Updated: Aug 19, 2022
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Labels Limit Us. Especially the lick it and stick it labels that get plastered across our foreheads.
Being different isn't always a choice. It's simply how we show up in life. Then one day, being different to how we've always shown up happens, and it's not always easy for us to live true to that difference, nor may it be easy for others to accept - but like it or not, different, we are.
The problem is, there's "different", and then there's "different".
Sometimes, if we believe that our difference is "too different", we may even do our best to turn down the difference to fit in, belong. Typically, that's when those lick it and stick it labels come out, you know, the reeeeally sticky ones, like "too emotional", "too loud", "too bold", "too soft", "too smart", or too something.
Thing is, we're all different.
Even the really popular, wealthy, gorgeous humans have their own "difference" to deal with.
At some point our lives, I believe there's always a moment where we're told to turn down parts of us that aren't "acceptable".
In the boardroom, how many leaders have to constantly turn down some part of them, because if they don't, there's a fear they'll not only be judged, but that it could jeopardise their job.
We know that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we can use to connect with our audience, but people don't want to share personal stories, because it's "too vulnerable", and not "professional enough ". As if one doesn't belong with the other.
But Brené Brown has proven with her research that they do. And when we show up authentically - when we Turn Up the YOU, we transcend our difference, find that place of acceptance, true belonging, and connection.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
So how do we get to the place where we choose to Turn Up the YOU in a way that honours our sacred self, that empowers us to show up with sticky foreheads, beaming with a gentle grace that is exempt from expectation?
Expectations of self, and of others to show up in a specific way.
When we do, we unconsciously create an environment for others to show up authentically too.
As Marianne Williamson says in her poem, Our Deepest Fear:
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
When we give ourselves permission to Turn Up the YOU, to rip off the sticky labels, and see that we are so much more than that, we create a space for others to give themselves permission to do the same.
How others respond, how they deal with the truth of who we are, and what behaviours they choose in the face of that, is their choice, their power and their responsibility. Not ours.
But when we do, we not only liberate ourselves from the limitations that labels dictate, we open up a world of possibilities for ourselves by realising that we are not the same in one moment, as we are in the next. We are a process, unfolding in life.
And finally, when we do, we create space for more authentic connection to take place, in the boardroom, on stage, at home and everywhere else we present ourselves.
What are the "differences", the sticky labels that you've endured in your life?
How could that difference become your difference, that makes the difference in your life?
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