Permission to be your true self


As a coach, I have been helping women over the last nine years get clarity as to why they have financial stress and how to get rid of it. Of course, it’s never really about their money, it’s about their emotions that control their financial decisions. I get it, they get it.

But what about the other 5000 tiny, subtle feelings that get overshadowed and buried for another day? That explains in part why as we learn and challenge ourselves, we have epiphanies and realize those truths have been waiting in the wings for us to ‘discover’ them and bring them center stage. This was my discovery this past week while reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book: MAGIC.

Let me set the stage for my latest Ah-ha moment.

For these past nine years I have always (unwaveringly) answered this way when asked, why do I coach…? I love to help people sort out what holds them back. It sounds noble and creates the perception that I’m a good, kind person. I’m not knocking it, but in reading a passage last week from Gilbert’s book, she says (my interpretation) my answer is so boring and trite.

I laughed at her diminishing what I have valued most for all of these years, but she had my full attention. I knew something really outrageous was around the corner in her next thought. Her following comments were about joy and happiness. Ok, tame but I was patiently waiting.

Her next bold statement was:

“I give you PERMISSION to say out loud WHY you really coach.”

I thought about it for a while. I made my bed, finished the dishes in the sink, put out cat food, filled the bird feeder and then it came to me: I love to solve problems, regardless of their nature. I am a great analyzer, a critical thinker motivated by the sheer joy of getting it ‘right’ for my own satisfaction. The collateral benefit that my clarity brings, helps others and is lovely and has value for sure, but it is not my core motivation.

I was elated over really nailing what my motivation is. I journaled about it. I told my best friend about it. I expressed gratitude for the clarity and for the feeling of freedom I experienced.

Later in the day the fairy dust settled, and then in an unguarded moment I saw something else I was not elated over: Needing permission to be my true self. Standing on the plateau of authenticity and then moving it to a higher plane.

One needs to dig deep in order to stand taller. The higher the tree, the deeper the roots.

I then recalled how many times I have given clients permission to be themselves, to make the choices that feed their souls, to be unapologetic for their moral compasses. I forgot to look in the mirror and dispense the same advice.

Ah, the shoemaker’s son goes barefoot.

A lesson learned.

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