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Privacy Vs. Staying Hidden

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This week’s question from our portal “Ask Us Anything” comes from Anonymous.

I recently launched my worldwide choir with 130 singers. Before finishing this year-long project, I noticed I didn’t want to tell people about it. Recently I’ve also realized how I make myself invisible. I project this outward, because people often don’t credit me for the work I’ve done. Now that I’ve realized this, I’m beating myself up about it. There’s a bullying voice in my head calling me names about it.

I think part of why I’m not sharing my choir is that I value privacy. How can I be accessible to the public, while also having a private life to myself? Is it really privacy, or am I hiding out? How can I open up and be okay with people seeing me…while also maintaining privacy?

First off… why are you beating yourself up over this? It sounds like you had a great realization about yourself. You should be celebrating that.

The bullying voice in your head is not yours. It’s most likely the voice of a parent or someone else. But it’s not you.

When you let someone’s voice in your head—
this stops you from expressing power.

Regarding privacy and sharing your life with the public…this is how I view it:

I have a very firm boundary between myself and others’ opinions of me. You have to understand, I talk to people almost all day long. And over the years, I’ve realized that if I’m transparent about everything, I leave the door open for comments about everything. So, understand that first.

There are certain parts of my life that I don’t want anyone else’s opinion on. It’s just private to me. So, I bring the iron curtain down in those places.

It doesn’t matter what the reason is—if I don’t want anyone’s opinion on something, that’s where the curtain comes down. I won’t go there. Maybe I’ll want their opinion in the future, maybe I won’t. But for now, it’s private to me. That’s where the boundary goes.

Because the moment you mention it, you’re going to get a comment. You will. You absolutely will.

Once they give you the comment, you cannot un-know that. You can’t “un-hear” it. Then you have to deal with it, whatever it is. It doesn’t matter whether you let it go. You still hear it. There are places where I don’t want that in my life.

I don’t care if I’m wrong or if I’m making a mistake. I just don’t give a f***. This is what’s private to me. You’re out at that point. Forget it.

I’m responsible for me, what I do, and how I feel…
and you’re responsible for you, what you do, and how you feel. 

Those two should never entangle, because once they do, it turns into a manipulative process.

Then we both start behaving in a way that we don’t want.

So, you draw that line right there. I don’t take in what other people think, or what their comments are. Even if I’m asking them for their opinion, I’m always recognizing that this is just their opinion.

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