Updated: Jun 26, 2020
Do you ever find that you're 'putting on an act'? Do you feel you're playing a part or acting it out? Could it be you're not being true to yourself and not sure which version of you is your true self?
My two selves My coaching journey started a few years ago when I found myself ‘coasting’ along, living for the weekends - I worked hard, played hard. I had a great job, a lovely home and lots of supportive friends and family. On the outside, I had everything I wanted. On the inside, it was a different story. I felt overwhelmed, I lacked direction. I was ‘lost’, and stuck at the same time. I felt exhausted after each day and couldn't work out what was going on. I was often conflicted, and struggled to make decisions. I started working with a coach. I didn’t know much about coaching but knew I needed to do something. This process changed my life. My coach helped me see, and believe, in my own potential; to believe that my dreams could be possible; that I was the only one holding myself back. Since then I've established my values, I understand what I need and take comfort in being myself. I’ve made huge changes in my life – I’ve changed careers, moved across the country, found love, prioritised my well-being. One to one coaching enabled me to see myself - my WHOLE self. With a deeper understanding of my own beliefs and needs, I felt better equipped to embrace who I was, and what was important to me. This helped me to be confident in who I am and enabled me to confidently make decisions about my future.
My coaching approach I decided to take the leap and set up my coaching practice full time. I wanted to shine a light on others, to enable them to see in themselves what my coach had helped me to see. I am motivated by living a life with purpose, and to have the freedom to be me. Constantly maintaining my two selves (the work self and home self) left me exhausted. This, my passion for connection, and the belief that we would all thrive if we had the confidence to be our true selves, has led me to where I am today.
Harness your true self.
Your whole self Too often we "hide" parts of ourselves that we feel ‘shouldn’t’ be seen and this holds us back in our careers and personal lives. I work with people to fully embrace who they are, to understand what they value and to boldly share this version of themselves in all areas of life. Coaching with me focuses on the ‘whole self’; to identify strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. We all have unique skills and qualities but have been programmed to hide them - driven by fear of not being 'good enough', worried what people will think, or simply lack the self-confidence to be true to ourselves. When we have the self-belief to bring our full selves into the world, magic can happen. How to harness your true self 1. Self-awareness is key. Notice who you are in various situations. What labels do you give yourself? Are you organised, calm? Do you go with the flow? Are you on edge? Are you professional, driven, managerial? Are you quiet, reflective? 2. Recognise who you are when you’re by yourself. Often the time we feel most like our true self is when we’re alone. Get familiar with when you feel at your most comfortable. How does this version of you differ from the scenarios above? 3. Give yourself permission to be you. Accepting who you really are is vital in being your true self. Allow yourself to be who you are in the world without apology or explanation. This is the key to freedom. 4. Practice and reflect. Like with anything new, bringing your true self to the forefront takes practice and discipline. Reflect on the situations you find yourself in, times you’re more authentic, and times when you wear a mask. 5. Be kind. We’ve long been conditioned to act in line with social norms. We adopt behaviours from role models around us from an early age which all contribute to how we think we SHOULD act. It’s not easy to shake these off. Be kind and patient to yourself on your journey.
Gemma Brown is a associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.