Do you ever feel like you have two personalities? Maybe you show one in public and the other you keep to yourself or only show close loved ones?
It could be you feel like you have to put on your face when you’re in a work setting, whether that be makeup or a fake personality… but you picture wearing shoes that are actually comfortable and not having to act like your bubbly “self” non-stop.
Do you ever feel like you’re being pulled apart trying to be one way for one group of people and then another way for someone else – and then wonder if you even know who you are anymore?
I’d been feeling this way quite a bit lately so I took a hiatus from all things health coaching recently to come to terms with who I am as a whole and how I can merge my “personalities”.
Here’s the thing. I’m a health coach, yes. But I’m also a professional model. And for some time, I’ve kept them as far away from each other as I possibly could. As a result, I’ve felt like I’ve been living two lives. Omitting one or the other at any given time has left me feeling… disconnected.
Here’s a closer example: I have two Instagram profiles; my health coaching one and my modeling one. My boyfriend, Josh, recently pointed out to me that my modeling profile had nothing to do with who I am as a person and it was confusing to him how I could be so authentic when I’m with him and yet so distant via social media. Even though we’re very close with one another, it made him feel a little disconnected and he wanted to understand it (me) better.
He was absolutely right. Yes, my Instagram accounts don’t showcase who I am inside. Part of that was convenience… it’s a lot easier to just post pictures I already have with virtually no captions. And part of it was my attitude… it’s just social media so who cares. But mostly it’s because I was protecting myself. Putting yourself out there opens up the chance to be hurt and I’ve been making decisions that protect myself from being hurt for quite some time.
I told myself that I was being professional by keeping my “work life” and my “personal life” separate. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, the way I went about it wasn’t working for me. So in my time away, I focused on self-compassion and being genuine to myself. ALL of me. I’ve been going back to school (to learn more about eating psychology), reading self-help books (anything from nutrition to personal growth) and spending my time with those I consider, quality inspirational people.
A big part of me was scared that people would hear the word, “model!” and instantly put me in a box. I’ve had this (irrational) fear that people would make unconscious assumptions about what kind of person I was based on what our culture tells us about the modeling industry.
I thought people would say,” she’s a model so she must not eat and that’s why she’s skinny.” Or think, ” she doesn’t have to use her brain to pose for pictures so she must not be intelligent.” Or believe, “she doesn’t know what it’s like to be unattractive so she must be vain.”
I now realize that I haven’t given people enough credit and I’ve simply been projecting my own insecurities. And by not talking about the modeling side of my life, having kept half my world a secret, a part of me didn’t like who I was.
That kind of a secret is… shame.
Connection & Belonging
I’ve been reading Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, and it’s really helped me come to terms that I need to be myself in all situations to be shame resilient. And that by keeping something that’s such a big part of me to myself, I can’t be vulnerable and I’ll never truly be able to connect.
And ultimately, that’s what we really want, right? To feel like we belong and to feel connected?
(If you want to hear something that can change your life in only a few minutes, watch her YouTube video here. I can’t recommend it enough. No affiliation whatsoever FYI.)
Not only do I want to connect in my personal life, I want to connect with you. Through my blog posts, my emails, conversations as well as social media. Because how can I make the difference I set out to when I started health coaching if I can’t truly connect with you? How can I help you on your journey to feeling confident, sexy and great about yourself if I’m not fully sharing my own?
Here’s some of what I’ve learned:
Authenticity heals… body image.
Our culture is cruel enough to us in terms of what we look like. By keeping parts of ourselves a secret, secretly we’re not happy about who we are.
Authenticity heals… your physical body.
When we feel shame and keep everything deep inside, we resort to overeating, binge eating and not making healthy choices. The biggest problem with this is that it causes us to feel disconnected. Not only from the outside world but also with ourselves.
I want to be the girl who shows love and empathy, observes her emotions and talks about them, who faces conflict and confrontation instead of withdrawing and rationalizing. I want to practice self-compassion instead of blame and criticism (on myself or others) and I want to connect with my loved ones as well as you.
That thing that’s been bottled up inside you… you know what it is. Put it out there. Put yourself out there. Take a risk. Being yourself is the key to being whole and feeling connected with others as well as yourself.
How can you be authentic and put yourself out there?