“Always show up as your authentic self.”
As a resilience strategist and “The Life Detox Coach,” I hear that statement often. As a matter of fact, you will hear it frequently in the life coaching industry. Even I’m guilty of repeating this all too familiar phrase to clients, because what it implies is true; showing up as the real you will always be the best way to go, no matter what circumstance or situation you may find yourself in. However—let’s be real—there are times when it probably won’t be beneficial to you or others if you show up “authentically,” like during instances when you know being authentic will be hurtful.
Regardless of the implication, who doesn’t really want to show up as themselves? Who wakes up in the morning and says, “Today I’m going to be _____”? Because, every moment you don’t experience as the real you, is a moment you don’t get back. In fact, in this age where “first impressions are lasting impressions,” there may not be any do-overs.
Showing up as your authentic self is critical, especially in the realm of business, and it becomes even more vital if you are dealing with emotional clutter from the past. Emotional clutter can include past hurt, disappointment, neglect, abuse, and so on, and it can cause you to display toxic behaviors contrary to who you really are, thus thwarting your chances of happiness and success.
So, what exactly is clutter from the past, and, more importantly, how do you rid yourself of it?
In my coaching business, I help clients recognize how their current behavior could be influenced by their past experiences. For instance, the practice of not speaking up in a meeting when you have valuable information to share could stem from a previous experience where you were shunned after sharing your thoughts. As a result, you don’t think your opinion will be “good enough,” thus instead of speaking up, you go along to get along, forfeiting what you have to offer.
Each time you allow a negative experience from your past to dictate your present, you eliminate the opportunity for others to experience who you really are, and what you’re capable of. You also run the risk of reinforcing a behavior that will keep you stuck.
Below are three questions to ask, when recognizing emotional clutter from the past:
1. Do you continually practice the “toxic trifecta” (toxic thinking, toxic speaking, and toxic relationships)?
Change what you’re thinking. Replace your negative thoughts with more powerful affirming thoughts. Reevaluate relationships in your life, and determine if the people you associate with add value to your life.
2. Do you often say “yes” when you mean “no,” taking on tasks or projects you don’t want?
Check your heart. If your heart isn’t in it—don’t do it.
3. Do you put yourself down or speak disempowering words about yourself?
This is a self-esteem issue. When you find yourself practicing this behavior, repeat affirmations that build will yourself up.
Growing up in a home where I witnessed violence against my mother left behind the clutter of low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and feelings of inferiority. As a young adult, I often found myself in situations where I practiced the “toxic trifecta.” But, once I realized I had experienced something life altering, I took the necessary steps to eliminate any behavior that kept me stuck.
Trust me, showing up as your authentic self does more than just allow others to experience the real you—it will also lead to a more fulfilling, happy, and successful life.
This article was written by The BOSS Network Featured Blogger Sylvia Duncan.
Sylvia Duncan, “The Life Detox Coach,” author and speaker, offers a series of life-changing programs that helps people clear the clutter from their past and live with resilience, a life that’s happy and whole.
Learn more about Sylvia Duncan by visiting her website at www.sylviaduncan.com
Follow Sylvia on Twitter @LifeDetoxCoach