Last year I began launching my own coaching practice after I decided to enroll in a life coach training program. I have always been good with finding resources, coming up with ideas, keeping a blog, but when it comes to starting my own business, I have no clue what I was doing. Well, that is not entirely true either. I did own a shop in Etsy store where I sell t-shirts and prints from my art collections. Even then, I did not know anything about the actual “selling” aspect of this. I had some ideas around it. I knew I should be starting a website, setting up a business account, and printing my own business cards. That was it!
I mean, how do I engage people into a conversation? What do I have to do to reach out to people? Where should I go? How am I going to do this? What was I even thinking?
Oh, there! That is usually how it all started. I was in my head again writing all these scripts on one simple fact: I want to launch my own business. The stories that I made up in my head about the how, the what and the why, they start to airdrop in my head but yet I have not really even started the whole coaching practice yet.
The truth is, this is what we all do the time. We play stories after stories in our mind. Things that happened in the past and things that have not happened yet. We makeup stories and replay stories over and over again.
It took me a major meltdown to realize that the messages I was airdropping in my mind are things that came out of my own assumptions on things. Some of them are opinions I have about someone or my experiences in the past. I was so caught up in my own head; I missed many of the important aspects of the process.
The process of being in that moment, whatever it may be.
I started to remember what it was like on those nights bawling in front of a computer, my fingers pounding on the keyboard, blogged about all the physical pain I had, the disappointment of how people were treating me, the loneliness of those nights when no one heard my cry. I was IN THE MOMENT.
And when I was done, I felt good, I felt I was heard, I felt I could now craw back into my shell, wake up the next morning and pretend to be the person who I am: I am always happy, I am always smiling, I am always optimistic. No one needs to know I had those moments where I questioned my own existence. No one needs to know. I felt protected.
Wait, protected? From what?
As it turns out, I was living two different lives. The one I show to everyone else and the one I face in my own world. I was so determined that because I look different, therefore, no matter where I go, I will choose things that I share and things I do not tell people at all JUST TO BE SAFE. The most important part of my story, the story behind what inspires people to take actions on their part; my story, my own unfortunate tragic story.
There were friends who knew me for a long time who did not know about my past, my accident until recently. There were colleagues who have worked with me for many years and knew nothing about what I was going through in my mind.
My self-judgments created this barrier for me and I felt protected. I was under the assumption that if I do not share that part of me, then I would be more “normal”. If I do not talk about myself, I would live like everyone else; a perfect home, a perfect family, a perfect husband with perfect children, a perfect job, and a perfect life. I was living in the ideal image of everyone else.
Everyone sees me as optimistic, everyone sees me as happy, Everyone sees me as “normal”.
Well, guess what? It was not everyone, was it?
I, myself, obviously did not see it that way.
A few years ago, one of my favorite authors, Brene Brown wrote a book called “The Gift of Imperfection”. A great book on how to let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are. In the book, she had described what it means to be authentic. Authenticity is about being honest with ourselves and with others. Authenticity is allowing the most vulnerable and powerful part of you to be seen and known. It is not the courage to step out of my shell and start to share my story with everyone I meet. It is a vulnerability.
After I enroll in life coach training program, I began to reflect on what really happens over the course of years. It occurred to me that when I finally decided to let my own self imposed destructive judgments go, I accepted who I am. I am the most perfect imperfect-or who is very capable of doing great things in this world. I was meant to be in a bigger picture and whatever that picture may be, I am on it!
Once I let go of these judgments on myself and others, I began to discover who I want to be. I want to be seen, I want to be known, I want to be the person waking up the next day and know that just by showing up, I inspire people. I want people to remember me as inspiration and not my tragedy. That’s who I wanted to be!
So, my advice to you? Take a moment to reflect on Who you are and who you want to be? How do you want to be remembered? Stop playing those stories in your head and put away your barriers or whatever is holding you back. Be brave, Be authentic and be vulnerable. Be You!