As a young teenager, I was excited to be old enough to attend dances.
But, as I prepared to go to my first dance, I felt uncomfortable and self-conscious.
When I told someone how nervous I felt, they responded by saying, “Just be yourself.”
But I didn’t have a clue who “myself” was or how to be it.
What I didn’t realize was that I had a certain image in my mind of how/who I thought I should be.
Unconsciously I was always trying to look and act like that image (the actress Sandra Dee).
Unconsciously I measured myself against that perfect Hollywood image, and against any other women who seemed close to that ideal.
This caused me to be self-critical and uncomfortable with myself because I certainly didn’t measure up to that false idea of how I assumed everyone expected me to be.
Most of this was unconscious!!!
I didn’t realize that the more I tried to be “perfect” the more I was disconnected with myself, and therefore also unable to easily relate to other people.
Most people find it easier to relate to people who are comfortable with themselves and authentic in the way they interact.
But I didn’t know that back then.
I didn’t have any idea how to be myself.
Many years later, I was at a 2-week conference of intense training, while staying together in a large home.
At the halfway point, our trainers realized we all needed a break.
So, they arranged for a fun evening with some entertainment.
We were all sitting in a big circle on several comfortable sofas.
Our trainer complimented all of us on how hard we’d been working.
Then she announced that we were all going to have a fun evening with lots of laughs.
That sounded great, until they brought in a comedian.
I know many people (including my husband) like comedians.
But I don’t. I mean I REALLY don’t!
So, while everyone else was laughing at his “lame” jokes, I sat with a scowl on my face and my arms firmly folded on my chest.
I just wanted to get through the evening of “stupid stuff.”
Every so often, some of the other people would look over at me, with a question on their face.
The next day, when the group was gathered for our daily training, we processed everyone’s experience of the night before.
I spoke up and said, “well I didn’t like having a comedian, I don’t like comedians.”
Our trainer gently said, “yeah, we noticed.”
I said, “I just wanted to leave. I would rather have gone to bed.”
Our trainer asked, “why didn’t you?”
At first, I thought she was being sarcastic, but then I realized her voice tones were kind.
I responded, “well I didn’t want to interrupt everyone else’s experience.”
With the same kind voice she said, “but you did interrupt it.”
Hmmm, I thought, that’s true, I did interrupt it for everyone. I could tell they were bothered by my negative face and energy.
I asked, “so what should I have done?”
Our trainer said, “what did you want to do?”
“I wanted to leave,” I responded,
“Yes,” our trainer said, “you could have excused yourself and left.”
“Really? Would that have been okay,” I asked?
Our trainer said, “the learning for you is to Always Be You.”
Oh my, here was that message again to “just be myself.”
But this time I finally understood.
It meant I can simply check in with myself about what I want to do.
I don’t need to compare myself to anyone else, or try to imitate some Hollywood image.
I can simply be….myself.
I can improve, grow, and develop, without self-criticism.
I can love and accept myself for who I am.
I can be authentic with my behavior, thoughts, and emotions.
I know who I am.
I’m clear about that.
And I’m not going to negotiate that with you.
If I did, then I may fit in for you,
but I’ll no longer belong to myself.
Your primary relationship is the one with yourself.
Perhaps you struggle with feeling uncomfortable with who you are, like I did.
Do you criticize and judge yourself?
Do you tend to focus on your flaws and discount your positives?
Do you hold back from receiving love, because you’re not “perfect” enough?
We address all these blocks in our Relationship Masterclass.
Do you want to love yourself, be authentic, and be comfortable with who you are?
I invite you to join our 5-day Love Challenge and discover the joy to Always Be You!