I love meeting new people; I’m intrigued by their stories and keen to learn interesting things from them. Eager to get to know who they really are, I’ve always struggled to connect with people who are ‘closed’. The irony is that I was closed off and invisible to myself for thirty years. Here are three signs that you might also be ‘invisible’ to yourself.
You worry about making decisions because they might be wrong;
If you put off making a decision because you’re worried that it might be the wrong one, then it’s probably because you’re not clear about what really matters to you in life. You’re unlikely to have any idea of what your top five values are. For instance, if your top five values include ‘freedom’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘making a contribution’, you’d know whether the job you’re thinking of applying for would take you closer or further away from living a life aligned to your values than the job you currently have. The same reasoning applies where your strengths are concerned. I feel happier when I’m confident that my skills are being used to best effect – when I’m using my ‘superpowers’ (as I like to call them). Can you state confidently (and with specific examples) what your top three strengths are? If you’re unsure, how can you tell if you should take that promotion? Not knowing what’s important to you and what you have to offer means that who you truly are remains invisible.
You feel unhappy or restless in your most significant relationship.
If you’re in a relationship that drains you of energy, then it’s not chiming with who you truly are. You know that, though – but you just can’t work out why. So it’s better to just keep tolerating this sense of restlessness – because at least it’s familiar to you – right? Wrong. It’s vital to understand why it’s not working. Otherwise you’ll just attract the same relationship issues again and again. Unless you get happy with being in a relationship with you, you can’t be happy in a relationship with someone else because you’ll be looking for them to ‘fix’ you.
Being invisible to yourself means that you can’t recognise your destructive patterns of behaviour. Until you do – you won’t be able to create constructive alternatives.
You find it hard to be completely authentic when you’re around people.
There are thousands of books written on how to build confidence. I’ve coached women in particular on the topic for many years. It’s not ethereal or elusive – it’s what naturally happens when you love and accept yourself. And before you can do that, you need to get to know yourself. The ‘fake it until you make it’ school of thought will have you standing in front of the mirror repeating affirmations. However, ‘manufactured’ confidence won’t last – you’ve got to get ‘up close and personal’ with who you truly are. Until then, you’ll judge your worth by the signals that others send you.