I’ve heard Tony Robbins say that, “life is too short to feel like crap.” Short, sweet, and true. Sometimes we are just cruising along in life and then wake up to the realization that even though we have all the things on the surface that we think we want, we feel like crap. Then we work even harder to do or achieve more things and we still feel like crap. Why is that?
Happiness comes when you feel comfortable expressing who you really are at your core.
It is not uncommon for professional women to sacrifice who they are at their core in order to achieve what they want in their professional lives. Let me give you some examples. Let’s say you are an adventurous person at your core but you have chosen a profession that is safe and predictable. You chose your profession because it was the responsible thing to do or it was expected of you by others. It makes sense on paper but all of the joy you receive from doing something adventurous has been removed from your life and the career just isn’t supplying the same amount of joy.
Or let’s say that you are a creative person and while your profession is somewhat creative, the role you are currently in is not creative and you are losing touch with that side of you that makes you happiest.
Or maybe you have always been spontaneous at your core and now you are a parent and you feel being spontaneous would be irresponsible.
Or family is a very important core value and you are spending so much time working on your career that you are sacrificing the family time that feeds your soul.
Or you are a fun loving, joyful person who is in a leadership position or even a social group where being silly and maybe even a little goofy is not accepted.
Or maybe you are spending a lot of time trying to convince everyone you are a domestic goddess through your carefully planned, gourmet meals, spotless house, well ironed sheets, and your ability to replicate every great thing you see on Pintrest when, in reality, you hate to cook, use the dryer to iron everything, and don’t have a crafty bone in your body. But you continue to do it because that proves you’ve got it all together.
Or you love competitive sports and gave up all of the leagues you participate in so that you can spend more time with your children.
I could go on for days with examples. More often than not, we choose to be something contradictory to what we are at our core because we think it’s expected of us by others, or it’s the right thing to do for our careers, or it’s the responsible thing to do. But when we pretend to be something we are not we invite pain, frustration, exhaustion, discontent, and sadness into our lives. And it is exhausting to pretend to be something that you are not at your core.
How do you fix it when you realize that no matter what you do, you never really feel like yourself?
- Rediscover who you are at your core
Spend some time really thinking about all of the things that do bring you joy and happiness and write them down. Some of the items may be activities like painting, reading, playing organized sports, exercising, etc. Some of the items may be feelings that you receive from certain activities like watching the sun set, interacting with certain types of people, sleeping, etc.
Also spend some time thinking about the things that don’t bring you joy. Do you hate the pressure of trying to be creative, keeping your house immaculately clean, being in the spotlight, being quiet, being confined to a desk, etc?
Once you have written some things down on your list, review them to see if you can identify any patterns and the underlying core value for each. Understanding why certain things bring you joy will make it easier to create your plan to make you feel more like you.
- Identify the disconnect
After you become reconnected to who you are at your core, look for the areas that feed those core values and look for the areas that are joy suckers. Most of the areas will be obvious but not all of them are. Steps 1 and 2 may take a little time to flesh out. And it’s always helpful to involve our close friends and loved ones in this discussion. Sometimes they are able to identify times when we don’t act like ourselves that we may not even be aware of.
- Create a plan to remedy the situation
Now, create a plan to bring the real you back to the surface. This can be as easy as joining a dodgeball league that plays once per week to feed your competitive side or hiring someone to clean your house to aid the domestic less than goddess side. Or it can be as complicated and huge as identifying a new career or moving to a new city that allows you to be more of you. Start small but commit to make some changes. Some of the changes may feel like compromises or excuses. I promise they are not. When positive change comes from realigning with your true self and your core values, they are not compromises and excuses but instead choices.
- Take action
Having a plan is great, but if you don’t implement the plan you won’t feel any better. Share your findings and your plan with someone close to you and find an accountability partner to keep you on track. Make sure you re-evaluate how you are feeling on a regular basis. Is there something you have implemented or eliminated that really doesn’t impact you the way you thought it would? It is perfectly okay to experiment, assess, and make little tweaks along the way.
You were created to be your own, unique you. Living a life that does not support who you are at your core leads to feeling powerless and frustrated – always. Living a life that is true to who you are and fully being yourself leads to happiness – always. That’s the power of you!
The impact of being yourself is bigger than just the impact it makes on your happiness. It impacts everyone around you. Nothing is more attractive than a person living truly who they are. It creates a light around you that all will see and want to be a part of. What a great gift to give your children or loved ones. They receive the gift of not only learning how to live truly as they are but to also get the very best of you as well.
If you aren’t feeling yourself or feel the constant frustration, exhaustion, or discontent of not being your true self, please feel free to take advantage of one of my complimentary strategy sessions. I help people with rediscovering the power of their true self all of the time and its one of my favorite things about being a coach. If you are interested in scheduling a time, please feel free to click the link to have access to my calendar (https://www.timetrade.com/book/H1BZP). This will secure a time for us to have a 30 minute conversation to clarify what you are experiencing and how to move forward to bring the real you back to the surface. I look forward to connecting.