How to Be Yourself

To be ourselves means acknowledging how we hold ourselves back; how we may protect our hearts from others and armor against the world. How we may have learnt to deny and shut down parts of ourselves: of needing to be a certain way, in order to keep ourselves safe.

When our energy is not focused in self-protection, we become available for connection.

To be free to be ourselves we need to notice our self judgment, the shame and shrinking. The fears of not being (good) enough or being too much or of being rejected. We can let go of ideas of needing to be a better person in order to experience self acceptance. We need to give ourselves permission to accept ourselves before we can expect others to meet us in the way we want to be met. When we are open-hearted towards ourselves we can meet the world with an open heart.

We need to find a way to meet our own vulnerability, not be scared of what we feel. We need to be able to find our voice, use our anger, establish boundaries, and be assertive in order to feel comfortable with expressing our needs.

Growing in confidence

On Building Confidence

What is confidence? Confidence is both a state of being and the steps we take to connect and participate in the world. We want to be in an “ I am” and  “I can” state rather than ‘I have to and I don’t think I can’,  or ‘I can’t’ states.  Confidence is primarily the relationship we have with ourselves, it’s not simply a mind set believing in one’s capacity and power, it’s from within. I describe feeling confident as a sense of being quietly comfortable with who we are and the capacity to stay connected to ourself, which creates a…
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On How We Learn To Not Be Ourself - Project Self Life Coaching

On How We Learn To Not Be Ourself

Much of what we think of as our personality is in fact a collection of strategies we developed as a child for managing everyday life. Many of these become traits we identify with and aren’t really who we are, but a role we took on. Our inner child is a strategist (a strategy being a method to achieve an outcome). As children we learn to behave in certain ways to get our needs met by the caregiver. We learn to comply with their messages about right and wrong, along with cultural and social messages about how we need to be,…
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On Boundaries (Protection and Connection) - Project Self Life Coaching

On Boundaries (Protection and Connection)

Boundaries are a fascinating area to explore in terms of how we show up in the world, how we make our presence felt and how we relate to others whilst relating to ourselves. Boundaries mark the interplay between us and the other, the meeting of the internal and the external. Most of us need to make some adjustment in terms of how we conceive of our boundaries and in implementing them. It astounded me when I first learnt to fly to learn that the sky is divided up into different zones or areas on a flight map, much as the…
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On Not Thinking Negatively - Project Self Life Coaching

On Not Thinking Negatively

Many people are feeling various low and negative moods at the moment. We can’t do much about how we feel in response to difficult circumstances but we can be aware of how our thinking may be affecting us. The brain has a negativity bias. As Rick Hanson describes it, teflon for good news, velcro for bad news. This is because our system is wired to look for and hook into any perceived risk and threat. Our brains tend to scan for bad news, overly focus on it, overly react to it, over remember it, and become sensitised to it over…
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On Relationship Dynamics - Project Self Life Coaching

On Relationship Dynamics

We are relational beings. Our nervous system has a biological imperative to co-regulate itself in the presence of another which provides the feeling of safety. So relationships of course, in theory should feel like safe harbours or solid ground. And yet many experience less harbour and more the sensation of being in a sinking rowing boat, frantically paddling, bailing out water, and bobbing without a rudder in the backwash of a vast honking cruise liner. Frightening, unfathomable and difficult to stay afloat in, So why do relationships so often feel unsafe or unstable? Why do we seem so poorly quipped…
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On Feeling Into Fear - Project Self Life Coaching

On Feeling Into Fear

Fear, I believe, is our most predominant emotion as it’s driven from our survival instinct. We are navigated through life by our threat detection mechanism; our nervous system, our primeval brain, our mammalian nature; checking experience (or future experience) out as either physically and emotionally safe, not safe or potentially not safe. Our need for safety drives our personality and behaviour towards being self-protective; dominating our natural capacity to respond from an open place of calm and compassion towards others (and self). Fear is a fundamental disallowing of ourselves to be available for connection or totally open to the present moment. Fear is live…
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ON NOT FEELING BAD - Project Self Life Coaching

On Not Feeling Bad

We often feel bad about ourselves, conflating how we can behave with who we are. We can also feel a dislike for who we are and also feel deep down, a sense that we lack worth as a human being. And so we tread heavily on the earth, comparing our weighty lack of substance to the seemingly Sorted & Successful Ariel figures around us.  Welcome to the walk of shame. The walking dead. The human experience of walking around feeling like there’s a cloud, a shadow, hanging over you; a weight on your chest; a restriction in your throat or an emptiness…
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ON NOT BEING A BETTER PERSON - Project Self Life Coaching

On Not Being A Better Person

“All of us think we are a little better than we really are. All of us think we are a little worse than we really are”. Michael Yapko I’m beginning to rebel against the concept of Being a Better Person. You might think what’s wrong with wanting to be better person? Within the dictionary definition of ‘better’, I found that it does relate to increasing good qualities, but more prevalently, it describes surpassing, superiority, preferability, acceptability. Bettering oneself speaks historically of status. Being a better person suggests we need to improve. Sure, we could all be nicer, kinder people with healthier,…
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On Attending To What Needs Attention

Attention is potentially the greatest instrument we have to transform the quality of our life. I have been asked a good question as a prompt a few times: what percentage of you is actually here right now? What percentage of you is giving this article your attention? What would it be like to decide to give it your full attention? How might your experience change? What might you notice or become aware of, once you decide to be fully present; not just to this piece of writing, but to yourself in reading it? What comes up (thoughts, resistance, excuses, feelings,…
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On Frustration, Anger and Assertiveness - Project Self Life Coaching

On Frustration, Anger and Assertiveness

Wanting To Tell The World and Everyone In It To Fuck Off Ever gone through one of those phases where you just want everyone and everything to piss off and leave you be? Where every little exchange with people seems to be a snipe, thoughtless? Other people just wind you up? You go into town and politely ask the woman parking at the end of the bay if she could move forward so you can park behind and her and she won’t, and you think you rude, selfish, cow to yourself, or you might even say something to her through…
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