There are two common things I hear in my office. One is that clients are often wondering how to find people who they can really connect with. The second is people are often afraid to be truly seen due to fear of rejection. What I have learned is that people often settle for being, nice or likable in hopes of others not finding offense in who they are.
I totally get it! Likable me, is a people pleaser. She still exists and shows up from time to time. She is concerned about her house being spotless when friends come over. She worries about what people will think of the amount of weight she has gained. She is concerned when others do not respond positively to her. But I have to say, with time and practice that voice is getting smaller. The voice that wants me to hide and to shrink myself due to fears of rejection.
For most being likable often means fitting yourself into someone else’s expectations. Being likable is being more concerned about what others think and feel than what you are experiencing. Being likable is shrinking yourself so that you won’t bother anyone else. Being likable is often about avoidance of rejection. However, while you may avoid some outright rejection you also miss out on deep acceptance.
Instead, I want you to be lovable!!! People who are lovable are authentic, they show up. They are their own brand of quirky and they take up space. To be loved is to be seen. Being lovable is risky because you have to allow others to experience the real you. This also means that some people will not love you, but that’s ok. Those people are not your people. Being seen, truly seen, is deeply satisfying and terrifying. I know, I’ve been working towards embracing my lovability for years.
When I am being my lovable self, I allow myself to say the word FUCK with relish and frequently. I wear clothes that make me feel excited and express something about me. I allow a broad array of emotions and opinions. I show up for myself before I show up for others. I make jokes and play. When I am my authentic self, I allow others the opportunity to see me and possibly love me. When I cover myself up, they don’t really get to know if they might love me.
I believe that the number one fear that holds people back from being their full selves is the fear of being rejected by others. Here’s the thing, not everyone is going to be your person. I often say to clients during the first session, that I am not everyone’s cup of tea and if I’m not yours I encourage you to search for someone who is. Let’s face it, you don’t like everyone you meet, that’s ok. When you can ditch the expectation that everyone should like you you are freer to be yourself and to find people who truly value you for who you are.
Take up space. Be yourself. Cry. Be angry! Express emotions that are scary. Ask people to call you by the name and pronouns that fit for you. Risk saying something that may be unpopular. Be awkward and silly. Be real with yourself and others. You might be surprised by the reaction.
My challenge for you is to choose one person you’d like to be closer with and risk being a little more of yourself than you have been. Watch their reaction. Pay attention to the depth of the conversation. If that person does not respond in a way that feels good to you, that’s ok. Try again or with someone new. Being authentic is risky for all of us however when you are authentic with others it is an invitation for them to do the same. Go out and be lovable!
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