How I Failed at Being Myself
I was afraid to be me because of how it may have appeared to others.
How ridiculous, right?
I make a living inspiring people to be exactly who they are. Yet I couldn’t do it myself.
As I prepared to build my website, I mapped out every detail for the website. Including the professional photography.
What did I not account for?
The overwhelming anxiety that stemmed from my emerging pregnant belly - 26 weeks along. I even asked the photographer to move the photo shoot earlier and found every outfit I could to “hide” the fact that I was pregnant.
I ironically chose the purple “fearless” shirt as a part of that wardrobe. (I was anything but fearless about how pregnant I would look in my pictures).
Then I asked myself:
Why do I care so much about being pregnant in these photographs. I’m a mom; I’m pregnant; I’m a professional speaker; and I run a business.
Those 4 things aren’t mutually exclusive.
Being authentically who you are sounds simple. Yet, it is so, so hard.
Many of us hide things (even little things) about ourselves from others (and sometimes ourselves).
What are you hiding? And why?
1) What’s Your Why?
If we can identify the “why” or the root cause of what we are hiding, we can begin to truly live fearlessly and freely.
My outlet in life has always been my professional accomplishments. As much as I hate to admit it, much of my identity has been wrapped up in the success that I had in leadership roles or professional promotion.
Over the last five years (since I met my husband), my personal identity has changed dramatically. I’ve identified so much more of me. And come to a stronger awareness of who I am in Jesus. (Disclaimer: Single ladies...you don’t need a husband to come to higher levels of personal awareness…)
Even though I rest in the peace that I am complete in Christ, sometimes, I am still “afraid to be me” like during my photo shoot.
Because being a pregnant professional didn’t seem to add up in my insecure mind at the time.
The process of identifying why we “hide” is an important step in living out a more authentic life.
2) Recognize When You Aren’t True to You
The second part of that is recognizing when we are trying too hard or faking it.
You know, when you aren’t being true to who you are.
Now, this takes some serious self awareness. Admitting that you are trying too hard, overthinking it, under thinking it, (you get the point) isn’t easy.
For me, I can tell when I have these moments of inauthenticity because they bring me the most anxiety.
It’s those moments when I’m trying entirely too hard. And that brings on a ton of stress.
What is your cue to know when you aren’t true to you?
Once you get your cue figured out, what do you do with it?
3) Get Back to Doing You
I tend to carry myself like I am super confident and couldn’t care less what people think.
That’s partially true. I do have complete confidence in who I am in Christ. And nothing can waiver that in my heart.
I do, however, care what other people think.
And that’s ok - within reason. Should I care that I am pregnant (which is the most unbelievable blessing) and happen to have a photo shoot for the launch of my new professional speaking site?
I needed to get back to doing me. Which for me means writing a blog and sharing this story with complete vulnerability.
In the hopes of inspiring you to be exactly who you are.