How To Stop Hiding From Yourself

Everybody has a story

Your story is what uniquely defines each of us and helps others gain a better understanding of who we really are.  Through telling of stories, we help break down barriers, find common ground and provide the platform and space for a shared experience.

In that experience, we encourage expression of our authentic selves. It’s where we can live our truths. As individuals, we can strengthen how to become more effective in how we engage, grow and lead in different aspects of our lives, and of people and teams.  As a collective, we can have greater impact within our communities and within business environments. It’s in this experience we gain greater clarity in personal and professional direction, venturing toward once-believed impossible territory toward new horizons.

Understanding the intimacies of your story enables conversations across difference. Accepting what lies beneath empowers the capabilities to create from rather than remain defined by.

Stories cross all aspects of life.

As leaders, there’s a nuance difference the size of the Grand Canyon of what it means to be a leader and to lead in current environments. It’s about acceptance of difference and strengths and creating safety for your teams and partners to fully be themselves AND to be in alignment with a common goal. People metrics hold equal weight to profit metrics. There is no one without the other.

As business owners, it’s not so much about offering the ‘right’ benefit or compensation package as it is about modeling respect, appreciation, and understanding of employees and recognizing the value in all.

As an extraordinary human being, your life experiences are the guide posts of your purpose as you journey through life.  There are gifts, meanings and lessons to uncover with every trigger, passion or stand out moment. Those all inform where you’re headed.

We are not meant to cover up who we really are.

In my experience, there are many who remain unfamiliar with their real self, and what they know, they choose to hide.

Hiding is dangerous.

Hiding is a progressive habit. Once you start hiding, it becomes harder to step forward to stand out or to distinguish what is real or part of the façade. As a society, we all want to belong and are not immune for the need to be accepted.  When ‘acceptance’ is not felt or believed to be available, the subconscious kicks in, creating a pseudo version – elements of personality get altered in order to fit it.

In fact, in a 2013 study conducted by Deloitte, a whopping 61% of people hide aspects of their identity – aspects of their behaviour or appearance in order to fit in at work. Many people believed conformity was critical to their long term career advancement.

What is the underlying impact of this?

We become further detached from ourselves, from the story that creates our uniqueness, from others we so long to connect deeply with, and limit our opportunity to reach personal and professional goals.  We learn to live a transactional life with reactive behaviour.  It becomes increasingly challenging to feel connected to life in a creative, thriving and sustainable way.

Imagine if that didn’t have to be the case.

It is possible … really, it is.

How could understanding your story, accepting yourself for everything that you are, and being in full expression of that externally support your career aspirations? Your quest for deeper connectivity with others? To live a life not hidden?

Start with one step.

Get out of your head and listen to the wisdom your body offers you. What do you most long to experience? Before you automatically shut down the idea of what you desire, explore what could be instead of that couldn’t be.  Reframe the resistance that surfaced.

Stories are stories. You get to re-write, reframe, or reject that doesn’t serve you. After all, it’s your story.