If you asked me in my twenties if I considered myself "real", I would have confidently answered: "YES, what you see is what you get".
And I used to say that phrase a LOT, especially when I met new people. Except it wasn't true.
For as long as I can remember, I struggled with "fitting in". The fact that I was always the tallest, and eventually the heaviest in my class didn't help.
Add to that being the only one whose parents were divorced (multiple times) and at the receiving end of abundant small-town gossip, and you have someone who felt like an outsider.
My way of coping was to develop a carapace between me and others.
I had this capacity to "adapt" my personality or even the way I spoke at the snap of a finger.
I used to think of it as a strength, a superpower.
But I was lying to myself...and everyone else around me by pretending to be someone I was not.
On the outside, I looked friendly, confident and driven. On the inside, I felt alone and unloveable.
Being adaptable and flexible are valuable qualities to cultivate, but we shouldn't have to lose touch with who we are along the way. RIGHT?
It took a lot of intentional efforts as well as therapeutic and coaching support to get to a place where I felt comfortable showing up as my authentic self. As challenging as it was, it was worth it ????
If this is something you've struggled with as I have, I get it, I know it's tough.
And I want to share something I learned from the work Dr Brené Brown. It's a reminder that does wonders when self-doubt is getting louder:
The heart of authenticity is about letting go of who we think we are supposed to be, and being who we are (The Gift of Imperfections)
I hope you find these articles useful, and if there is anything YOU would like me to cover in future blogs or training, send me a message here