Ep #40: How Are You Showing Up?

Strong as a Working Mom with Carrie Holland | How Are You Showing Up?
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How are you showing up in the world? Many of my clients too often look for who they are and how they want to present themselves from the people around them. They want to be more confident, but seek that confidence and validation from outside themselves. Really, those feelings should always come from within.

If you want to be a more confident person, you first have to understand who you actually are and then act with integrity towards that person. A confident person does not change their clothes, opinions, or actions for people. A confident person is themself no matter who they’re around or what situation they’re in. Most importantly, a confident person always shows up for themself.

In this episode, I talk about how to become a better version of you and how that starts with first knowing who you are and showing up for that person. I share some questions you can ask yourself to help you along this journey to becoming a badass.

Are you ready to eat, move, and think in a way that gets you strong both physically and mentally? You deserve to have both no matter how busy you are, and I can help. I’m opening up my one-on-one coaching program for new clients, and I would love to work with you. Click here to learn more about working with me.

Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can follow along and engage with you!

What You Will Discover:

  • How to get confidence from within.
  • Why who you are is more than just titles.
  • Why it’s important to be aware of who you are.
  • How a confident person thinks and acts.
  • Why showing up for yourself is the most confident thing you can do.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast, Episode #40. If you want more confidence, let’s talk about how to show up for yourself and make it happen.

Welcome to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. If you’re balancing career, family, wellness, and some days sanity, you are in the right place. This is where high-achieving, busy, working moms get the tools they need to eat, move, and think. I’m your host, physician, personal trainer, and Certified Life Coach, Carrie Holland. Let’s do this.

Hey, how are you? What’s new, what’s good? So, what’s good here, we are going to talk about how you are showing up in the world. We are going to talk about how you see yourself. And in turn, how you share that with the people around you.

How are you showing up? Here is why I think we need to talk about this. In my career so far, as a coach, I’ve learned to look for patterns. I look for patterns of behavior, and then I try to shed light on them to my clients during their coaching sessions so then they might be able to see things about themselves they haven’t seen before. Or maybe, I can help her see something that’s always been there but she just hasn’t been able to pick it up.

That is one of the many cool parts of my job. I get to help you see yourself differently than you might have in the past. And you know what happens when you’ve got awareness, that’s huge. That is the first step toward any change you’re looking to make. So, if I can help you create awareness around your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, and how they are all interconnected, then I think I’m winning at my job.

But sometimes you get tripped up on this and spend too much time looking outside yourself for answers, for validation, for cues, for confidence, when really, all of those things come from within you. You do not need someone else to tell you that you did an awesome job at work today. You don’t need someone else to tell you that you’re a good mom. You don’t need your partner to tell you that you are the best wife or mother on the planet.

Yes, it’s certainly nice when you get those compliments, but they are not necessary. And I want to help you move away from needing comments like those to validate you as a person. So instead, imagine what it would feel like if you could validate yourself. Imagine what it would feel like to know and to believe that you are doing your very best work at home, at work, with your kids, and for yourself, and that’s all that mattered.

Imagine how freeing it would be to believe that you are awesome, just as you are without having to seek validation from any outside sources, or any other person to prove it to be true. I think that would be amazing. This process, this process of showing up for yourself, starts and only happens when you get really clear on who you are, who you aim to be.

And then you go and live it out when you are crystal clear on who you are. And when you go and act in a way that reflects that, you are on fire. Not only that, you will not require validation from anyone else to know that you are doing okay. That is so very empowering.

I want to talk about how to do that today. Many of you have told me that you want to be a certain way, specifically, you want to have more confidence. That is probably one of the most common things I get asked about when I’m starting out with a client; how to be more confident in herself.

So, here’s the thing I want to make crystal clear, confidence is only possible when you know who you are, and then you act in integrity with that person. This is essential: You act in integrity with who you are. And here’s the kicker, when you do that, when you act in alignment with your identity, your beliefs, and your values, you then take care of yourself when people don’t accept you for who you are.

If you want to truly show up and be who you are meant to be in this world, you act in a way that is true for you, and you accept that not everyone is going to agree and not everyone is going to like you, and that is okay.

