Hello, Gorgeous Soul.
It’s not harder to be yourself
I always say that I am not in the business of convincing people of anything. I’m not interested in convincing people that I’m right or they’re wrong. I’m not interested in convincing people to think a certain way or to not think a certain way.
But if I *could* convince everyone of one thing it would be this:
That telling the truth, being your truth, standing in your full power of who you really are is the key to a happy life.
People usually tell me that it’s hard. It’s hard to be yourself. It’s hard to speak your truth. It’s hard to set boundaries. It’s hard to prioritize yourself in your own life.
I wish I could convince people that it is so much easier to live your life as yourself than what you’re doing now, which is trying to morph yourself into a version of yourself which is constantly changing, depending on who you’re with.
This episode is inspired by many of my clients because this is the truth that they come to accept during our work together.
In 2019, I hosted a retreat way up in the mountains. Too high in the mountain, I learned. Everyone had altitude sickness.
But, during that retreat, one of the women talked about how she had stayed in an incredibly toxic marriage and in toxic jobs, and toxic situations, for so long so as not to upset other people.
She didn’t leave her narcissist husband because it would be hard on her child.
She didn’t speak up in her toxic workplace because she didn’t want to make other people uncomfortable, and she didn’t want to become aggressive.
When she was little, she learned from her parents that she was “a lot”. She was emotional, she had strong opinions, and such curiosity. She loved to challenge and question everything.
But she learned that those characteristics of her personality created problems. Her parents didn’t like when she was emotional. It made them uncomfortable. They didn’t like that she questioned everything. She was not physically punished, but emotionally, and psychologically punished for these qualities. Compared to her sister, she was ignored, judged.
What she learned early on was that she needed to fit in the box of other people’s expectations.
She learned that in order to be safe from the judgement, the shame, the disappointment, she needed to be good. And in order to be good, she needed to be quiet. She learned in order to be good, she needed to be smart. In order to be good, she needed to be obedient.
And during that retreat up in the mountains, she revealed that in order to be safe, she could not rock the boat.
And me being me, I made her walk up to the balcony and declare to the entire group that she was willing to rock the boat.
She didn’t want to. At all. She was like, “I mean if I have to rock the boat, but please, please let me find every other option first.”
So fast forward: she hires me as her coach. We start slowly making our way through old shit, unlearning old stories, rewiring new, and becoming her future self.
It has been one of the greatest gifts seeing her go from being terrified, to speaking up, and that’s just who she is now.
And during a session a few months ago, we’re talking and she just casually, nonchalantly says:
I’d rather rock the boat than sit in silence anymore.
And I was like “Pause. Pause. What did you just say?”
And immediately there were tears.
She was like “OMG that just came out of my mouth like it’s nothing.”
She’d rather rock the boat than sit in silence, she’d rather rock the boat than shove down emotions, she’d rather rock the boat than sink.
The reason why that came out of her mouth was not a mistake.
It was because she did the work. It took her more than a year to really become the person who just is willing to rock the boat. But she kept showing up and following my rewire process: unlearn, rewire, integrate; practice, practice, practice, fail, learn, fail, learn, practice, and then one day, it’s just who she was.
A limiting belief held for a lifetime rewired.
We’ve talked a lot about her transformations. And during that conversation another thing she said, which I wish I could’ve captured and made it into a loop for all of my clients and all of you, is this: It’s harder to be invisible.
Ughhhhhhhhhhh come on now.
These are the moments I live for when people learn, it is not easier to be a “good girl”.
We all have learned that the way to be safe from judgement, shame, rejection, is that we need to be good.
Everyone’s good is different.
Cute and bubbly. Smart and serious. Outgoing. Reserved. Big. Small. Pretty. Plain.
Some people learn being the best makes them safe. But perfectionism is exhausting because it’s very subjective. Right? What you think is the best music is different than what I think is the best music. Some people say Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time. But not everyone agrees.
Some people learn they are safe from judgement if the shape of their body is thin. Small. Bump free.
Some people learn they are safe from negative attention if the shape of their body is big.
Most women learn they are safe when they are pleasant, polite, obedient, sweet.
Most men learn they are safe when they are emotion-free, confident, strong.
There’s all these boxes with labels on them: good man, good woman, good girl, good student, good mom, good dad, good friend, good partner, good body, good worker, good leader, good with money. Some of the boxes are handed to us from other people, and most are reinforced by society.
And we just go from box to box, observing other people, getting into their head, trying to see “who do I need to be here in order for this person to like me, or at the very least, not, not like me.
We walk from box to box and get in. Trying to smoosh ourselves into the shape of the box. Trying to morph ourselves into whatever we think we need to be in that particular moment in order to be safe from judgement, shame, and rejection.
And the more time you spend trying to get in other people’s heads, the more time you spend trying to be safe from the judgement of other people and society, the farther away you get from yourself.
The farther away you get from who you are.
The more time you spend trying to be someone different than who you really are, the farther away you navigate from your superpowers.
My client’s superpower is her ability to see things differently than others and to question them. It not only serves her well, but it serves all of us well. If she doesn’t speak up and rock the boat when she sees something at work, a lifesaving medication will take longer to be available to those who need it.
The amount of time you spend thinking about how to change yourself so that you can hopefully be free from other people’s judgement is taking away from your life, your goals, your superpower.
You did not come here to be obedient.
You are not here, a gorgeous soul having a human experience, to be going through the motions, trying to be invisible or begging to have attention.
