How should you actually live….
Should you make drastic choices? Or stick to your decisions?
When I was 33, I left my partner.
I didn’t quite understand why (he was a sweetheart), I just knew I had to leave.
Very cliché: to find myself.
I now know that “myself” is not a fixed concept, but fluid and changeable.
But there was more to it.
I had entered adult life without the faintest idea who I was or what I wanted.
But I didn’t realize that.
So I thought that the example my parents and other grown-ups had set me – that was how I wanted it.
Turned out it wasn’t.
But I only found out when I was already up to my neck in it.
I got out.
That sounds badass and easy, but it wasn’t – at all.
It took me years and it hurt a lot and I felt a lot of guilt and shame.
Most of us have learned from a very young age NOT to be ourselves.
We were praised for certain behaviour, and rejected for other behaviour.
Few parents know how to make their child loved regardless.
Most of us have felt that we were loved when we were x, and not loved when we did y.
Where you have felt rejected, you have adjusted. You have developed strategic behaviour. You have become a pleaser
• You make yourself smaller than you are
• You don’t get angry, you suck it up
• You don’t cry, you suck it up
• You don’t say what you really think, you shut it
• You easily adapt to the circumstances, without wondering if this is what you want
• You make choices taking into account what others like
• You’re proud of being called “flexible” (that would be me!)
• You solve problems for your loved ones and colleagues and that gives you a sense of self-worth
• You will always apologize or justify yourself if there is a conflict.
• You will take any criticism seriously: you have obviously done something wrong or have something to learn
Just a sample – you will probably recognize a few. You consider this commendable behaviour, and you may even have come to see it as an inalienable characteristic of yourself.
But the truth is: it is STRATEGIC behaviour, and it serves to prevent rejection.
Your authentic behaviour would look different.
And that’s why it eats at you. That is why there is hidden rage. Or unrest. Or buried grief.
Hidden inside, there is a free-spirited child, an unashamed wild woman who wants something completely different.
She wants it all. She wants release from the mould she’s squashed herself into. And perhaps once in a while she’ll let her hair down, a little, but soon the guilt and the shame kick in.
She hides part of herself away.
But at the expense of what?
What are you hiding, what are you keeping small, what is the world not seeing and experiencing?
How are you not just denying your own spirit, but also denying the world of your spiritedness?
If you’ve just heaved a sigh in recognition and frustration: don’t worry.
Because we’ve got this, you and me.
You may not have to change drastically at all (although you never know ;-). But you can dig up your authentic voice, your true nature, your sparkle, that’s now hidden under that strategic behaviour.
Come to the South of France with me, October 13-19.
With a small group of super fun female professionals who all want the same thing:
To listen to their own voice, and speak with their own voice.
To create and occupy their own space.
Can’t do that week?
We can also work 1-on-1.