For the last year, I’ve noticed a shift that, frankly, I’ve been trying to avoid, ignore, or force away depending on the day. It’s something that, if I really give myself space to consider, has happened each time I’ve gone through a major transition in my life—moving to a new place, changing jobs, starting a new business, getting married, and now, being a mom. My tendency is to dive inward.

This time is no different: I’ve been deeply introspective, figuring out what this whole mama role means to me, to my husband, to my business, to friends… and how to make it all work.

In the process, I’ve gotten shy. My normally steady voice feels a bit shaky, and I haven’t craved attention, needed the connection, or felt like sharing my voice. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

I’ve felt like hiding.

Why? Because I feel messy. I’m a bit lost. And that makes me feel like I’m not as sure of my voice.

But, I’m choosing to speak up and tell you right where I am in my journey. It’s about being real. Being naked. Letting you really see me.

I just haven’t quite figured out this newest evolution of my voice… and until I do, I’m giving myself permission to speak, not knowing exactly what I need to say or where it will take us.

I believe we have to be willing to be seen to create change, and I know that most of us would much rather hide when we’re not certain… I know I would.

And if you’re anything like me, there will be days, even weeks and months, when you will feel like hiding.

Here’s what I know:

It takes courage to be seen and speak your truth, even when feeling poised and confident.

It’s a brave thing to be starkly honest. Period.

And even braver to be honest when that honesty makes you feel vulnerable. But, what I see over and over with my own voice and my clients’ voices, is that vulnerability is where you find your most valuable insights.  {click to tweet}

As someone who works with brilliant and talented experts, helping them find & share their unique voices through interviews, videos and in everyday conversation, I would love to be able to say to you that once you have learned the skill sets, you’ll always feel like being seen, speaking up and standing for what you believe.

But that’s simply not the truth.

I would love to be able to tell you that you’ll breeze through every interview once you know how to nail them.

But sometimes you won’t.

I’d love to tell you that you’ll be eager for every video shoot, knowing you can make huge impact with your knowledge and personality.

But there will be days you don’t feel like being on camera.

I would love to tell you that you’ll always look forward to any chance to speak about your work, on any platform.

But that’s impossible.

I’d love to tell you that you’ll never feel like hiding.

But, the truth is, you will.

And when you do, you have a simple choice:

you can give in to your desire to tuck away from the world and retreat


you can show up anyway, shaky voice and all, and speak your truth.

Today, I’m choosing to show up anyway.  I’m opening myself up to being fully seen, in all of my imperfect glory. I’m bucking my self-doubt, staring down my fear and DOING IT ANYWAY.

Tomorrow, I’ll face the choice again. And I’ll muster up my bravery to use my voice in a way that only I can, knowing that it will never be exactly the same as it is at this very moment. Knowing that my vulnerability gives me new, powerful insights that are worth sharing.

And, my hope is that the next time you have this choice, you decide to show up anyway too.

Not just for your sake, but for mine, too. And for the rest of us. Because if you choose to hide every time you feel like it, we won’t get to hear your brilliance. Your voice won’t get to create the ripples of impact it’s capable of, and your truth will be lost.

Which means the rest of us will never get to truly see you, to be moved and inspired by your honesty. And that would be a tremendous loss.

So, do me a favor. The next time you feel like hiding, DON’T.

Instead, try sharing deeply and letting us in. I predict powerful things.






PS: When was the last time you felt like hiding? And how did you get over it? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.


  1. Peggy Oliveira said:

    Thank you for so beautifully sharing your voice. I can certainly relate to wanting to hide at times. This is a great remimder for me to continue to use my own voice whether it seems like the perfect time, circumstances, hair day, etc as I embark on a Periscope challenge for this month.


    • Ellie said:

      Peggy, you are so welcome!

      Your challenge sounds like an awesome way to been seen even when you don’t feel like it. Good luck… and don’t forget to have as much fun as possible in the process.



  2. Elaine Taylor said:

    Great post, Ellie! A message so many women (and men) can benefit from! Perhaps it is because I am hyper aware of the “willing to be vulnerable/live your authentic life” theme that I see it popping up all around me. (Recently discovered your fellow Texan, Brene Brown.)

    “Do you ever feel like hiding?” really hit home because it’s what I’m trying to do right now: hide. I’ve written an open and authentic book (just saw it on the bestseller table at Book People in Austin airport) about a journey through vulnerability that led to a life filled with love. The love for which I had always yearned.

    Shockingly, I found it easier (not at all easy) to reveal my fears and humiliations and hurts to faceless masses (i.e., potential readers) than to reveal to myself the memories that had birthed them. But those suckers sure do have a way of springing out of their shallow graves and chasing you down a sunny beach! Finding the courage to dismantle my emotional armor and heal the wounds of the past was, as you say, where I found my most valuable insight: We cannot find love until we believe ourselves worthy of it.

    I am receiving heartfelt reviews/emails from readers who say my story has given them courage—has changed their lives. That humbles me. And scares the bejesus out of me! I’m no expert! The book reads like a novel, not a self-help book! Ironically, these poignant reactions have brought on a whole new wave of vulnerability; and my overwhelming desire to hide.

    I do not expect you to post this comment; I’m writing it because when I read your post, I thought, “Yes! That’s what my story is all about!” And then I immediately wanted to hide. Instead, I am taking your advice: I am showing up to speak my truth.

    Thank you for opening up a different perspective on vulnerability. You are using your talents to deliver an invaluable gift to the world.

    Elaine Taylor
    author of KARMA, DECEPTION And a Pair of Red FERRARIS


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