Different. I have always felt different. The odd “man” out. Singled out as “teacher’s pet”, the “smart one” and “Miss Goody Two Shoes”.
I have felt alone (but not lonely). I have felt on the outside looking in. Trying to fit in or find my place. An introvert that likes her space and to be in control is a tough combination and can be perceived by others as being too good or aloof. Throughout high school, I shifted from one group to another, never feeling secure in my position in each. I acknowledge that much of this has to do with my insecurities, being a people pleaser and the challenge of being double promoted. In college, living at home while attending classes and trying to find my place there was the same thing. I just never felt “comfortable”. In retrospect I always felt judged…for being who I am…good at school and an overachiever (to people please). I felt like I needed to make excuses for being me.
At work, I have been in a lone position my whole career. Always focused on achieving my goals and performing well in my role, I was challenged to make time to form work friendships. Over the years, I have been blessed to have several relationships that have developed from work, but in many ways, I still try to be the friend they want me to be. In full disclosure, I do have one true friendship from high school. I think because we both were islands in a sea of others. Yet it is that type of relationship that you can go for years without talking and pick up where you left off. So, to me that is different than this.
As I pondered the topic, come as you are, during the quiet moments of a rare afternoon where I allowed myself to just be, the thoughts and words above came to me and I allowed myself to feel those thoughts and write them down. Not in self-pity, but in self-awareness. It allowed me to realize that those thoughts could possibly not be true, but just based on a truth I tell myself. I also realized that I do have a special relationship with my coach girlfriends that allows me to come as I am.
My coach girlfriends do not expect perfection from me. From the beginning, in this relationship, I could come as I am and let my guard down. I do not have to make an excuse for who I am. And, in turn, I have offered the same open acceptance for my girlfriend coaches. We come together in a judgement free zone. My feelings and thoughts are acknowledged at face value and appreciated for what they represent…me being me. I can be Michaeline.
As a coach, I meet my clients where they are, I encourage them to look at things from a different perspective and challenge their truth all with the intention of them achieving self-awareness and measurable outcomes that they set for themselves.
Where do you show up as yourself?