Are other people's expectations shaping your life?
You may not even be aware of it. Messages you've received from parents, siblings, colleagues, and even your really smart friends who genuinely want the best for you may not actually line up with what *you* want or know in your heart. This has the potential to be particularly damaging if you're not in the habit of practicing self-awareness.
To be totally transparent and raw with all of you, I'll tell you what my number 1 challenge is: self-doubt. And because it's literally my job to do so, I spend time examining my thoughts and feelings whenever that enters. First of all, I try to stay curious instead of going into self-flagellation mode. As someone who has experienced a lot of success in my life, I know that voice of self-doubt is full of $#%. So why does it keep coming up?
Here's what I've discovered about my own hang up. Since a very young age, I've been taught that showing up as myself is a problem. As you can probably tell, I'm a truth teller. A lot of people ain't trying to hear that. Truth makes them confront icky stuff and once they know about the icky stuff, they can't unknow it. That creates a discomfort, even if it's subconscious, that is actually there to force them to confront the inconvenient truth. It totally depends on the person how much discomfort it will take to do something about it, or how drastic the measures taken will be to avoid it (self-medicating with alcohol, spending, affairs, etc).
For me, it was always "don't say that" or "you're intimidating" or "your approach makes people uncomfortable." Here's the really important thing to know, if you get nothing else from this:
How people react to you is about their expectations, not about who you are as a person.
I believe this is a lesson we are all here to learn. That being you is where it's at. You just have to find the courage to keep on showing up even when it makes others uncomfortable.
I recently discovered that I was allowing the perspectives of others to influence how I was showing up with a business I decided to start before I left my corporate career. I joined a network marketing company that I totally believe in and is 100% aligned with my interest in helping people physically show up in a way that's authentic to who they are. But, there are so many misconceptions and stereotypes about network marketing that I was letting others' hangups on how to or how not to integrate that into my coaching business interfere with how I was thinking/doing/planning around it all. I had to take a step back and discover the solution from my own perspective. Now that I know what *I* want to do and what works for me, I realized I was letting others' beliefs guide me, which is why it felt wrong.
You are here to be uniquely you. Decisions and habits that run counter to that should be identified, examined, and honestly confronted within your own mind so you can make empowered choices that allow you to show up as you.
Hiding creates a sense of shame where none should exist. Are you hiding yourself?
First published on SheKC.