Somebody very important to me recently told me that they just don’t feel comfortable in their own skin. This person, to the rest of the world, is successful, attractive, confident and outgoing. So why on earth would they feel this way? That’s what the rest of the world thinks …. but the person the rest of the world sees is not necessarily the person inside.
Those words ‘comfortable in my own skin’ struck a chord. This isn’t a person who has labelled their feelings, or knows what they are dealing with. This is a person who doesn’t fully understand their own emotions. Are we talking about appearance? Perhaps it’s about confidence? Or maybe it’s a feeling of uncertainty about life and where it’s heading? It could be any one of these, or it could be all of them plus a million others.
And this is where it becomes personal and something most of us can relate to. It’s not always possible to put a finger on why we feel a certain way, making it so much harder to address these emotions. We spend so much time thinking about what we should be doing and what people expect us to be, there’s no wonder we can’t always live up to these expectations.
So many different relationships, experiences and memories create these feelings, and it would be wrong to suggest that they can just go away or we can simply move on. We need the chance to understand and appreciate ourselves, no matter how difficult it may be, starting by asking ourselves these questions…
- Just because it has always been that way, does it mean it must stay like that? Just because you’ve always done it, do you have to keep doing it? Facing up to some of our limiting beliefs can be liberating (and a little scary).
- Why don’t you deserve for good things to happen? Of course you do and you are as capable of creating change as anybody else.
- Are you being true to yourself? You are who you are, don’t hide from it. Accepting ourselves – warts and all – and starting to like what we see is a big first step.
I’m not suggesting it’s easy – far from it. I’m suggesting that taking the time to address and try to work through some of these feelings can be the first step towards feeling comfortable in our own skin. The more I think about it, the more I realise that many of my clients (and also people who aren’t my clients) feel like this, they just haven’t necessarily put it into these words.