Have you noticed that everybody you speak to or are connected with is doing really well?
They're happy, business is good and their future is looking so damned rosy. Sure they've got something to moan about, we are British after all. It may be the weather, the traffic or the latest frustrations around Brexit, but underlying the social requirement to moan, things are going pretty well for them.
As for you, you're fed up, stressed, wondering why you're doing what you're doing and generally getting that feeling that you're in the wrong place. Not that you can tell anyone else that. You don't want to be a mood hoover and frighten everyone away, do you?
Consequently, you slap on the smile, tell yourself to fake it until you make it and step out into the world pretending to be someone that, quite honestly, you're not.
The thing is, how do you know that the happy, rosy, “Life is Beautiful” person in front of you, isn't doing exactly the same thing? The truth is that you don't and the reality is that that is exactly what is going on for the majority of people.
The world is filled with people wandering around pretending to be somebody that they're not.
I spent my entire corporate career pretending to be someone who knew what they were doing, appearing relaxed and in control when, deep down, I didn't have a clue, was stressing out and felt completely helpless. Granted, at times you need to put on a front so as not to demotivate others, but it's all about finding the right balance.
Towards the end of my office years, before I came to my senses and left, I would feel physically sick as I drove into work. Every single day. I knew I was the wrong person in the wrong place, but I felt that I couldn't admit that to anyone. Ironically, one of the key things I had to do, was to motivate the team that I was in charge of !!
When we completely hide who we are, we end up isolating ourselves from the rest of the world. We feel like we don't belong. We feel alone whilst surrounded by others. We agree to do things, just because everyone else is doing it and we're afraid to speak up.
When everyone does it and all we see are the outward facing masks that we've built for ourselves, the pattern keeps repeating and nothing changes.
If we take a stance and someone disagrees with it, well, they aren't really having a go at us, because it's not really our position, is it? By staying behind the mask, we can avoid being truly criticised and avoid being personally rejected. The blame and the responsibility can be passed elsewhere.
Unfortunately, that doesn't get us very far in life. Certainly not from a contentment point of view.
The reality is that we need to start stepping out from behind the mask. Start letting the world know who we are. We may not be pretty underneath, but it's genuine and then you know that people will be accepting you for who you really are. This is how we find our true tribe, the people we genuinely want to be with.
Except, of course, it's not as simple as that.
Revealing our inner selves and being vulnerable goes against everything we've been taught to do.
Throughout history, we were predisposed to hide and keep quiet. In any form of tribe or community from the past, those people who stood up to voice their beliefs or didn't fit in with everyone else were either deemed to be a challenge to the tribe leader, leading to conflict and possible death, or were excommunicated and left to wander by themselves – which led to a very similar outcome. Hiding is hard wired into our psyche.
Logically, we know that society is much more accepting these days and that any form of benign differentiation will always attract a suitable number of followers. Yes, there will be some protests, but that's because there is nothing that is universally liked. Except possibly for Olivia Colman.
The real issue lies much deeper than that, lodged in the illogical subconscious and born of conditioning and cliché. Going against habit, as any New Year Resolutioner will confirm, is not easy. If we then add in issues of esteem that quite frequently arise, we end up thinking that our true inner selves are unlikeable or of little interest to anyone else. By revealing who we truly are, we're going to scare people away and lose one of the most fundamental needs of a human being – to be connected to others.
So yes. It is really scary to be you. Truly you.
One way of overcoming it is to chip slowly away at the mask and reveal yourself in small stages. With people that you know you can trust or that you don't really care what they think.
Once you start to get comfortable with bits of your hidden self you get the confidence to keep going and reveal more and more of yourself.
The more you truly understand yourself and become comfortable with who you are, then the easier it is for you to find out where you fit in life. You can move forward with much less internal resistance and ignore the external critics.
Then you can be accepted for who you are, rather than who others think you should be, discover your tribe and move forward in a much more authentic, genuine and successful manner.
This is one of the reasons that I started up the Business Enjoyment Community.
One of the fundamental elements of being successful and able to enjoy life at the same time is to ensure that you find your tribe and this is one of the key themes that we explore, share and discuss at the Community meetings.
Each meeting has a different theme to focus on and helping people take those first steps towards being authentic is part of “Find Your Tribe”.
If you're interested in coming along, click on this link here:
If the time or geography doesn't work for you, no issue. Simply click on the Register button and select one of the free options that will inform me as to what would work better for you.
I look forward to seeing you soon and welcoming you into our tribe.