How would you like to be cool with expressing exactly what you want to express… when you want to? I remember when I thought that I couldn’t. When I thought that I wasn’t good enough…
Afraid, uncertain, no backbone. Scared of what people thought of me. Making decisions and choices based on what other people would think, rather than what I actually wanted in my life. I did what I thought was right to try and fit in, even if it went against how I actually wanted to act. I would laugh at other peoples’ jokes even though I didn’t find them funny. I would let the conversation influence the things I said, rather than really say the words that I actually wanted to share.
The number of times that I didn’t speak was unending, and I only wish that I had. The number of times that I let another person take credit for something I had done was a new, constant habit. All because I thought it rude if I spoke up and explained that it was actually me; me that had done the great job. And basically I was not speaking up because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing in front of anybody.
I had a picture in my head of how I wanted to feel and live. Wonderful images of being confident – but in an authentic way, a ‘real’ way. Pictures of being tenacious, of being able to fuel my own successes. There were so many people who knew how to do this, so why couldn’t I?
I had a feeling that I wanted this great life. For years, I tried to break down the steps of how to get what I was looking for. I went to Uni, I was in a relationship, I had a full time job. All the things that I thought were supposed to equal happiness. I did all of these things, but my head was full of thoughts of not being good enough. Mmm…what would I do. I wanted something different, but what else was there? I didn’t even know what else I wanted, specifically. I couldn’t define it or spell it out. It was just a feeling. The feeling kept on nagging at me; it got louder and louder every day.
I started to speak up about how I felt, but my friends didn’t seem to understand what I was trying to say. I would get endless advice but none of it seemed to fit with exactly what I was feeling. It was advice based on how they were living their lives; based on their own thoughts and experiences. So I shut myself up again because I was sick of the advice.
I went through the motions of life. I went to a job that I didn’t want to go to. I was in a relationship where we spent plenty of time together, but it wouldn’t have been any different if we hadn’t seen each other at all. I was frustrated and clearly depressed, because I knew there was more, but I didn’t know exactly what ‘more’ was. Which direction do I go in? What do I have to do to get there? Where do I even start? I was lost with no direction and no plan. Making decisions based on a day by day, or week by week basis; knowing that I wanted so much more from myself.
I’d already read a lot of books, watched a tonne of videos, and spent hours ‘Googling’ anything that came to mind; anything that might answer my questions. I’d spoken to people. I’d thought about going back to Uni to figure out what was going on in my head. I even moved states because maybe my answer was somewhere else. I changed Uni courses because maybe the answers were in a career that I would enjoy more. I constantly thought about leaving my relationship, because maybe the answer was in Prince Charming? I was so sure that the answers were outside of myself. All of this and more, wasn’t making a shred of difference. I had a huge ‘idea’ of what I wanted my life to be, but had no specifics on how or what. I just knew the ‘when,’ and that was definitely needed as soon as possible. Yes, now, please.
And, I almost didn’t.
I made excuse after excuse to not show up and work on myself. But when I did, the answers started to roll in. Interesting. This tiny idea of learning how to listen to my real emotions opened up endless pathways, to get me on my way to where I wanted to be. I started to finally specify where I wanted to be. Previously, I had no idea that there was a connection between what I was feeling on the inside and what I wanted on the outside. First step then, work from the inside out. Yes, yes!
It was uncomfortable and let’s be real… sometimes scary. There were things that I didn’t want to share with anyone else. Embarrassed that people would think that I wasn’t good at life. It was the first time that I’d been able to reach in, and allow certain emotions to really happen. I thought that feeling happy meant smiling and feeling ‘not sad.’ I thought that feeling confident meant not having a shaky voice when I spoke to my boss at work. I thought that feeling love meant that my relationship should look like a Disney movie!
How was I supposed to know what happy, confident and love were? I’d figured out my own definitions to these emotions, and these definitions were based mostly off of unrealistic interpretations. I was measuring happiness against snippets of peoples’ lives that I saw on Facebook, or in the media.
I don’t remember what I expected from Emotion Academy. But I did know that I was looking for something. I showed up and had pre-scripted all the things that thought I was going to say. I was polite and tried to keep eye contact, all so people would think that I was self-assured. I put on a brave face and gave my rehearsed answers.
But something happens when you’re surrounded by people that have a genuine intention to support you no matter what…
Something great and something different. I spent over 200 hours with people that I wanted to ‘pretend’ in front of… until it got to a point where that didn’t make sense anymore. Why pretend? Why? Pretending hadn’t gotten me anywhere near the outcome that I wanted for myself. It hadn’t increased the quality of my relationship. It hadn’t given me the depth of connection that I wanted, with the people in my life. It hadn’t allowed me to feel so secure in myself; that I had complete belief in everything that I was capable of. ‘Pretending’ had done nothing but feed the insecure dialogue that I had running around, so fluidly in my head.
I needed to change; I stopped the dialogue.
With the unwavering backing of the Emotion Academy team, I found ways to finally be ok at being… just me. I didn’t care if people didn’t want to listen to what I said. I didn’t care if people didn’t laugh when I made a joke. I didn’t care if I called out the wrong answer in front of a room full of people. But the funny thing is… when you feel safe enough to be exactly who you want to be, people kind of do want to listen when you speak to them.
And other things start happening too. It seemed that the more ok I became with allowing myself to be me, the clearer the path in front of me became. I have a relationship that I never understood the quality of. The way that I looked at my career changed, my entire reality changed.
Time spent with my family and friends was so much more connected. So unbelievably beautiful and meaningful. The way that I structured the ongoing plan of my life gave me a clearer goal. I had more to work towards. I was no longer feeling untethered; no floating around clueless, unawakened and aimless. I now had a starting point – and a real, positively inspired plan to move forward.
The strength in the collective team, feeds the courage and growth of everybody, exponentially. Emotion Academy is a whole entity, a place that is self-strengthening on the assumption that growth… encourages growth. Love encourages love, and absolute unfathomable certainty. In hindsight, it’s a simple decision that I thank myself for making. The calibre of my life is beyond what I had ever imagined, way back when… and before I knew how to be me. I am now finally…me. I love being me.