This is in direct contrast to changing yourself in some way. Changing how you dress, how you talk, changing your opinions, or keeping quiet when you really want to speak up. That is not acting in integrity with yourself. When you mold yourself to fit the requirements of whatever person or group you are with, because you’re afraid of their opinions or you’re afraid of being rejected, that is not confidence. That is the opposite.

But it is only when you are true to yourself and to the people around you that confidence is possible. So, with all of this in mind, if you want to be confident, I will argue that you have to show up as your real, true, unique, wholehearted self. And then be ready for whatever opinions come your way, as a result of that. You have to be ready that not everyone is going to be on board. And that’s part of the deal.

But before we even get to other people, for some of you, just knowing how you want to show up, that, in and of itself, is a challenge. So, I want to go over today how you choose to show up. And when I say that, I mean, how do you choose to see yourself? I want you to answer the question for yourself. Who are you? Okay?

So, know this, while I am asking some big kind of ‘stare at the sky and ponder’ type of questions here, know that I am not a philosopher. And we’re not going to scratch our heads today and wonder whether or not a carrot feels pain when you bite into it. No. Instead, we’re going to take a more practical approach.

I realized, as I have gotten farther along in my coaching career, that I really love talking about human nature, psychology, and self-discovery. But at the same time, I just have to keep it practical. My science brain just cannot go into all the woo. So, don’t worry, we’re going to keep it tangible today. Okay?

Here’s how I’m going to approach this; we’re talking about how you want to show up in the world. To do that we’re going to cover, first, who exactly you want to be. I’m going to give you some questions to consider as you decide this. Then we’re going to talk about how you live this out, and act in alignment with who you want to be.

And then last, we’re going to spend some time talking about other people, and how other people’s opinions and perceptions of you can really trip you up. And how to get away from that so you can go and live your best life instead of worrying about everyone else. Alright? So, let’s go.

Okay, first, to start, let’s go there. I’m going to straight-up ask you to consider this question: Who are you? And who do you want to be? When I ask this question, I will break it down even further for you into two parts, because I’ve done this before.

I’ve asked my clients this very question, generally, after a few sessions, once we get to know each other a little better. Often, she’ll stop, because maybe she’s never considered it that way before, or maybe she’s never been asked the question.

Often, the answers come in two forms. First, she will answer in titles. She will tell me she is a physician, a businessperson, a writer, a psychologist, or a teacher. And then, she’ll add that she’s a wife or partner and then maybe, a parent. It’s a load of titles.

And it makes sense, we often identify by our titles. Think about when you first meet someone, it’s generally not too far into the conversation before the subject of ‘what do you’ do comes up. The things we do, and the roles we play for other people, all of those titles, they’re important. They are most definitely part of us. Don’t get me wrong.

But those titles don’t tell the whole story. They don’t define you. They only scratch the surface of what you do, but it doesn’t tell me who you are. Do you see the difference? There is so much more to you than that. You are so much more than your titles.

So now, let’s take it a step further. Once you peel those titles away, who are you beneath all of that? Are you loving or are you standoffish? Are you loyal or are you flighty? Are you quiet or are you loud? Do you like to be the center of attention, or do you prefer to be in the background? Are you generous or are you stingy? Are you confident or are you unsure of yourself? Who are you once you take away those titles?

The reason I think it’s so important to get clear on this is that we get so wrapped up in those titles that sometimes we forget there’s more to us than that. Often, you’re so busy racing from work, to home, to kid activities, to family parties. In essence, you’re living out the identity of those titles that you forget there is more to you than that. You forget, there’s the core of who you are beneath all of it.

And so, that’s where I’m asking you to go next. Think about what qualities define you as a person. For me, I can answer now because I’ve done this, and I’ve done my work. But I would answer that beyond my titles of woman, wife, mom, coach, physician, et cetera, beyond all of those titles, I am fiercely loyal to my family.

I am honest, because I have had enough life experiences wrapped up in deceit to realize that no relationship lasts on lies. I am a hard worker who will see something through to the finish because I despise laziness. I am disciplined because I believe in following through on my commitments, both to other people and to myself.

