I asked Kimberley Newing to contribute a guest blog post as she is a talented Professional Certified Coach who lives her life and guides others from the grounded perspective of a balanced body, mind, and spirit. Here’s what she has to say…
Recently I heard this from a client, “If people knew how I really felt on the inside, they’d judge me for being weak. They would see me for the fraud I really am and they’d lose respect for me. I want people to think I’ve got it all together. If they see what’s really going on they’ll know I’m not good enough and that just makes me feel totally worthless.”
For many years, these harmful beliefs also ruled my life.
When I was 23 years old I held the prestigious positions of cabin manager and CRM trainer for a charismatic start up airline. It was a huge deal for someone my age and came with enormous amounts of responsibility. My biggest fear – ‘What if everyone discovered that I wasn’t as capable as they thought?’ I convinced myself that if my peers found out, they would know I was a failure and that would bring an end to this opportunity and I’d be cast out.
To the outside world I was living the dream but on the inside the fear of not being able to live up to expectations undermined my confidence and I soon developed an eating disorder. In an industry where appearances matter, and perhaps like many others, I used food as a way to control my emotions in attempt to control my environment.
Today, nearly 12 years later and having worked as a wellness coach with over hundreds of deeply beautiful people, I recognize just how prevalent it is in our society to present as though everything is ‘fine’ when in fact – behind closed doors, it feels anything BUT fine. The deeper I take people in to this work the more ‘we’ discover the painful costs of hiding what’s really going on.
So, what are the true costs burying our feelings and emotions?
The 3 most common symptoms of suppressing your feelings:
1. Perpetual Cycles Of Self-Sabotaging
2. Isolation And Loneliness
3. Chronic Health Issues
Where do I sign up for more of these goodies I hear you say?! Seriously though, LOOK AT WHAT WE ARE DOING TO OURSELVES ….
Self-sabotaging: We try to numb the feelings surfacing caused from what we are hiding with alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, sex, food, materialism and excessive TV/Facebook etc. This escapism via substance abuse leads to poor health, low energy and potentially relationship breakdowns. Most importantly, a break in the trust and loving relationship that you have with yourself!
Isolation and loneliness: As mammals, we human beings are designed to desire connection and a tribe. Feeling like you don’t belong or aren’t part of the tribe is one of the most painful experiences in life. When creating a safety barrier you emit the “don’t come too close” vibe out of fear of being truly seen. This barrier keeps real heart felt connection at a distance and only perpetuates the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Chronic health issues: Ultimately suppressing emotions manifests as ailments and disease (dis-ease … think about it) in the body. The human body, the home where your soul resides, has it’s own remarkable intelligence. When we continuously push our emotions down, this incredible instrument of life will find a way to resurface them. It is the body’s way of inviting us to pay attention to what’s really going on inside.
Do you listen with intent, or do you jump to the quick fix and medicate/suppress? Frequent sickness, panic attacks, chronic pain, cancer, migraines, mystery illnesses, Chronic fatigue, Irritable bowel, insomnia, depression just to name a few, can be symptoms of suppressed and unresolved emotions that are just too uncomfortable to deal with.
Who exactly are you so afraid of being judged by? If ‘they’ knew what was really going on for you, what is the worst thing they could say?
Chances are, you’ve already said worse than that to yourself in your own head. Am I right?
Perhaps your harshest critic exists not in the outside world, but within the four inches between your ears.
Maybe it’s time to release what’s going on inside of your heart instead of beating the heck out of yourself for all of the things you are ‘not doing right’ or for how you think you ‘should’ be.
For some people, it’s those closest to you that make you worry the most. If this is the case, then I suggest one of two things:
a) Get a new peer group (because life is too short to spend time with those who judge, criticize or make you feel small – that stuff is just plain ugly and quite frankly UNACCEPTABLE) or
b) Make the decision to show up and share what’s happening for you anyway. Adopt the ‘who gives a f@ck’ approach and witness how your relationships change as a result of it.
Take the diagnosis from the Great Dr. and apply the prescription “Those who mind, don’t matter and those who matter, don’t mind”. – Dr Seuss J
We cannot change what we don’t acknowledge. For many, the act of bringing what feels dark into the light and allowing it to be seen can be a very powerful way of releasing it. If it feels too much to start with the people closest to you then perhaps consider having a few conversations with a great listener or a professional to guide you forward.
Maybe you are struggling to juggle all of your roles, mother, father, husband, wife, son, sister daughter employee or business owner. Perhaps you are a practitioner who helps others for a living and are telling yourself that it is not ok for you to have challenges too. Or is it that you are deeply pained by your past and are replaying the same tapes over and over in your head. What ever the case, if you don’t make the choice to open up and share what’s really going on for you with someone you can trust, how will your health, relationships and professional life ever become what you want it to be?
So, next time someone who is trying to connect with you asks how you are? Perhaps actually take a moment to let that question linger before you answer. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and let your heart do the talking. Dare to be real. Dare to show up for yourself and in doing so, know you are inspiring others to do the same.
Ghandi said it beautifully – “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Can you imagine what it would feel like to just drop judgment and be yourself everyday? Now THAT is worth it.
Kim’s work is about inviting truth and getting REAL. She provides a safe and sacred space for others to speak about what’s really going on and then take heart inspired action to achieve what they really want. When embracing the right beliefs, attitude and support, Kim believes everyone has the ability to live free happy wonderfully fulfilled lives. Kim currently lives with her gorgeous husband and their two adorable daughters in Vancouver, British Columbia and is grateful everyday for the things and people that make her real.
Kimberley Newing PCC, Master NLP Practitioner