(Part Two of a two-part series.)
In the first article of this series, we discussed how it looks – and feels - when we’re acting at odds with our inner truth Ie Not Walking Your Walk!
In this second article, we identify the four main factors, that we’ve discovered, which could be keeping you from standing in your power and expressing yourself YOUR way! Plus, we offer some gems of universal truth to help you on your way. Read on!
#1 Fearing the Worst
I used to feel worried that if I really spoke my truth, pursued what I wanted, and let myself be real – people wouldn’t like me, I would upset or offend them, and I wouldn’t be able to get what I truly wanted in life.
Holding back and keeping yourself hidden like this denies you the chance to show the world your full range of capabilities and talents. People never get to know, and benefit from knowing, the real you - not fully.
When you prevent people from seeing the real ‘you’, it's true you might avoid total rejection (one of our biggest fears) – but you also limit yourself from self-expression, ultimately creating separation, within you and around you.
Living life this way might feel safe for a while, but in fact it's more likely to keep you isolated and unfulfilled.
Truth Gem: As soon as we enter this Life, we are bestowed with an infinite and unique capacity to create -and to connect with our fellow human beings. We come equipped with everything we are ever going to need, and we aren’t meant to be the same as everyone else. To prevent ourselves from fully embracing our uniqueness and bringing forth our gifts, freely and openly, is to deny Truth itself.
Coaching Question: What is it that you truly yearn to express?
#2 Painful and Limiting Beliefs You Hold About You
One of the most debilitating concepts we hold of ourselves, is that if the world really knew the truth about us, they would be completely justified in turning their back on us.
No matter where these beliefs stem from, the real point is that as an adult, you have become the unrelenting judge, jury and executioner for all your past mistakes and hurts.
The burden can become so great that it’s impossible to look at the world square on, with a solid and self-honouring stance. Outwardly, you build brick walls around you for protection, and inwardly you become a diminished, smaller version of who you really are.
And, if you do this long enough, eventually you hide from yourself until you no longer know who or what you really are. Personal growth then ceases and death as an authentic person begins.
Truth Gem: The human story is about learning how to navigate life. The journey never ends, and our imperfections, failures and flaws are exactly what make us human. They are a pre-condition for growth and a vital resource for our success.
When we can release ourselves from lingering feelings of guilt, hurt and shame, then we can open up to a more empowering sense of humility and compassion – we can forgive ourselves and allow our light to shine through, brightly and powerfully.
Coaching Question: What or who needs your forgiveness?
#3 Bending to the Expectations of Others
As a first-born I used to played out the role of prime problem solver. It’s not a role I consciously chose for myself, but it seemed to be the hat that I was expected to wear. Over the years I found I could do it pretty well, so it stuck.
The impact was that I believed I needed to be perfect, have all the answers, and be pretty near infallible in order to be accepted, and feel worthy. Being vulnerable, or free to make mistakes didn’t feel right, or safe. And it was an exhausting and stressful way to live.
When you live by others expectations (real or imagined), or accept society's so-called wisdom without question, it’s like you are acting out a character in a play - conceived by someone else.
The danger is, it comes at the cost of ignoring your own judgement and neglecting your needs. Your own identity gets side-lined. And you can end up not knowing exactly who you really are.
Truth Gem: In order to Walk Your Walk, you need balance, self-nurturing and self-respect. Energy ‘out’ needs to be balanced and sustained by energy ‘in’. And that means honouring and attending to your own values and needs first. Only then, can you truly serve.
Coaching question: What do you need to feel nourished, balanced and sustained within yourself?
#4 Sleep-walking Through Life
There are times when life feels so complex and difficult, that it’s tempting to switch into auto-pilot. Many people do. Permanently.
But let’s be clear, ignorance doesn't necessarily lead to bliss. Businesses go under, societies collapse, species become extinct and international atrocities result from a failure by humanity to face its truth and take a courageous stand for Life.
It doesn't only happen on a world scale: relationships struggle; careers suffer and lives stay half-lived for all of the same reasons.
Truth Gem: When you consciously choose to Walk Your Walk, you decide to be the leader in your own life, acting on purpose and being mindful of the ripples you send to the rest of humanity and the universe.
It doesn’t matter if your focus is a major international cause, or a seemingly small, day-to-day issue: if Walking Your Walk feels like far too much hard work, then I invite you to look again.
For being yourself is the most natural act in the world.
And when you gather up your energies and align yourself with your heart’s knowing, all of the other ‘stuff’ just fades into insignificance.
Coaching Question: What life-affirming steps can you take to today to Walk Your Walk?