How Fear of Appearing Stuck Up Held Me Back


“That wasn’t nice. You came across stuck up.”

It was whispered to me in an accusatory tone by my parent.

We were at a garage/yard sale my grandparent and their friend were cohosting.

And I’d just told another kid that there was no TV in my bedroom because there are better things to do with our time. (Or something to that effect… I was, like, 10 at the time so I don’t totally remember it word-for-word.)

I do remember feeling attacked by that whispered comment about being stuck up. If the other kid at all felt I was snooty, it wasn’t my intention.

I remember feeling ashamed and a little bitter about the accusation. I was literally repeating a reason I’d heard in my home for why my sister and I couldn’t have a TV in our bedroom.

It was interesting how there was a pervasive sense of our family being better than others, and yet, it was wrong to appear “stuck up.”

For many years after this incident, I apologized to people every time something I said was misunderstood or misconstrued. (Honestly I choose not to do that in 97% of situations these days because how you perceive me is up to you, not me, when my intentions were positive.)

I also lost a degree of confidence about my lifestyle choices so that when I shared my truth I expected and very frequently received criticism and so much unsolicited “advice” about my choices.

I came to struggle with celebrating my own successes. In fact, I came to misremember many of them, as I did with my first marketing consulting client; for years, I literally forgot that she gave me a $500 deposit to start, and that she was a “$3,000 client” instead of a $2500 one.

You could say this incident was the precursor of the Beginner Energy problem that kept me small and struggling for so long.

Beginner Energy is a problem of constantly moving the starting line so that you’re never actually on the track headed for your desired outcome. A boss woman practicing Beginner Energy is afraid to shine (maybe for fear of appearing “stuck up” or “better than” others), and so she is always open-minded and curious but forgets to integrate new information. Results, even when achieved, go unacknowledged by the person practicing Beginner Energy.

Stepping into my bigness and allowing myself to own my successes led to realizing my purpose as a manifesting teacher and life coach. It took a massive shift for me to recognize the creation of 10+ years of life-enriching love as something I could “sell” to others. I didn’t realize how monumental my 7+ years of freedom from emotional abuse were, or my 6+ years of Penthouse living. They’d become my normal and so I didn’t really think myself as special for having created these experiences.

Do you think you might have the problem of practicing Beginner Energy? Read this blog series:

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