Clutter: a persona that’s ready to be shed.Apr 03, 2020
The last few years have felt like a whirlwind. I changed jobs, left my job, became a minimalist, vegetarian, pescatarian, and finally vegan. I also moved home with my dad after 10 years on my own, started a business, conference, blog and coaching and got engaged. To top it all off, as I write this, I’m preparing to downsize everything I own into a van and travel full-time. Frankly, I’m tied (that’s tired in ebonics). Not because of the change, but because of what the change requires. Each change I’ve made in the last 3 years has required me to let go of who I was and who I believe others expect me to be.
Fun fact: the person we’re trying (or pretending) to be today can be clutter too.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m crazy about the life I’m building. It’s finally beginning to incorporate all the things I love. And yet, I often feel torn, frustrated, and sad.
Torn because I worry that stepping into this new persona will look foreign to everyone who has ever known me.
Frustrated because as much as I want to let go of old habits, I am fearful of the unknown and the response this new life will bring.
Sad because I know that many relationships in my life will be forever changed and maybe even lost.
Serious fact: we don’t owe it to anyone to be the person we’ve been for the last year, day, or minute. It’s scary, but we owe it to ourselves to be honest and to change as needed. Too many of us are upholding expectations and personas that hinder our ability to live our best life. Myself included. Whether they are self-inflicted or not, it’s time for change.
What persona is keeping you stuck?
How do you feel about the human, parent, sibling, child, professional, significant other you’re trying to be?
Think about the way that you show up in your life. Which parts feel less than authentic or just too much? These are the personas we need to let go.
So how do we do it?
First, we need to identify which personas are keeping us stuck.
Then, we need to develop action items that will help us make change.
Finally, we need to prepare to handle the emotions this change will bring.
Let’s say for example, you’re tired of being treated as the “strong friend”. What step can you take to tear down this persona? Maybe, you could call a friend and share something vulnerable. This could be the beginning of showing those around you recognize that you too have feelings and emotions. When you complete the task, take time to process those emotions. You could journal, meditate, or even exercise.
If the persona you’re shedding is self-inflicted, the process will be the same. Let’s say you believe that others expect you to always be put together. How could you change this? Maybe you could show up the way you really feel. Then, sit in those emotions and reflect on the outcome.
Today, I made a list of personas and expectations that I’m ready to let go of.
I am no longer:
- expected to be a perfectionist or overachiever
- the friend, daughter, fiance, that always has it together
- smiling away things that hurt me, frustrate me, and make me feel less than
- participating in activities that don’t serve me, even if they pay me or offer exposure
- giving energy to relationships that make me feel drained and lack reciprocity
- being quiet when I need to speak up
- living in fear of showing up as myself
- listening to my inner child as she replays fears we’ve yet to resolve
- maintaining old paradigms for the sake of another’s ego
Whew. I already feel better.
What personas are you ready to let go of? Whatever personas have been weighing you down, it’s time to let them go. What’s in store for you is greater than what you’re preparing to leave behind.
What persona are you ready to shed? List it in the comments below.