I am strong, mentally and physically. I’m also shy and sarcastic. I am scared of rejection and abandonment; I will admit it. But I am confident enough that even though I am scared of it, I know I can handle it if those things were to happen to me.

There it is, once you peel away those titles, that is what you’re going to find is what’s left of me. I encourage you to do this for yourself. Decide who you are and name it. Not in nouns or titles, but in adjectives.

I will add this, this can be a hard exercise to do. I can describe myself now only because I finally got to a place where I dared to ask and honestly answer those questions. A few years ago, I didn’t know that I could have given you a straight answer. I don’t know that I could have answered who I really was.

Because I didn’t want to dig inside and see what was there. But once I started paying attention to myself, and when I say that I simply mean creating awareness around my thoughts and feelings, that’s when things started to change.

This is what I’m asking of you. I’m encouraging you to be aware of who you are. What are your values? What really matters to you? How would you describe yourself? Are you honest, generous, courageous, confident, gracious, kind, dependable? Get really clear on who you are, and how you would describe yourself beyond the roles that you play for other people.

And then, take it a step further and decide for yourself how you live out those qualities. How do you embody honesty? How do you embody gratitude? How do you embody kindness? How do you embody confidence?

If these are the qualities that matter to you, and if these are the qualities that you want to define you, get really clear on how you demonstrate them. Think to yourself, how you put your money where your mouth is.

Alright, so let’s take an example. Imagine you’ve decided you want to be a more confident person. You want to show up as confident. I bring this one up, because it comes up so often in coaching calls, I think it’s a really great place to start. Too many of you do not have enough confidence, and I want to help you with this.

So, if you decide that you want to show up in this world as confident, how in the world do you actually do that? Okay, so here it is, start by answering these questions. And if you know me at all, by now, you know where I’m headed with this.

First, how does a confident person think? What is the mindset of a confident person? And I know this is a big question to ask, but I’m encouraging you to go there with me on this one. Get really specific about the mindset of whatever person it is you want to be, and describe it.

In the case of being a confident person, does a confident person talk negatively to herself when she looks in the mirror? Does a confident person think she is not good enough for her friend group, her family, her partner, her coworkers? Does she think terrible things about herself when she makes a mistake?

Does she think about, get overly concerned with, and spend way too much time worrying about what other people will think of her? Does a confident person think she can beat herself up into a better version?

The answer to all of these questions is a big, resounding, shout it from the rooftops, hell no! So now, instead, let’s dive in and explore what constitutes the mindset of a confident person. A confident person thinks and believes that she is a worthy human being. She thinks and believes that she is no more or no less worthy than the next human being. A confident person thinks in a way that is supportive to herself.

She believes in her core that she is good enough as she is and does not have to prove herself or her value to anyone. She knows her worth. She knows her value in settings like work, home, in her family, and among her friends. A confident person knows that other people’s opinions of her are none of her business. And last, a confident person is not afraid to love herself. Like, for real. Okay?

That last one, that’s a big one. While it may sound hokey, I cannot tell you how essential this is. I am sharing this from my own personal experience, in addition to my experience coaching loads of other women around this. I forced myself to go through this very exercise, to define how a confident person thinks, because that’s how I want to think.

As someone who spent way too many years feeling not good enough, feeling awful in my own skin, hating myself, worrying that I wasn’t good enough for certain people, and constantly beating myself up for every mistake I made, I realized it did not have to be this way. I realized that if I wanted to be confident it was 100% available to me.

But it meant, first, deciding how a confident person thinks. And then, I took it to the next level and actively practiced thinking that way, and I still do. If you want to be a confident person, start by getting really clear on how a confident person thinks and then commit to practice thinking that way. Alright?

Next, let’s keep running with confidence. Now that we’ve determined how a confident person thinks, let’s answer how a confident person acts. What does a confident person do? A confident person talks kindly to herself, no matter what she sees in the mirror. She does not wig out on herself when she makes a mistake. She recognizes that she is human, that she messes up just like everyone else. And most importantly, she takes care of herself and is kind to herself when she makes a mistake.

A confident person does not let other people’s opinions change the way she shows up in the world. She does not change the way she presents herself from one group to another. She knows who she is, she knows what she values, and she lives it out. She accepts that not everyone is going to like her. And that is okay, because she’s going to keep showing up anyway. A confident person knows that when she shows up as her true, unique, awesome self, she’s going to find her people.