You came here with a very unique superpower which is you. The way you think, the way you show up. It’s not a mistake.
Imagine if tomorrow morning you woke up and just didn’t have the ability to worry about what other people thought of you.
Like, I could just vacuum it right out of your head.
And you just went about your day, being a woman with the body you have now, and you couldn’t judge it.
If you couldn’t judge yourself as a mom.
If you couldn’t think about what someone else would think about how you were sharing an opinion, writing an email.
What if you could just be.
Just share your opinion, write an email, get dressed, look in a mirror, look at your house, look at your partner, look at your kids without judging yourself.
You could just show up and be, show up and love.
Would that be harder?????
It is a million times harder trying to smoosh yourself into those “good” boxes.
It is a gazillion times harder trying to manipulate what other people think of you in order to be safe.
The reason you think it’s hard to speak your truth, rock the boat, show up unapologetically you, is because you’re afraid of being judged. Being rejected. Feeling shame. Because another human has the opinion that you’re not perfect.
You’re afraid of how it will affect other people, so you continue shoving yourself in the box to make others more comfortable.
You continue shoving yourself in the box, so your kids don’t have to feel uncomfortable.
So your coworkers don’t have to feel uncomfortable with your emotions.
So your partner doesn’t have to feel bad.
You smoosh into the box because you value your life less than other people.
You say “Well I’m used to it.”
You say “It’s just easier if I feel miserable until the kids are older. It’s just easier if I do everything so my partner doesn’t get annoyed with me. It’s just easier.”
You are not here to be a sacrificial martyr….
And this is your one precious life.
I promise you, I have been with people at the end of their lives many times. The clarity that comes from that place of knowing time is limited creates an urgent message: stop waiting.
Stop shrinking yourself down.
Stop smooshing yourself into boxes.
Rock the boat.
Be yourself. As soon as you can.
So, what does that look like?
So glad you asked.
You’ve got to unlearn the rules you were handed on what it means to be good. These simply came from other people trying to fit into boxes. Your mom learned that a thin body was safe from judgement so that’s what she taught you. Your dad learned that being emotional made people uncomfortable so that’s what he taught you. It’s all bullshit. You’ve got to question these beliefs and start to reject the ones that have kept you from being yourself.
One of the things I like to mention here is that your brain is totally going to want to ‘all or nothing’ this. Kristen, if I just let myself be myself, and rock the boat, and speak my truth, I’m going to become an asshole. This will only happen if who you are underneath all the fear and shame is an asshole. If I just let myself put myself first, I’ll become a narcissist. only if you already are a narcissist.
Stepping into your full self, into your power does not turn you into a monster. It allows you to love bigger. Because you’re so free. You’re not comparing yourself to others, or judging others as harshly.
I have never in my years of this work seen someone turn into a selfish person.
While you’re unlearning the rules, you’ve got to start learning who you are. Rewiring new neural pathways of enough-ness. Learning to think as the person who doesn’t smoosh herself into boxes. Learning how to be her or him.
Then you’ve got to take your new story and go out and be in the world. Practice it. Go to work and speak your truth, like my client. I love her transformation so much, because it’s changed her relationship with her parents, her ex, her child, her coworkers.
While you’re practicing this in the world, you’ve got to get it wrong. A lot. You’ve got to show up to that meeting ready to speak the truth and then not do it.
This is how you will learn. By becoming so used to getting it wrong. Using the failures as steppingstones.
Becoming rewired does not happen overnight, it happens by trying and failing a lot.
That’s the third step.
The fourth is when it’s just who you are.
When the words, “I’d rather rock the boat than be invisible,” just fall out of your mouth like it’s nothing.
And again, not in the business of convincing, but if I could convince you why this matters so much, it’s this:
Because on the other side of this work is a freedom you can’t even imagine.
Maybe you can imagine, I couldn’t. Or I underestimated it.
I underestimated how much time I spent in other people’s heads, trying to figure out how to be as safe from judgment as I could.
There is so much freedom on the other side.
It’s not easy.
Sometimes our freedom is hard on other people. But even then, I always say it’s never a bad thing to be show someone else by being the example that you don’t have to smoosh yourself into a box.
Your kids, your partner, your friends might feel uncomfortable feelings, but the other side of that is that they learn that it’s possible to speak their truth too.
The impact of becoming who you are, the impact of not shoving yourself into boxes isn’t just yours. It’s generational. You are breaking the pattern of handing people your rule book and you allow them to just be.
So have I convinced you???
Listen. Rewired AF. My new 6-month transformation experience. This is what we’re doing together for six months. It’s a live retreat, virtual this round because people not in the US might not be able to get here. It’s a live retreat where we lay all the foundations, get the goals set; I learn your brain, you learn your brain and then we meet every week for six months so; you get coached, so you do not give up, so you get the transformation you came for. The group piece is key. I know some people have mentioned they think they are uncomfortable with sharing in a group or have concerns they won’t get their own specific needs met. I promise this isn’t the case. The group aspect is so beneficial. The doors open on August 16th. Go to kristenfinch.com/rewiredaf now for all the details, to get on the wait-list, or to schedule a call with me if you have any questions or concerns.
Love you all so much. Talk to you next week.
In this foundational episode, you will learn that:
- Calm is a feeling. Calm AF is a way of being
- Calm AF isn’t a new thing to learn because it’s already there, wired into you
- Becoming calm AF is a return to trusting yourself, believing in yourself, and loving yourself deeply
Grab some coffee and give it a listen. You got this. And I got you.