Do you ever feel like the person you are on the inside is different than who you are on the outside? Do you think others see you differently than you see yourself? Do you even know who your TRUE self is?
Well, if you're not sure... Let's put it another way. Ask yourself the following three questions:
- Do I feel like others genuinely accept me for who I am?
- Do I see the same qualities in myself that others say they observe in me?
- Do I feel safe, confident, and proud in the skin I'm in?
Now here's the big one...
Do you feel like you are sometimes trying to be someone different than who you really are?
So what... Why does it even matter if we are living a life outside of our true, authentic selves?
- Because in doing so we lose our grip on what really matters to US.
- Because we lose our "north star" in life... Our direction, our purpose, and our WHY.
- Because it's freaking exhausting to put the effort into being someone else.
- Because we will never win at this game. We will never satisfy every person's expectations of who and what they think we should be.
- Because it's false and it's a lie. That means we are living untruths and it makes us liars.
Here's the thing though. So often, we don't even realize we are doing it! Sometimes we hide under the title of "People Pleasers" or "Peacekeepers" and justify living our lives as someone other than our authentic selves. Sometimes we tell ourselves we're doing what we have to do to get people to listen... To get the promotion... To fit in with our "friends". To keep OTHER people content... To be loved.
I've been there. Once upon a time there was a mold I had to fit into within an executive career and while I thought I was being, doing, achieving, excelling at... Who/what my true authentic self was/ and what I really wanted... I was sort of kidding myself. I was chronically tired. I was even seeing an impact on my health. I was emotionally over-sensitive. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time. I felt like I had to put on a mask in certain situations and even agree with things I really didn't agree with. My values were tested - and that's what finally made me realize that I couldn't do it any more. I was losing myself. My family and friends (the closest ones who loved me in my own imperfect skin) were losing me too.
So what happened? I jumped. I jumped off a cliff without a parachute or a real plan. I didn't really know who I was on the inside. Not the good, the bad or the ugly but I knew I needed to figure it out. Without my role (like literally... ROLE as if I were in a play), without my title, without my known routine... I felt lost, scared, and alone. I didn't belong ANYWHERE now. The only option was to figure out who I REALLY was and what I REALLY wanted. I was worried it might not be someone I was going to be happy with or proud of. I was perhaps even more worried that I was going to be someone that NO ONE would accept and love and appreciate. Without the mask...and without the role... I was naked. Or so I thought. I learned in due time that I was actually just living in my own skin.
It's still a journey. There wasn't an immediate epiphany for me... More like clouds parting here an there and some clarity settling in over time. I had to go through one of the most difficult losses in my life since then too. Watching your father succumb to terminal illness is a hard way to find your roots but I'm grateful for the experience. It was a gift in so many ways. I've learned again what REALLY matters and who I REALLY am. I don't fit inside a box or a bucket or an office anymore. I've learned that we all have a story to tell - and that story shapes us... Our true, authentic selves. I've found BEAUTY through STORY. I've realized that my logical, strategic brain craves balance with creativity. I've found FREEDOM through IMAGINATION. I've also had to get out of my own head... And I've discovered that in so many ways... there is healing in helping others. I'm now faithful to the practice of KINDNESS through ACTION.
And so my mission for KEMBA is actually my mission in life. On this endless journey of figuring out who I am... I hope to be challenged in this mission, test it, learn and grow from it. Perhaps now more than ever though... I hope to reach others with it. This REAL me... Feels at home with this purpose. It's my WHY - and perhaps it always has been. The DREAM is to connect with and help others on their journey too. #morethanjewelry