I’ve been thinking a lot this week about confidence and being brave, open, and authentic. Even if it’s messy. Even if you stumble.
That’s what I stand for with my coaching clients and with friends who turn to me as a sounding board. I tell them:
“You can do this.”
“You’re bigger and so much more awesome and fierce than your fears.”
“I believe in you, even when you can’t see your own worth.”
I completely stand by every word….for them.
Applying it to myself is my ongoing challenge; my Achilles’ heel. This is where I stop being authentic. Where I let doubts and old fears shut me down.
When things are challenging, when the rubber meets the road, being real terrifies me. I always feel an unconscious compulsion to put on a brave face, to make things look better than they are, even sometimes with the people I am closest to. I go into survival mode, just trying to get through one day, one moment at a time.
I’ve gotten too good at that in my lifetime. I tell myself “okay, this moment sucks and I just need to get past it and then I can relax and react and feel.” But I know it’s a lie.
I don’t let myself feel or be upset or mad or cry; I put it off for way too long. But sometimes, a big curveball hits me out of the blue, jolting even me out of survival mode. It can be a small thing.
This week it was a broken tooth. A broken Front tooth. Which for an afternoon, shattered my self-confidence. With this, there is nowhere to hide, no way to fake this, even if I go for a small, closed smile. As soon as I start talking, it’s Right There, out for everyone to see. It felt like I had a big embarrassing spotlight on me.
I could deal with being laid off for months and working hard to build up my coaching business; I could do these without what I deemed “too much extra help.” The amount of help my pride and ego could accept. But I am temporarily powerless to fix this tooth; no dental insurance, no funds to fix it or to find some kind of dental appliance.
I had to just be real.
I had to open up and let people in if there was any chance of any help or aid or resources.
So, I gathered all my courage and then some and recorded the link below, asking for help to raise funds. And yes I rambled a bit and it’s probably too long and I don’t like how the missing tooth makes my voice sound. But I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It’s not just a video to me now; it’s an expression of being messy and human and authentic. Being me.
One of the scariest things I’ve done in a long time, but now? I wouldn’t take it back. And more importantly? I wouldn’t make a wish to have my tooth not break this week. I found the gift and opportunity in it: a push to dig deep and be vulnerable. Risk being rejected or laughed at.
Guess what? No one laughed. Surprise, surprise: some even seemed inspired.
So now, I want to know: what’s your broken tooth? What’s it going to take for you to dare to be Real?
I hope you don’t hesitate; do it today. I’ll be cheering you on, all the way.
If you want to know who I am, as a coach and as a person, the stand I take for people, it’s all in the video below.
Sharing this now only as an exercise in being real (no obligation or expectations!). Hope it inspires you.
P.S. Trying to eat a leftover piece of pizza with a missing front tooth is Weird! And kinda messy. Just saying.. 🙂