Share Personal Experiences


We never know what is going on behind closed doors with those around us. It can feel like we are the only ones struggling with low self-esteem or troubled relationships. It is easy to judge someone’s insides by the way they appear or ‘act’ in the outside world.

Some of us have put on great performances too but felt entirely different inside our own heart.

It’s not always easy to see the torment of self-doubt or negative thoughts inside someone’s head unless it shows in their demeanor. After all, some aren’t as good at pretending as others.

Some people wear their heart on their sleeve while others appear emotionally detached. We may judge the disconnected ones to be mean or arrogant, when in actuality they may be in pain.

For example, there is a woman I see at a place we both frequent, and up until recently we’ve exchanged a wave or passing smile for the most part. My initial impression of her was one of aloofness, emotional distance and not easily approachable. In spite of that, when the situation presented itself, I felt an internal ‘pull’ to give her a complimentary copy of my book.

Not only did it lighten up her face to receive something for free, but it led to an amazing conversation as well. Turns out, there was a lot of pain going on behind her eyes. She suddenly started opening up about some situations in her life that needed improvement and asking what to do about them.

She commented about feeling powerful and confident in her career but barely spoke in her own home from the disappointment and powerlessness she felt there. I started sharing examples from my own life which helped me see how far I had come, and grateful to not be walking in her shoes at this moment in time.

It was a genuine, totally open conversation, which felt wonderful. I left feeling compassion instead of judgment and grateful she felt comfortable enough to share her truth with me.

Our exchange lasted for about an hour but the good feelings still remain.

It is beautiful when our experiences can help someone else who is going through the same things we have. We all have experiences that can help others which makes our input and history very valuable; not only to ourselves but to others in similar situations as well.

Certainly, it is not always appropriate to provide full disclosure and discernment is very important.

I hope she will read mine or other books that resonate with her, so she can start applying the information to her life.  However, that can be easier said than done. Even though mine is a compilation of my coaching curriculum and personal experiences; sometimes people aren’t sure how to apply self-help material to their own lives and specific situations.

Therefore, many benefit greatly from personalized one-on-one help or group support. Each can offer huge benefits, in addition to just reading helpful material individually.

Thankfully, there are many different ways to go about getting this help:

  • There are many types and styles of coaching or therapy available.
  • Many create book clubs to share their interpretations of the material being read.
  • There are often counseling groups within churches, and other places of worship.
  • Others have buddy systems with one or more friends to hold each other accountable.

All these methods help to cheer us on into taking the hard actions we would not necessarily feel strong enough to do alone.

It was wonderful to see that the woman I spoke with was not arrogant, as previously determined but was in need of help instead. It was beautiful to see she was open to assistance and honestly sharing about how she felt. These are great first steps to healing.

Action Step:

If applicable, see if there is a support buddy, church, or organization you can join. Take the first step by giving them a call.

21 thoughts on “Share Personal Experiences

  1. So true, to not judge people. I used to be so incredibly shy that I could barely stand if someone looked at me. People thought me aloof. It couldn’t have been further from the truth. As I have gained in confidence, so too have the opinions of others but I always try to remember what it felt like and not judge those around me.

    • Thanks Susan, I can sure relate to your honest and heartfelt comments! Shyness definitely can be misunderstood! So glad you are feeling more confident, and able to use your experience in such a positive way!

  2. Absolutely wonderful post, Cathie! It’s a fine lesson in how far a little compassion and understanding can go. And the best part is that she now has a copy of your amazing book, The Right Relationship Starts With You!” Let the ripple unfold! Love & Light, S

  3. Hi Cathie!

    What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing it and by that passing on an impulse of being open for each other and couraged enough to share our own experience when our inner voice is calling us to.

    I remember that once when I had one of those days I would call a “bad day” at that time I saw a woman who was going to get into the same bus that I just left. I felt down, angry and lost that day, yet, when our eyes met, she smiled. It was as if a fairy or an angels was smiling and I immediately cheered up. This was many years ago and I am still carrying this smile in my heart.

    Another time, also many years ago, I talked to a woman that I knew from seeing each other. I still had a strong attitude of feeling not being good enough. Suddenly during our chat this woman looked at me with love in her eyes and said: “Steffi, make yourself big.” (Meaning I shall stop making myself small.) Another experience I am carrying in my heart until this day.

    I often think of how much these two rather short encounters have changed my attitude and eventually my whole life. I remember it when I meet people who are obviously or maybe feeling just as small as I once did. And I hope that by the way how I interact with them I give as much empowerment to them as I once received.

    A rather long comment, I know, yet, I felt like sharing this, here and now.

    Much love, Cathie, and gratutide as well! 🙂

    • Hi Stefanie! Thanks for sharing what was in your heart, here and now! I loved your two beautiful memories, and the strong impact they had on you. They are wonderful examples of how the seemingly smallest acts of kindness, can go a long way! Your presence in these posts, and in your blog, is a huge indication of the empowerment you spead around to all you come in contact with. You put a ‘smile in my heart’ by your consistently beautiful and supportive comments! Love, Gratitude and Blessings my friend! 🙂

  4. Great Post, Cathie, sometimes making the first step and approach someone in a helpful way makes a big difference to others. You can never tell from just just greeting or smiling at someone. Even small actions can make a big difference. What a wonderful outcome for the lady and for you knowing you have opened her heart and given her help. With love Ute

    • Thanks so much Ute! Love your warm comments! I feel that she blessed and helped me that day with her honesty, trust and humanness. It took a lot of courage for her (and any of us) to open up and be vulnerable which I admire greatly. So true, that “small” actions can make a huge difference and a smile or a kind greeting can go a long way as well. I remember someone opened the door for me one particularly troubling day, and that kind gesture has stayed with me all these years.

      • So do I remember little things and I was amazed that someone did that little gesture for me…..and it made my day. Kindness goes along way and comes back too! Love your posts.

      • It is truly amazing how those kindnesses can turn a day and life around! So glad you have many experiences to draw upon as well. Your blog definitely brightens my day, and is a real value to all who visit. Thank you Ute.

  5. Yes. This is a good post. It is a good reminder to not judge a book by it’s cover. Glad you reached out to her. You make the world a better place. 🙂

    • Many thanks for your kind comments! 🙂 It’s also a good reminder to not take the facial expressions or behavior of others personally either. Sometimes a scowl in our direction, can feel like someone is angry with us; when in actuality it is about something going on in their life.

  6. I always try to give others the benefit of the doubt when I still don’t know them very well because everyone have their own upbringing and experiences. Like the lady you talked to, I’m quite sure everyone wants to be reached out to and make friends who understands her.

    • Thanks for your great comments! It is definitely easy to draw conclusions about others without much information, and avoid reaching out to them as a result. So true, that it feels better to think the best of others, instead of the worst.

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