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How to let your amazingness shine through

During some recent work with a client, one thing became crystal clear. She’d been dumbing herself down for most of her life.

This behaviour started during her childhood. A few separate incidents made her fear failure. She also felt very different from her family and friends. Her fear of failure and dislike of not fitting in turned her into a people pleaser. Before long, she was shape-shifting to become whatever was demanded of her. This behaviour was completely sub-conscious, and the changes she made soon became her persona.

Her true amazingness – the kind, creative, courageous, resilient and fun leader she really is – remained, for the most part, buried in her. Flashes of this person were occasionally visible to those closest to her, but the person she saw herself was the hyper organised, efficient, productive people-pleaser.

I found it so easy to recognize this in my client. Because it was true for me, too.

I’ve spent much of my life dumbing myself down so I could:

  • fit in
  • be understood
  • be liked
  • be seen
  • be loved
  • feel safe and secure
  • feel stable

I even dumbed down my successful 28-year marketing career, where I was a serious game-changer. I’ve hardly referred to it at all in my last four years of doing life purpose coaching.

Why?

I was afraid it would cause people not to like me, because they’d view me as unethical. I consider much of what goes on in the marketing world as unethical, therefore I must be, too, if I’ve worked there.

Wow. That’s quite the admission. But I was completely unaware I was doing it. I’d just gloss over those 28 years and hope that no one asked me about the work I did then. That they’d focus instead on the ethical work I was doing now.

You know what?

The SAME person worked in marketing and in life purpose coaching. I did.

I, who:

  • has the same values now as when working in marketing
  • has spent the last 30 years learning how to live a purposeful life
  • left organizations routinely as a result of being asked to do something unethical

You know what else?

My 28 years of game-changing in marketing taught me a lot. They made a huge contribution to the person I am today. They helped give me my voice.

My business career has given me some incredible skills that I now use to help my clients. My journey through that part of my life is now helping me let my amazingness shine.

If you want to let your amazingness shine, try this!

  • Understand who you REALLY are. The whole you – don’t leave parts of yourself out, as I did for years.
  • Learn to manage your inner critics – the voices in your head that want you to be liked, to fit in, to be understood, to be loved, to be seen, to feel safe and secure, to feel stable.
  • Create daily practices that reinforce the key life truths of presence, acceptance, forgiveness, letting go, non-judgement, maintaining your boundaries.
  • Understand that it’s YOUR life and that no one is coming to save you. You can choose what your life looks like.
  • Have personal goals that reflect the whole you – your emotional, spiritual, mental, physical and financial health, what gives you self-esteem, what makes you self-fulfilled.
  • Take action. Dreams without action remain dreams.

Whenever you feel less than whole inside or are struggling to imagine what a dream life might look like, pay attention.

That’s a sign your amazingness is trying to shine through.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

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Do your heroes inspire you or dumb you down?

It’s human nature to look for inspiration all around us. Our inspiration comes from many sources – from people we know; people we don’t know, some of whom are famous; nature.

Inspiration is one of our main fuel sources. We can be inspired to follow a calling – to become a doctor, a musician, an artist. We can be inspired to up our game at something – to become a better chess player, better entrepreneur, better writer, better footballer. And we can be inspired simply to be a better person – the best possible version of ourselves.

Being inspired means being moved so much by the actions or expertise of another that we change something meaningful about our own lives.

You see, inspiration ALWAYS has meaningful consequences. It helps us define who we truly are in some way. It helps make us more ourselves – the unique beings we are.

Now, there’s another force out there that masquerades as inspiration. Hero-worship.

The cult of celebrity is all about hero-worship. We are not inspired by these celebrities, we are not changed by them in a meaningful way.

We imitate them.

When we hero-worship, we want to be just like our ‘heroes’. To dress like they do. To take the same selfies as they do. To wear the same make-up as they do. To talk like they do.

And this has dangerous consequences.

Hero-worship causes us to lose ourselves completely. By dressing or acting or sounding JUST like these celebrities, we become clones. We are no longer unique individuals.

Hero-worship has the opposite effect on us to inspiration. Inspiration elevates us, helps make us even more amazing and unique. Hero-worship dumbs us down, helps make us like mindless sheep – we become all the same, no longer unique.

As such, hero-worship can only be viewed as a destructive force in society today. We may say that we don’t really admire the object of our hero-worship, that we just find him/her amusing/stylish/glamorous. Even if this is true, by imitating or putting our attention on people who don’t inspire us, we end up being dumbed down by them.

We are not dumbed-down clones. Each and every one of us is an amazing individual. An amazing individual who is surrounded by endless, life-transforming inspiration.

Inspiration is present in the individual acts of love, kindness, tolerance and courage we see every day. Inspiration is present in the expertise of those at the top of their games.

Let’s be inspired. Let’s be inspiring. Let’s be amazing. Because that’s who we truly are.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

Photo credit: Sarah Blick

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What makes YOU amazing?

If you asked an eight year-old the question: “What makes you amazing?”, I bet you’d get an answer. Maybe something like “My superpowers!” or “I can fly!”.

Ask an adult the same question, and you’re likely to get a blank stare.

Children believe that anything is possible, that they can do anything their imagination dreams up. So a question like “What makes you amazing?” doesn’t seem strange to them. LOTS of things make them amazing, because life is amazing!

By the time we’re adults, most of us have lost our sense of wonder about life. To be honest, it’s worse than that. We’ve been ground down by life.

Yet, “What makes you amazing?” is an important question for us to be able to answer.

What makes anyone amazing is what makes that person unique. And what makes us unique is who we really are.

Society puts the bulk of its efforts into making us all the same – we’re much easier to manage and control that way. But our souls, our true selves, just want our uniqueness to shine. This awareness deep within us is why we so often feel uncomfortable in our own skins, even lost.

Society has a ‘One Size Fits All’ approach. And we need an ‘I’m Unique’ approach.

A blank stare was my response the first time I was asked: “So, Sarah, what makes you amazing?”. I, someone who is rarely lost for words, had NO idea what to say. Sensing my discomfort, the questioner rephrased the question, asking: “What would your friends say is amazing about you?”. That, I could answer. Just about.

My utter inability to answer that question haunted me for days after the event. At that point in my life, I’d been working on my self-awareness for 25 years. But, with my back against the wall, I couldn’t say what made ME amazing.

Figuring this out became my mission. I’d already done a lot of work trying to understand who The Real Sarah was, but clearly hadn’t yet finished. I realised that, in order to answer the master question “What makes you amazing?”, I had first to answer some questions that lay behind it. After much reflection, I found that the responses to three simple questions provided the information I needed to answer the master question.

The three simple questions were:

  1. What’s important to you?
  2. What do you love doing?
  3. What are you truly good at?

And whilst the questions may be simple, answering them fully and honestly wasn’t! I had to peel back layers of conditioning to get at the true answers, but it was well worth it.

From the output of this exercise, I created what I call my Personal Statement – a few sentences that express who I am, what I do and how I live every day. I’ve changed the words many times over the years – each change reflected where I was along my path towards living my purposeful life. Now that I am living my purposeful life, my Personal Statement looks like this:

I know that love is stronger than fear, that life is an adventure, that being of service to others is our purpose, and that we are all amazing. I value PEOPLE, so I focus on healing lives for a more joyful existence. I value PURPOSE, because it’s the path to true self-fulfilment. I value COMPASSION, because we’re human beings in an often challenging world. I know that how I live my life is my choice, and I choose to live consciously, with passion, courage and creativity.

 

These 86 words are MY answer to the question “So, Sarah, what makes you amazing?”.

What makes YOU amazing?

Image credit: Sarah Blick

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).