You can try this out for yourself. I’m offering you my definition and my perspective of how a confident person thinks and acts. But the beauty of this is that you get to decide for yourself what a confident, or honest, or generous, or kind person is. You get to decide for yourself who you want to be, and how that person thinks and acts.

If you ever get tripped up by this in real time, try this. Imagine you’re in a situation where you’re not feeling sure of yourself. I’m giving you an example: A few months ago, I was at a coaching mastermind, where I was in a room with over 100 other life coaches. Some of these coaches are way farther along than I am, doing so many really awesome things with their businesses, and helping loads of people with their work.

And while it was awe inspiring to be in the room with these people, it was also unnerving. As I went into these breakout sessions, or in big group rooms, and even as I walked to dinner, not entirely sure who I was going to talk to or how I was going to feel or if I was going to fit in, I asked myself this question; what would a confident person do in this situation?

Would she shrink and go back to her room and not talk to anyone? Would she be silent and not add anything to the conversation? Would she worry if she said something stupid? Would she be freaking out about how she looked?

Or would she show up, introduce herself, and take part in the conversation? Would she ask the other coaches about their work and their practices? Would she engage in meaningful conversations and form connections? Would she just relax and recognize that she is a human going to meet other humans, and it’s really not a big deal.

You can guess which path I took. My point here is this; when you’re stepping into a new identity, or you’re actively working to change how you show up in this world, sometimes you may have to remind yourself how that person thinks, feels, and acts.

And when you do that, when you remind yourself, as in our example of how a confident person thinks and acts, then you can go and act accordingly. Because here’s the cool thing that happens, the more you act in alignment with what a confident person would do. Or the more you think how a confident person would think, the more you become that person.

You become who you want to be by thinking and acting in integrity with that person. It’s pretty amazing how that works. And it feels really good to be acting in a way that lines up with who you want to be. In fact, it’s totally freeing.

Alright, so to review where we’re at so far. You can absolutely decide how you want to show up in this world. Start by choosing who you want to be and get very clear on the qualities you want to have. Then describe how that person thinks and acts. How does a confident person think? How does the confident person act? And last, as you live this out, and when you run into tricky situations where you might be tempted to veer off, ask yourself, what would a confident person do in this situation? And then you act accordingly.

Alright, so now if there’s any mismatch, this is where you’ve got work to do. I don’t mean that in a finger waggy kind of way or in a get down on yourself kind of way. If how you are currently does not match how you want to show up, it means nothing more than you have an opportunity to realign. Take a deep breath and walk your talk.

This is an opportunity to ask yourself more curious questions and figure out why you’re not being the kind of person you want to be. And what often will come up, is that you are afraid of how you will be perceived. Or more specifically, you are afraid of what other people are going to think when you act confident or if you act in a way that is more in alignment with who you really are.

So, let me get very honest and ask outright: Who are these people? Meaning, when you tell me you are afraid of what other people are going to think when you act confident, who are you referring to? I ask this from a place of love, because often, what I have found is that these people are a nameless, faceless, theoretical crowd of people.

Often, we decide that people or everyone is going to think something about us, when really, it’s a fear that we are going to see ourselves that way. Or the other thing I will see is that you are worried about what your mom is going to think, or your sister-in-law, or your boss. And then what happens is that you start to see yourself through the lens of that person. This is a huge, slippery slope.

My goal is to get you away from this. Let me make something really clear: When you decide how you want to show up in this world, you get to see yourself through your own lens, not the lens of other people, okay? Your self-concept, and how you show up, is to be decided by you and you alone, okay?

Here’s what I mean by this. If you are constantly adjusting how you think, how you act, how you talk, what you wear, and how you show up, based on how other people see you, you are going to end up with an identity crisis and not know who you really are. And, it is totally exhausting.

Instead of looking outward for people to provide you feedback on who you are, and whether that is good enough, how about this? How about you decide for yourself who you are, and you go and put it out in the world? I think of it as starting from the inside and working out, versus starting from the outside and working inward.

