My friend Tamara Gold is the CEO of Stand Out Style, an LA-based company that teaches women how to step into their style, their light, and to really shine bright. Tamara and I were talking on the phone about Standing Out. She said, “It’s weird because I don’t teach people about Standing Out! That’s not what this is about!” And in unison, we both said, “It’s about Standing In!”
It made me think of my friend Rochelle.
Rochelle has lost a lot of weight. 83 pounds so far. She’s an outrageously beautiful woman and is finding out some things about herself as she “stands out” in such a big way.
She told me about working with a client recently, and how he started staring at her. Then he said, “Wow. You are REALLY beautiful.” He wasn’t coming onto her. He just remarked that he had never noticed how totally beautiful Rochelle is.
Her skin flushed. She wanted to hide. That evening, she told her lover that it was one of the most uncomfortable things she’s experienced in her life.
This is something we all want, no? Attention? Adoration? Or, as Tamara’s company suggests, to Stand Out?
Apparently not. It makes some of us wildly uncomfortable.
Rochelle’s story reminded me of many of the nights I had finally gotten what I wanted: to be on stage in front of a packed theater getting cheered at. Some nights after performances alone in my hotel room, I experienced what Rochelle experienced: a panicky discomfort that brought up lots of old shame buried deep inside.
It has taken a long time for me to understand the true meaning of “Standing Out.”
When we “Stand Out,” or when we “step out” into what we want, what we’re actually doing is moving deeper inward. In fact, I’d wager to say that the inward movement is required in order to hold our center.
So, it might look like Standing Out. In the spotlight, into clarity, in a bigger playing field.
But what you’re really doing is Standing In. Deeper within yourself. Centering your intentions. Grounded in awareness.
Few people understand this. Few people ever discover that this is the ultimate reward of standing out.
That’s because most people feel the discomfort and they give up. After all, it’s WAY easier to remain distracted and deflect their desires into a mountain of excuses. They forget the key component of Standing Out or Moving Up or Stepping Out: that it’s really about Standing In and Moving In and Stepping In.
I told Rochelle not to worry about people staring at her. I tell my coaching clients not to pay attention to the comments they get from friends or co-workers when they uplevel their lives. Because whether you’re losing weight, getting clear, making changes or playing a bigger game, people will “push against you.” You can spend all kinds of time trying to make them stop so that you’ll feel more comfortable.
OR you can get more connected to yourself. You can get clear about your direction. You can know the truth of who you are, and, as my coach says, “Know Your Why.” This is Standing In. And I think Tamara would totally agree with me here: When you start Standing Out, you’ll need to spend more time Standing In.