storytelling! A good story takes you on an emotional journey of highs and lows, leaving you feeling different and better afterwards. And what better genre to do that than fantasy? But can I afford to write about such things and still expect to be taken seriously as a spiritual life coach?
#28 – Proud to be a geek
I’m a geek. Proud of it too. I consider the label ‘geek’ to be a badge of honour. Because it’s all about passion and appreciation for beauty and genius in design, science and technology. Could geeks be the hippies of the digital age?
#29 – When life coaching and comic strips collide
I’ve loved comics ever since I was a child. And now, my creative side wants to team up with my funny side and my life coaching side, to create a weekly comic strip. There’s just one problem: I suck at drawing!
#30 – Taming the monkey through meditation
Meditation is a bit like magic. But only if you make it a habit. Why? Because meditation helps you to tame your monkey mind. You’ll feel more mindful, more centred and more focused on what really makes you thrive in life. And you don’t even need to do the lotus posture.
#31 – Doodling is serious business
I’d love to doodle. Freestyle drawing from the hip. Organically expressing on paper what lives in the mind and in the imagination. Easier said than done though, with a party-pooping inner critic who never misses an opportunity to judge.
#32 – Expletives add spice to life
I do love me a good ‘effing expletive from time to time! Is swearing vulgar, or a sign of intelligence? And why does English lend itself so splendidly to the art of swearing? It seems the British can swear using perfectly normal words!
#33 – Is Death part of Life?
For the last of my “33 Things About Me” I thought I’d talk about Death. Always the light of the party, I am ;) Why do we prefer to avoid the topic of death? Isn’t it a normal part of life? Aren’t cycles supposed to have a beginning and an end?
Mark Whitehand invited me to play and take part in:
Follow the link above if you wanna come and play too.