Do you ever have a hunch that if you could just show the world more of who you really are, you’d feel better about your life? If you could simply throw caution to the wind and speak up- maybe take a risk – would the rewards be worth it? Maybe you want to be “the funny one” with your friends, or give your partner another reason to remember how great you are to share life with.
Perhaps it’s time to stop assisting the boss, and become the boss. It’s not uncommon to accept a role and then let years slip by before you realize that you are much more than the roles you play for others. But how can you shake off the shell you are in, and let new parts of you out to the world?
If you feel like the real you is hiding under the “you” that you display, get ready to pull back the covers and expose yourself. Read on for ways to light that candle so others will really see it.
New clothes, new you!
What others see you wearing is part of how they understand who you are – it gives people an image to use as a “shorthand” for your identity. So ask the question: Mirror, mirror on the wall, what are you wearing? If the times have changed, and so have you – but your clothes, or even your haircut, still give others the impression that you are stuck in the past – they may not get the full picture of who you really are right now!
If you want to change how other people perceive you, give them a chance by changing how you look. It doesn’t have to be drastic. Try updated clothes more suited to your current lifestyle, or what you do now. Or get a new set of accessories. Maybe a change in haircut will do the trick. Whether you want more attention from friends, a lover or the boss, dressing with thought and intention is the first step for getting others to see you in a new way.
Talk, talk, talk
For some, the idea of talking about personal achievements, new directions, or interests can feel like bragging. But keeping all of those interesting things about yourself to yourself can hold you back – in more ways than one. Don’t be afraid to talk to your boss about any of the projects you’re working on, highlighting your strengths and successes. Friends and family will find you more interesting – and be more likely to share stories about themselves – if you’re willing to show your enthusiasm for your latest travel itinerary, your natural ability in kickboxing, finishing your first 10K, or the way you talked your boss into giving you a raise.
There’s nothing wrong – and everything right – about the admiration of loved ones. Letting family in on what’s new with you can make relationships closer. So become the star of your own life, and watch those good reviews come in.
If you’ve decided to make some changes in your life, don’t let other’s opinions put you right back where you were. Not everyone is thrilled when someone changes roles. If you’ve been the dumping station for the work no one else wants, and now you are letting others know you can’t pick up all the slack, you might head right into some resistance. If your spouse is used to you being home every night and you’re out learning Italian, there may well be some friction. Friendships also have roles, and if you’ve been the one unlucky in love and your new zest for life is attracting a lot of attention, jealousy can rear its ugly head. But remember: these are just growing pains.
Finally, it’s got to be an inside job. Don’t let any negative voices or old messages in your head keep you away from your transformation. You are allowed to be your true self: in the center of the stage, with the lights up high!
Remember, you’re not giving up who you are. You are deepening who you are. And the best part is that you are letting others in on your journey. Sure, putting yourself out there entails risks, but you’ll find a level of camaraderie with your coworkers and a deeper love with your friends or lover when you give yourself permission to do what you want to do – and to be who you want to be. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true”!
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