While working with a prospective client today, she asked me about my journey into coaching, which really, is my journey into myself. I found myself first and foremost explaining the dichotomy that I have been ping-ponging between my entire life.
I was raised by a very French mother who inadvertently made me so viscerally aware of the male gaze that once I saw it, I couldn’t look away. Of course, once I got it, I had to keep it. I had to shift my emotional and physical shape so that I could continue to please, because that’s what I had witnessed my entire life: women bending to the wills of their children, communities, and men.
On the other end of the spectrum was my father, French by breeding and American at heart, he is an entrepreneur whose responses to my successes always implied that there was more to reach for, more to achieve. Success was always expected but never defined so I never quite knew where I should be channeling my drive and my hunger.
Though it’s something that I discovered in recent years, I’m still caught off guard when this tension between the two SHOULDS that were ingrained into me take the front and center lead of my story. This is no longer my story, right? I am no longer either compliant or defiant, right?
But this is what happens when we don’t spend time nurturing our actual story; this is the slippery slope we encounter when we’re not actively re-grounding ourselves in our purpose, in our mission, in all the facets that make us who we are.
So in addition to all the things on your To-Do list (like voting, educating yourself on systemic racism, and doing your part to address climate change), I want you to create a To-Be list of all the characteristics that make you uniquely, you. And then live it, embrace it, affirm it. Time and time again.