I recently caused a lot of unnecessary pain for someone I've known for a few years.
It's not the first time I have been aware of causing pain like this. (And I'm certain there've also been plenty other occasions I'm not aware of.)
In my early days of coaching training, our trainer shared this; "When something happens more than once, be curious. Look for the pattern."
So, I ask myself, "What's the pattern here? How is it serving me? And how could I possibly change it?"
The pattern I notice is this: Me attempting to be someone I'm not.
Yep! Still!?!... Even after all the personal growth work I've done!!
Constant people-pleasing and approval-seeking have been my Achilles heel for the longest time! A way of being I was not even aware of, until I started working with my coach a few years ago!
I 'people please' far less frequently these days, so there has been great progress...👏
But none the less, it seems that in certain scenarios, this old pattern still continues to surface.
And most recently, when it did, the outcome was far less than favourable!....
So, thankfully, I am FINALLY gaining insight and learning some BIG lessons. (I'm a bit of a slow learner...)
What I'm discovering is this:
It's a good idea to reflect on things. To get curious.
So, I reflect, dig deep... and ask myself this: "What's going on? What actually just happened?"
That's when I recognise the trigger. It's an old fear:
The fear of letting you down.
mmm... so I'd rather be someone I'm not, than risk letting you down?...
(Honestly - what's REALLY going on here is that I don't want to be judged by you. I don't want you to judge me for letting you down!)
So, actually, this is ALL about the FEAR OF BEING JUDGED BY YOU...
Did I mention I'm a slow learner??
But what IS finally sinking in is this: This never works!
In my fierce attempt to not let you down, and to avoid the risk of being judged by you, I end up letting us both down and really hurting you too.
I only show you the parts of me I think you'll approve of.
In the short-term, I kid myself into thinking "But I WAS being me!!"
Yet, when I reflect back through the lens of raw honesty, it's easy for me to see that I was not being fully me at all. I recognise that I've been carefully choosing small parts of me to bring to our encounters. (only the parts I think you'll approve of)
I see now that I was safely keeping 'the rest of me' under cover.
My undercover disguise is flimsy though, and it's not too long before I'm caught off guard, and there it is!
I feel exposed and embarrassed. So I opt out. I leave.
You are in shock, because while, for me, this cover is no secret and has been causing 'below-the-surface-frustration' for a while now, for you it's totally unexpected and left field.
My reaction leaves you stunned. It's like a punch in your guts.
I see the pain I've caused you. It's raw and it's real.
I'm the cause. I'm responsible for this... And it feels awful!
So, I am thankfully finally learning the lesson:
Avoiding being fully me to try to please you simply doesn't work!
Pretending to be someone I'm not (because it feels safer in the moment) only ends up letting us both down, and it hurts you way more than if i'd been transparent, authentic and fully me from the start!
In attempting to protect myself from being judged, you've ended up feeling judged, betrayed, and hurt .
I am sorry! I see the lesson. I'm ready to learn from it.
I'm working at forgiving myself, and I hope some day you can forgive me too.
I'm learning that it's ALWAYS better to be FULLY ME. ...Even if that feels scary!
Because when I'm being fully me, you can trust me. You can trust that I won't let you down and I won't let myself down either.
You might not agree with the 'FULL' me. And that's okay. That's your choice to make and not mine to manipulate!!
I accept our unique differences. I see the colour in them.
I choose to love you for being YOU, and also choose to love myself by being free to be FULLY ME too.
I don't want to be the cause of all this pain.
It's not my intention.
So each day, with all my heart, and all the awareness I have, I choose to be transparent and show you the real me!
It's not wasted on me that this recent scenario took place at a time when I was busy creating a new online mentorship called Finding YOU.
It needed to happen. I needed my eyes to be opened to another level of my own journey toward authenticity.
Finding me and being me has been my own biggest personal life challenge, and the one I've spent the last few years exploring!
Because of this, I have a deep desire to help you discover who you truly are too.
Sharing what I've just shared, you may be wondering if the strategies I've discovered really work?
I am convinced they do.
8 years ago, a similar scenario would have left me floored, hurt, and deeply troubled, with NO awareness of my own role in creating the hurt, and with NO way forward.
Not only do I now have greater awareness, I also have not only one, but a few proven and well-researched strategies to draw on to help me continue to grow and to live more freely.
These past 8 years have taught me to look for new insights and to search out resourceful ways to become more and more truthful to me!
Now's the time to share these strategies with you!
So, I would like to personally invite you to my new online FINDING YOU mentorship.
This is an easy-to-understand-and-apply-every-day-in-your-own-time online, self paced mentoring program brings you clear strategies you can start implementing right away to discover who you are whene you're being more fully YOU!