It’s not all true

This is part 4 in a blog series on why we are so afraid to be ourselves. And how that fear keeps us broke and invisible.

Read part one, part two and part three first.

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We can’t take everything we hear as absolute truth.

Eye witness testimonies that don’t match up. Familial stories told differently by different siblings. 

What we are actually dealing with is the perception of truth, even in our own heads. Do we have the ability to believe what we want? Can we adjust our perception?

The ability to perceive also lends itself to the ability to believe totally damaging, bullshit stories that may have been shaped by previous beliefs, our personal preferences, and illusions we’ve been fed as truth. 

Your perception of yourself is not your truth. 

Hell, sometimes whatever you think is a flat out lie.

You can almost always be certain you’re lying to yourself when you are speaking negatively about your abilities. When you begin seeking answers, deciding whether or not what you’ve always believed is actually factual, you’re breaking free of the herd mentality and furthering your journey to insightfulness. 

This series of posts stems from the countless women – clients and not – who come to me to ask me how I show up as myself in a world that cuts us down and expects us to be perfect. 

These women apparently think I have everything together. This, of course, is exactly the myth I’ve laid out there in previous posts – here, here and here – where I explained that image and truth are vastly different. 

No, I am not perfect.

Yes, I am perfectly fine with that.

In fact, over the last ten years in business, the social media posts that resonate with the most women are the ones in which I acknowledge my own mistakes. People flock to those, thanking me for my transparency and slapping my ass for being brave enough to share my own failures. 

Do you think that’s easy?

Some days I wake up and think, “Yep, I’d like to ignore my latest blunder and pretend it never happened.” But I know doing this once means I’m setting myself up to make a habit of hiding whatever I don’t like in my life.

In fact, one of the most recent situations I can recall posting about happened when I talked about having a difference with a client. 

At the end of our time together, my anonymous and unhappy client said I didn’t provide what I promised. And the behavior afterward – telling as many women as possible I was a liar and imposter – made me so insecure, I stopped showing up in my business. I tried to hide from it and let it blow over instead of confronting my own insecurities. 

I hid away long enough that my yearly earnings were significantly impacted. 

A complete waste of time.

See, the thing about being real is it doesn’t take the problems away. They still keep rearing their ugly heads. That’s okay. It’s part of life we have to learn how to deal with, especially when we are interacting with other people. 

What’s not okay is to preach you have to work on accepting your own imperfections, while continuing to beat yourself up for someone else’s opinion of you. 

Doing exactly that – what I did – is out of alignment with my soul’s purpose. 

I realized that wasn’t fair to me (to try for this sort of constant winning and/or succeeding) and it certainly wasn’t fair to the people I coach or who want to work with me later. They want to learn from me and my own path? Then I have to acknowledge the things that go bad. 

And I have to share how I worked through the doubt and fear this caused.

By exposing this vulnerable moment and the lesson I learned from it, not only am I taking ownership of my own shit, but I’m showing up for the people who want someone to lead by example. 

This doesn’t mean every time I make a mistake I rush to social media to announce it. Instead, I evaluate the situation, sit in the discomfort and try to figure out a different way of moving forward. Then, if there’s a lesson I think is important for my crew, I show up and talk about it. 

We each make daily choices which could lead to less than ideal outcomes. It’s just a part of life we accept.

Should I adhere to the food guidelines I know are healthiest for me or can I cheat and eat what sounds best right now?

Should I go pick up that prescription I called in or send for it tomorrow?

Should I work on the book or binge on Netflix?

None of those examples are high risk unless they become habitual, right? Nobody is going to freak if you take a day off and watch six hours of bad TV. So we don’t often punish ourselves if that decision ends up putting us at a disadvantage. 

And we don’t really feel the need to broadcast it when we look back and go, “Damn, I shouldn’t have done that.” 

While you don’t know every time I hit a road block, I certainly do. And I don’t overlook the teachable moments that come along with a bad launch or a bad experience with another entrepreneur. 

