If you grew up with trauma, chances are that you feel anxiety whenever you express your deepest self. That comes from not feeling safe in our bodies and learning that it wasn’t okay to be our true selves. This leads to a distrust of ourselves so we rush through everything we do so that others can’t really see us. ⠀

I see this when women start the WomanSpeak program. They start speaking the minute it’s their turn, rush through their talks, and say a lot of ‘ums’ and ‘ands.’ It’s what I used to do when I started portrait photography, pre-planning all the poses and making sure there were no pauses during the shoot.⠀

The more we trust ourselves, the more we take up space in the places where we show up.

That anxiety we feel when there is space means we don’t trust our own inherent value, presence and the value of what we have to give.

If you want to truly learn to trust yourself, take up a lot of space. WomanSpeak students do this by taking lengthy pauses before and during their talks. During my shoots now, I move slowly and study my clients, showing up fully present and it helps them feel truly seen.

I am grateful for the anxiety I feel because I have no choice but to take up a lot of space in order to show up the way I want to. It’s a practice we have to exercise in everything we do. The more we practice taking up space, the more we trust ourselves. The more we trust, the more space we take up. It’s a beautiful way to feel the essence of your worth because it comes from your very being. And shouldn’t that be enough?

Photo by ammar sabaa on Unsplash.