How often do you hide who you really are or refrain from saying what's actually on your mind because you're afraid of being judged? More often than not, we are so afraid of portraying the right image, the perfection, the "standard" that we lose ourselves and our own identity.
I fell into this trap too. Being from a very small farming community where everyone knows you and your business, I felt like I had to uphold a certain image to fit in and be accepted/approved of. I was raised with the belief that asking for help meant you were weak. As a single mom at 21, I had my share of struggles. However, I kept them to myself or within my close inner circle so as not to be judged. But the reality is WE ALL STRUGGLE! I was so hell bent on portraying an image of perfection and having my shit together that I missed out on enjoying my life, imperfection and all.
You're not going to believe me, well unless you know me personally, but it took me losing two loved ones nine days apart to wake me up to the reality that I was not living my life. I wasn’t in the driver’s seat of my life. I wasn’t even in the back seat…I was in the TRUNK! I was emotionally, physically and mentally bankrupt.
After that, I began implementing radical changes in my life. One of the most impactful changes was I stopped giving a f*ck! All of those beliefs I had from my childhood, all of the small town gossip, all of the nay-sayers and criticizers, I stopped giving my power to them. I recognized that the people who truly loved and cared about me knew that I wasn't perfect and loved me anyway. In fact, my most authentic relationships were with those I was willing to be imperfect and vulnerable with.
So, I will leave you with this. Stop pretending to have your shit together and be the wonderfully messy, wildly imperfect authentic you! Those who love you for YOU will still be there, and those who don’t? Who cares. You don’t need them anyway.
Here are three books I highly recommend on this subject:
Here's to another week of living your life by design, not by default!