Not having it all together

No need to hide.

In the past, I wanted to portray myself in a way where others would think I had it all together. That I knew what I was doing. That I had everything I wanted. That I was “fine” and living a “fine” life the way I wanted to.

But I was hiding. I wasn’t allowing myself to be open and vulnerable. To be real and tell the truth. Why?

Patriarchal concepts, especially within my private equity job, played into my perception of myself. I used to armor myself, metaphorically, to put forward a competent, self-sufficient, capable version of myself who wasn’t emotional or sensitive. Who was there and could do the job no matter what, pick up the pieces for others–even at the expense of myself sometimes. 

I didn’t give myself space to be authentic, partly because I didn’t know what that even meant for me. Who was I? What did I want? What brought me joy? I didn’t know the answers internally–I based what I wanted on external, societal, patriarchal values of what I “should” want or have for myself as a “successful” person. 

I didn’t allow myself to be known because there were parts of myself that seemed unacceptable to me, because I thought they were weak. And I didn’t want other people to know about those parts. 

It wasn’t until I started therapy after going through emergency open-heart surgery that I had a chance to look more closely at how I was living my life, by questioning beliefs I held that weren’t actually serving me, to redefine what success looked like and meant for me, to understand why I had armored and hid myself. 

Through therapy, coaching, and deep self-care practices, I learned how to accept more parts of me, to start telling myself the truth about what I needed and wanted, about who I am. I learned how I can share myself with others in a more authentic way, to hold space for myself and for them to show up in real ways, not in people-pleasing ways. 

I continue on this journey and I get to learn even more about myself and others along the way. I’m passionate about sharing how self-care can shift us to a place of self-acceptance and eventually to self-love

Self-care is not just about bubble baths and massages–it goes beyond that, if we’re willing to see how powerful it can be. 

Your turn: What parts of yourself have you been hiding and why? How would your life be different if you learned to accept those parts of yourself? How might practicing powerful self-care help you show up differently in the world, for yourself and for others?

Go beyond bubble baths. Find out more here. 

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Work with me: Want to see how self-care is transformative and can help create a more meaningful life in which you start committing to yourself and show up the way you want? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 45-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.

Ready to stop people-pleasing?

Then you’ll have to stop lying.

I think we’re all familiar with the concept of people-pleasing. But we seldom think of it as lying.

It’s lying–to the people you’re trying to please and to yourself. 

People-pleasing is spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about what other people think of you, so you try to get them to like you by doing what you think they want. You do this at your own expense and at the expense of what you really want. So you might feel resentful and frustrated when people don’t do the same or appreciate the sacrifices you’re making. 

You think you can control what other people’s opinions are of you. But think about that. You’re trying to control other people’s minds. 

Have you ever experienced someone who tried to control your opinion of them? What did you think of them? Maybe they came across as a little creepy or a little needy? One thing is for sure: they weren’t being who they really are because they thought they needed to be who you wanted them to be. Does this sound familiar?

The truth is, we can’t control what other people think even when we try to. They will always get to choose what they want to believe about us. And, what they believe is about them, not us. When we show up in a way that is authentic, we can see which people like us for us and not for the people-pleasing we have been doing.

This is part of why people-pleasing is lying. You’re either lying about who you are or what you want to do. You’re also trying to get approval from other people when your own self-approval is much more powerful and meaningful.   

To have our own self-approval means we have to start liking and enjoying ourselves more. 

And we have to start letting others think what they want about us. This is difficult for most of us if we have become dependent on other people to try and feel good.

The first step to enjoying ourselves and our life is basic. We have to like ourselves. This isn’t easy for most of us.

This doesn’t mean liking ourselves passively. This means actively choosing to like ourselves on purpose.

This looks like: 

  • Listening to what you want.
  • Telling the truth and saying no sometimes.
  • Knowing your dreams and desires.
  • Taking care of yourself for the long run.
  • Working on your behalf.

When we become connected to our own self-approval, we start spending less energy on seeking others’ approval.

Your turn: What if the only true way to enjoy being yourself is to actually be yourself? Not some version of yourself you think others will like. Are you willing to stop lying and start telling the truth? What can you start doing to enjoy even more who you authentically are? How can you start becoming more connected to your own self-approval?

Subscribe if you want to receive this content directly in your inbox.

Work with me: Want to create a more meaningful life in which you get to show up the way you want, be fully present, and engage purposefully? I can show you how. I offer first-time seekers a complimentary 60-minute exploratory session. Sign up here.