Too often, you get stuck into thinking that your self-concept is dependent upon the validation of and then the approval of others. It’s almost like a guessing game; you’re acting in a way that you think is in accordance with how you should be based on who you’re with. But that may not be in integrity with who you really are.

This leads me to a really important point: You cannot expect validation from others when you haven’t validated yourself. It does not work that way. I see it all the time. I had a client who was feeling super overwhelmed by the combination of work, taking care of her kids, her family, and her home. She was getting it all done, but she was bothered that her husband hadn’t said anything to her about all the work she was doing.

And then when we really dug into it, we found that she was looking for validation that she brought value to their home and to their family. She was essentially looking outside of herself for affirmation that she was doing right. But the irony of this is that she hadn’t told herself that she was bringing value to their home. She hadn’t told herself that she was an awesome parent. She hadn’t told herself that she was confident in the work that she was doing, both her paid and unpaid work.

Instead, she was looking for that from someone else. Maybe this is true for you. Do you look outside yourself, to your friends, colleagues, family partner, whomever it is, do you look for outside input to tell you how you’re showing up?

And if you are, I want to offer you this: It starts from within. You teach people how to think about you by how you think about yourself. You teach people how to treat you by how you treat yourself. It is not the reverse here, okay? Do not let how other people see you determine how you see yourself.

One, you have no idea what people really think of you, right? Remember other people’s opinions of you are none of your business, okay? And two, think of how much energy you will save by having your own back and validating yourself. Rather than changing who you are and playing a guessing game in order to win the validation or approval of whoever you’re with.

It is entirely freeing to decide who you want to be, go out and be that person, and then allow for the people who love and respect you gravitate to you. You can also think of it this way, the energy that you put out into the world is the energy that comes back to you. The type of energy you attract is the energy that you put out.

So, if you want to be around funny, kind, confident people, this is how you decide to show up. Remember, what you focus on you create more of. When you align yourself, when you align your thoughts, feelings, and actions with the kind of person you want to be, you will, in turn, bring those sorts of people into your life.

And those will be true, real, genuine, fulfilling relationships because there’s no pretending. You’re just being you, and not worrying about if you’re being funny, sarcastic, or serious enough. You’re just being you when you stop worrying about how other people might perceive you, and what you need to do in order to be validated by these people.

And instead, you focus on showing up as your most awesome, most real, most true, most badass, version of yourself. You will then find yourself in the presence of other bad asses. I’ve been there, I’ve felt it, and I’ve seen it. And I want the same for you.

So, there it is. I hope this gives you some clarity, and some questions to consider as you decide how you want to show up for yourself. I truly mean that, you are showing up for yourself. And allowing those who love your energy find you. Get clear on who you are, and who you want to be. Answer those questions.

Ask: What would this person do if you get stuck? And then go live it out. And most importantly, how you show up starts from within you and you alone. You are the driver of this bus, and you decide how to think, be, and act. When you do that from the highest place, you will find your people. It starts from within, always.

If you need help sifting through this, let’s talk. You know I love to talk about how to take care of your body in the form of eating and moving. But none of that matters if you are not thinking in a way that supports it. Confidence starts in your thoughts. And once you’ve got it, you take action to prove it true.

I can help you with this. Send me a message at www.CarrieHollandMD.com/contact and tell me what’s keeping you from feeling confident, then let’s get to work to change it so that you feel awesome, both in your body and in your mind.

All right. Thank you again for hanging out with me and I will catch you again next week.

If you like what you’ve been hearing, please review the show. I would love to get your feedback and ideas. Your suggestions have inspired episodes and will help me make the show better for you. And share this podcast with a friend, text a show link, share a screenshot, or post a link to the show on your social media. Be sure to tag me @CarrieHollandMD on either Instagram or Facebook, so I can follow along and engage with you.

This is how we get the word out to other working moms who want to feel strong, inside and out. If you know someone who wants to feel better or eat and move differently but she is too tired or too busy, it is time to change things up. And you know, making that change starts with how you think. And that is what we do here on the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. I’ll see you next week.

Thanks for listening to Strong as a Working Mom. If you want more information on how to eat, move, and think, so you can live in the body you want, with the mind to match, visit me at CarrieHollandMD.com.

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