You shouldn’t either.

A more basic, more egotistical example:

A year or so ago I did a major photoshoot in NYC. I got a gorgeous red Donna Karan dress, paid for the best of the best to do my hair and makeup and hired a photographer I’d been dying to work with. Other than the boobs I’m rocking in my photo (because they are quite delightful) – the rest of my body, including my face, has been touched up.

I don’t say that because I think you’re shocked, but I didn’t want to spend a shit-ton of money only to have my eyebrows look bushy or distracting. My image – I thought – is a huge part of my business, so any time something crops up (like a potential crow’s foot) I start to panic a little. And I was paying to look and feel like a goddess, so I wanted my little blemishes to go bye-bye.

But isn’t that ridiculous?

Why would the way I look be something that keeps people from working with me? 

It shouldn’t. 

And maybe this photoshoot, which happened shortly before my disgruntled client signed on, was a symptom of a bigger problem in my business at the time. Maybe I wasn’t showing up as myself and – maybe – the image I presented wasn’t what you get behind the scenes. 

So was it possible this is part of the reason my former client wasn’t satisfied?

Fuck if I know. 

But I am certain it was time for a change: In my own beliefs about myself and my looks and the way I showed up.

The glam was incredibly fun, but I don’t get all dolled up when I go live on Facebook and I certainly don’t hide the other side of me. The chick who loves her horses and German Shepherds, and feels better at home when she’s in her bathrobe. 

Unless I want to do a glam photoshoot like that again for myself, it’s unlikely you’ll see me doing one for my business. 

I gleaned valuable information that will help me continue growing my business. For that reason, it’s not really a failure or – at least – not one I’m disappointed for experiencing. 

Somehow society has associated a perfect image with a perfect person, so we’re drawn to what we think is attractive or appealing. 

And while I’m quite capable of noticing and acknowledging when I’m free-falling backwards, I still have to do the work. 

I still have to remind myself that being vulnerable, original (and edgy, in my case) is better than being a lemming. So are laugh lines and forehead wrinkles. 

And I just have to be okay with that. 

Every. Single. Time.

Similarly, as I sit here typing, I can’t help but think that maybe the information I provide here won’t help every person who reads it. 

Yep. That’s me anticipating something I cannot control and allowing it to put fear in my creative space (when I really don’t need nastiness to stop my imagination). 

There will never be a moment when I tell you you should chase perfection – because you’ll never catch it and you’ll be exhausted by the cardio. Just as I cannot plan for my words to storm the internet. 

All I can do is know the content I put out is beneficial to someone (which probably means someone else will hate it), and work to get it into the hands of those who will be helped. 

I can dream about and work toward excellence, but I can’t control it. Knowing that means I’m taking the pressure off while I sit down to type. I means I can focus on what’s most important (and my biggest goal in life):

Helping people.

Perfectionism takes me away from that mission and makes me show up to you as someone I’m not. Which in turn makes me work hard toward an unrealistic expectation, that then keeps me from doing what I do best.

So I’ve learned to stop being so damn hard on myself and let myself show up as ME. 

Now that I’m doing this, I’m also showing up more, which means I’m reaching more people. Yep. Ol’ Beckster needed to take her own advice and let go. And as soon as she did, the perfect clients started rolling in. 

The easiest way to begin the journey toward truly accepting yourself is by acknowledging you’ll always be imperfect. 

You could look at that fact two ways:

  1. The shitty one (poor you)
  2. The way that makes each of us entirely unique, which makes us all far more beautiful

I prefer the second, as it doesn’t keep me feeling like a turd while I’m typing.

For me to keep that mindset, there are things I have to do when I feel fear, doubt or anxiety pop up. 

What’s next explores the most common creators of internal conflict and provides specific exercises on how to navigate each. And while some of them might seem ridiculous as you read them, I assure you that trying each is no more ridiculous than doing nothing.

Ya hear me?

But first, we start with mindset… 

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Read part 5 here.

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