I recently offered some of my clients tips on how to make the most of their sessions with me. There is one key point I want to share with you because it applies not only to sessions with me, but to all areas of life.
Don’t try to look good.
Now, I’m not saying to show up for meetings in your rattiest clothes. Finding clothes and styles that reflect who you really are and that you feel great in is wonderful.
That’s self-expression. That’s stepping into the authenticity of who you are.
What I’m talking about here is the kind of “looking good” where you try to hide your flaws or weaknesses. Where you try to conceal the real you because you’re afraid (or you believe) that the real you isn’t up to par.
“Trying to look good” is really the same thing as “being inauthentic,” but it sounds so much nicer. It almost sounds noble.
And we’re so good at hiding from ourselves when we’re not being authentic. We tell ourselves things like:
- I’m just putting my best foot forward.
- No one wants to see my mess.
- I’ll be the real me when the real me is in better shape and is more together.
And the really tricky part is that anything can be used to help us express our authentic selves or cover ourselves up.
We can even use our skills and innate talents as shields.
Here’s what I mean: Are your nice clothes expressions of you or a way to hide? How about your smiling, yelling, strengths, crying or sharing your “mess?”
We’ve all hidden ourselves at times out of fear.
- We’re afraid of being laughed at and rejected.
- We’re afraid that we aren’t good enough and if we let people see our authentic selves, then we’ll know for sure that our fear is the truth.
- We believe everyone else has it together and we’re the only ones who are flawed.
And the irony is, we are truly only trying to hide from ourselves.
The danger of trying to look good is that you risk missing out on the one thing in the world you want most — genuine connection.
We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are. But, when you aren’t being authentically you, you eliminate that possibility. How can they love you for who you are when they don’t even know you?
You’re denying yourself the one thing you want most.
And that’s what keeps you stuck—having to go through your biggest fears to get your deepest desire.
And you end up feeling tense, foggy, sluggish or stuck.
And you distract yourself with things like food, busy-ness, focusing on other people and on the little stuff, not making a decision or taking action.
And you get frustrated and discouraged.
So be easy on yourself. This is big work. Give yourself the gift of getting support and guidance for this process of deep self-discovery.
And remember that there’s good news in all of this:
• Not everybody will like and accept you. Ever.
Whether you’re being the real you or a watered-down version of you designed not to offend anyone. So, yay! You can stop trying.
• You’re the only one who needs to like and accept you.
When you like and accept yourself, it doesn’t matter what others think about you. You can go from being your own worst critic to being your own best cheerleader in a very authentic way.
By fully liking and accepting yourself, you tap into your own inner strength and power.
Keep in mind that this is a very gentle and calm acceptance. If your liking of yourself has a defensiveness or hard edge to it, then check to see what it might be hiding.
• You’re going to have lots of chances to practice loving acceptance of yourself.
You see, it’s not a switch that gets flipped and stays flipped forever. In all likelihood, you will continual to reach new levels of self-acceptance. This is a major part of the work I do with people.
• You are uniquely and beautifully equipped to be YOU.
Only you can be you, and it’s the only thing you really can be. And it’s something that no one else – no one ever in any time or place – can do.
So be you. Be beautiful, imperfect, fabulous YOU.
Have you had an “aha” about how you’ve been hiding yourself? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.