HJ: You have greatness and brilliance within you waiting to get out and be shared with the world.

– Truth

How to Be Your Real Self and What’s Been Stopping You

By Britt Bolnick | Tiny Buddha | In Arms Coaching


“The more of me I be, the clearer I can see.” ~Rachel Andrews

This past year has felt a lot like I was running through a supermarket, naked.

But not as chilly.

As a life-coach for women, one of my brilliances has to do with supporting women in showing up fully as their shining, marvelous selves—and guiding them through all the work of facing fears, looking at self-worth, re-training brains to focus on abundance and feeling powerful, vs. scarcity and victim-hood, and so many other powerful pieces.

I make no secret out of the fact that I have had to do all this myself in order to lead women through their own work.

And working on visibility—showing up as my unique, in-progress, human self—has been at the center of most of the deeply transformational work I’ve had to do in the last year.

As I’ve worked on building my ability to serve women, I noticed that I, myself, was hiding from shining fully. I was not showing up authentically, not speaking my whole truth, not reveling in who I am and how uniquely different from other coaches I am (as each one of us is!).

Why was I hiding? What was going on that I was standing halfway in the shadow, afraid of shining in my brilliance, afraid of being 100% revealed as who I am and what I’m here to say?

I was hiding for several reasons:

  • I had stories about what a successful female business owner “looked” like—and I wasn’t it.
  • I had stories about how I handle (or don’t handle) money—and deep fears about my ability to be responsible if I made a lot more money.
  • I had stories about showing up as an example of a woman building a life I love living because I told myself women wouldn’t look at my life and want to create something similar.
  • I had deep, unhealed wounds from being little, when I felt like I wasn’t seen or heard, when I felt like making my needs known didn’t necessarily get them met.
  • I also found powerful fears around being seen that were created as a pre-teen walking around the streets of NYC and feeling like a target for verbal abuse from men, which made me shrink myself really small so I wouldn’t be attacked.

When you figure out what’s keeping you from showing up, you can learn how to heal it and move forward, into the light of what you love.

Why might visibility as your authentic self be important for you?

  • Visibility as your authentic self enables you to create work you love.
  • Visibility as your authentic self allows you to form satisfying romantic relationships and rewarding and supportive friendships.
  • Visibility as your authentic self affects your ability to be generously compensated for the work you do.
  • Visibility as your authentic self affects your ability to create healthy boundaries for yourself.
  • Visibility as your authentic self reflects in your self-care and health—how clear you are about what you need, and then how fully you’re able to ask for what you need and prioritize it for yourself.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

The more authentic, honest, and visibly I show up in my life, my business, my friendships, my parenting, and my relationship, the better everything gets. Because everything I create is being built on a rock-solid foundation—a foundation of who I am at my wonderful, loving, talented core.

And that stuff doesn’t wash away.

So why are you hiding? See if any of the following reasons resonate for you:

  • It didn’t always feel safe for you to be visible.
  • You’re afraid you might offend, alienate, or intimidate people if you show up authentically.
  • People might not like you, might be jealous of you, or might get angry at you if you said what you think.
  • Success is terrifying.
  • You’re afraid of failure.
  • You have stories about why you’re not _____ enough to be who you are, have what you want, do what you love.
  • You’ve spent so much time hiding who you are, you’re not even sure what’s underneath anymore.
  • Who has time to be authentic?

Take a second and write down for yourself, right now, how hiding from visibility or your authentic self has seemed to serve you.

Now, write down how letting go of any fear or resistance to showing up fully you could serve you—what might become possible if you were to show up fully, 100% visible, and authentically you? What might be yours?

When you are able to see how it once might have served you to hide, to be small, to stay quiet, you’ll be able to begin the work of releasing those old fears and beliefs and step out, into your light.

Britt Bolnick is the owner of In Arms Coaching, heart-centered life coaching for women. You can connect with her at www.InArmsCoaching.com.

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