I gave a talk this week to a wonderful group of women in insurance and financial services about boosting body love.
It was such a great group of women, friendly and engaged and interested in the session. And thoughtful, too, in their insights and conversation and sharing as we finished up.
And that might be my favorite part of any speaking engagement or workshop that I ever do – the thoughts and questions section.
Of course, I always leave time for questions, and invite anyone to ask about anything I can clarify. But I also invite thoughts and insights, a gentle encouragement to share something that’s got you thinking, or a soundbite that’ll stick with you, or an observation or connection made to your life or experience.
Without getting into all the details and a mini-session (you can get that here), the gist of what the group learned was about acceptance, joy, and choice. Ultimately, that there’s growth in acceptance, motivation and meaning in joy, and power in choice. When it comes to how all that relates to physical appearance, especially in the workplace, things get interesting.
And that was the nugget from this particular session, which I absolutely love.
One of the women started by bringing up that in a recent job change to a company with more women in leadership, she’s noticed a huge shift in how she’s able to show up to work. She realized she was doing things like dressing a certain way and not cutting her hair because other people in her old job had told her she looked good or appropriate or whatever. That, then, influenced her in such a way that she felt she had to present in a certain way in order to continue to be seen as professional, appropriate, etc. Since changing jobs, and with a different influence, she’s now settling into showing up a little bit more herself, not putting on as much of a face because other people like that particular face. And not surprisingly, she feels a lot better day to day.
I was so heartened to hear that! I mean, huge, right? Seems like small stuff, but when you have to go through the motions of presenting as some modified version of yourself for seventeen years, that’s a lot. And it’ll no doubt feel like a huge relief and incredibly freeing to not have to do that any longer.
The other women in the group were all nodding along, and I could tell they got what she was saying and were probably playing their own stories in their heads. And one other woman was open enough to then share a few of her thoughts in response.
This woman basically said yeah, I totally relate, and I have so much respect for the women who show up nowadays with no makeup or natural hair or unique personal style. I wish I could do that because it’s such a production to get ready and go through the motions every day at this point, but I’m too worried about what other people would think. They’re too used to seeing me a certain way, and I just think it’s too late to make a change.
Have you ever felt that way? Like it’s too late to be who you are or do what you want to do because of what other people have come to expect of you?
OK, first of all: It’s not too late. It’s literally never too late.
Secondly: What are you giving up by believing it is too late?
When it comes down to it, this is a question of self-discovery and confidence. It’s about the gap between knowing who you are and what you want, and being able to choose it for yourself. It’s a little bit about fear, and a lot about trust.
And, OK, it’s also maybe a teeny bit about learning how to distribute your fucks a little bit more toward yourself and a little bit less toward other people.
We’re so conditioned to believe that following the rules of how we’re supposed to show up, especially when it comes to appearance, especially in professional spaces, will help us be more confident, get what we want, achieve our goals.
When really, following those rules doesn’t make us feel more confident or get what we want, it just makes us feel tired.
And so, long ago, feeling that same, deep strain, I decided I, personally, was tired of being tired. What an exhausting game I no longer want to play. Lo and behold, that decision changed everything.
I started to show up confidently as myself and people noticed. But instead of them being critical of me, or dismissive – which I was very worried about initially – instead they were encouraged and inspired. And also? It was good for business. It’s something of a signature for me now, and often a specific reason people cite in choosing to work with me over someone else.
And that right there is a really important takeaway from this conversation too – you gaining the confidence to choose yourself and show up exactly how you are will open the door for other people to start their journey toward doing the same. Ultimately, it starts a cycle of better awareness and inclusivity for everyone.
And so, today, I teach and coach self-discovery for confidence, based on everything I’ve learned in my journey, and all the most effective tools I’ve picked up along the way. The result is a whole bunch of women of all ages and life stages out there feeling like themselves, living the life they want, writing their own rules, a little less concerned with what other people will think about them, and generally energized and confident for whatever’s to come when they get up every morning.
Because life is too long (and too short!) to spend it going through the motions. Because you deserve to live your truth. Because there’s still so much time for you to live how you want to live and do all the things you want to do.
Because it’s not too late.
And because it’s always worth it to learn how to redistribute your fucks.
So listen, if you’re feeling a little lost, a little worried about what people will think or do if you make the change you feel in your heart, and a little tired of being tired…don’t give up on yourself, on living your life, confidently. Make a small choice for yourself today that’ll change how you feel tomorrow.
It’s not too late to sign up for Foundations of Self-Discovery. Do it here, and I’ll see you soon.
Have questions about the group? I’m happy to answer via email, or on a call, which you can schedule below. Know someone who might be feeling this way too? Send them this post!