The Secrets We Are Scared to Share

May 02, 2012

I used to fear that success would make me sick. I associated achieving my dreams and creating a successful business with stress and sacrifice.

Because of this, I held myself back, trying to protect my own wellbeing by keeping success at arm’s length. When I became aware of this limiting belief I made a decision that my success would flow from my wellness. I committed to caring for myself, keeping my Spark shining, and actualizing my dreams without burning out.

Recently I interviewed 15 inspiring entrepreneurial women with big dreams. I discovered that they shared the fear that in some way their dreams would cause them to sacrifice their wellbeing and enjoyment of life. I also realized through these honest conversations that many of these women felt a need to keep the shadow side of their dreams hidden. Some felt so much pressure to present a perfect public façade that they could not share the whole truth with others.

This blog post is dedicated to freeing us all from the secret underbelly of our greatest dreams. I have synthesized the interview transcripts into a poem in order to release our secrets from the closet and hold them together in the light. No one deserves the additional burden of keeping your greatest challenges inside and carrying them alone. By sharing the whole story rather than only the perfected façade, we can create a more accepting world for all of us to live in together. By sharing the shadow side of our dreams, we can come together to support each other with complete honesty so that we are able to persevere through the ups and downs and realize the dreams that will make a positive difference in our world. Together, we will shine.

Together, In the Shadow of Our Dreams

By Jessica Chilton

(Based on the interview transcripts of 15 inspiring entrepreneurs with big dreams)


We want to have it all

Happy healthy money

Making a positive difference

Passion and purpose

Creating satisfying success

Living our big dreams.


Knowing, together, we will shine.


We hit the ground running


Craving forward movement

Productivity addiction

Racing past the slow-down signs

Hard to say

To the Achievement Junkie

You’ve done enough today.


Decision after decision

We need to get it right

No room for mistakes

Tightening up

To rigidly control perfection

The serious business of making money

Squeezes out the laughter

Keeps the Joy Fairy at bay

And forgets the ease

Of belly breathing.


And yet, together, we will shine.


Sabotage knocks at our door

It’s me again–

Your own worst enemy

Here to stand in the way

Push you into that old stuck place

The small box

Your hiding ways

The uncomfortable comfort zone

Of holding yourself back.


Yes, small self, you are terrified

Fearing that we cannot do what it takes

And fearing even more

That we can.

‘Cause success means

Stepping into the spotlight

Being visible and vulnerable

Coming out from comfortable dark corners


Yes, you’re scared of our hugeness.

Of what will fall between the cracks

And that success

Will make us sick.


And yet, together, we will shine.


We get busy and soon overwhelmed

Tic-toc time

Never seems to be enough

Pulled in so many directions

Frazzled jangled mind

Tired of the chaotic grind.

Suddenly we don’t have energy

Or creativity

Or joy.

It’s become about tasks

Figuring it all out

Desperate untangling of knots

Feeling like we lost ourselves.


And yet, together, we will shine.


The freak out

The melt down

The pit fall

Fly high and then crash

Push, exhaust, implode, collapse.


What if someone sees us like this

Not practicing what we preach?

The pressure is heavy

To be all that we say

110% 24/7

Our incongruence


Makes it hard to love ourselves

When we want to hide half of the truth


And yet, together, we will shine.


We give and give and give

Yet it’s never enough

Wrung out, drained, depleted

In the piles of our cluttered plate

Where is our ‘No’?

Our boundaries?

How can we come down gracefully

From this suck-me-dry path?

Burning the candle at both ends

Dims our Spark

Burns us out.


And yet, together, we will shine once again.

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