My blog is devoted to sharing personal development tools, techniques and tips that will inspire you to create a growth mindset, build resilience and manage your world more effectively.

Nicole's Insights

I’ve had this blog post on my to do list for a while, and I’m not sure why it was on the back burner.

After reconnecting with a friend this week and having a wonderfully open discussion about many things, I felt that now was the time to really give this topic the respect it deserves.

During our lives, from a very young age we play certain ‘roles’ with family, friends and even at work.

When I was younger, I played the role of being the ‘Creative Dancer One’ which certainly impacted the way I felt about taking written exams and tests, as I believed I was more creative, and my sister was the ‘Naturally Gifted Academic One’!

It wasn’t until I really challenged this belief that I recognised I had no true evidence to support it, and eventually the way I felt about studying changed. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become mildly obsessed with learning and actively find ways to study and challenge myself!

But how about the roles we play when we’re older? When I think about the different groups of friends I have, I play a slightly different ‘role’ with each of them. Whilst I’m still me, I definitely have different purposes with different groups. Usually this stems from the way you were when you first met. However, I don’t know about you, but I have certainly changed a LOT in the 20 plus years I’ve known most of my friends. I sometimes have to check in to ensure I’m being authentic and not falling into the habit of being the person I played up to being all those years ago. When I do fall back into that habit, I feel a disconnect with my values.

Deep down, you’ll place a belief that it’s your responsibility to play that role and people may not connect with you if you don’t. This is untrue, people around you will change as well. As you grow and figure out who you are, they will do the same and together your roles with each other will adjust and change.

There will be occasions when you’ll have to be brave and cut out the things that no longer serve you. For example, you may naturally be the one that plays the role of the organiser, and whilst you love it most of the time, sometimes when your energy levels are low, it becomes tiring.

A friend once told me, it’s ok to not be in control of everything, let others figure it out for themselves. Whilst I was mildly panicked at not being in control, he was right, sometimes it’s ok to not be that person, and sometimes they don’t want you to be! (Thanks Tom!)

The key message within this blog, is to take a step back and review the behaviours you embrace and the roles you play with your family, friends and at work. If they are the authentic you and it adds value, then that’s great. However, if they don’t serve you well and go against the values of who you are now or drain you personally then take a moment to review who you are, and what that means to you, and live by those rules, your rules.

It will undoubtedly be a shock for a few people and will take some getting used to, but it is not your responsibility to play up to a role that was created for you years ago. Being authentic will ensure your happiness grows and your relationships have added value for everyone involved. Connecting with the authentic and true you is not only incredibly liberating but it will enhance your self-esteem and self-belief. Feeling aligned and connected with the inner you drives confidence in your behaviours and any self-doubt you may experience dissolves.  

It’s ok to say to yourself ‘what will happen if I don’t do XYZ?’ or ‘What will happen if I let someone else do that instead?’

There will be some little growing pains for you, checking in with the masks you wear and the roles you play will be a journey, but certainly one worth taking and both you and others will get a great deal from it. If you walk away from time with a group of people feeling drained, and you feel that every time, your authenticity is out of balance and it’s time to take action.

It’s also ok to say to people, that’s just not who I am anymore, remember, nobody can read minds, they may not know you’re not feeling true to yourself. Giving them that insight makes it a lot easier to support you and connect with you!

Be true to you.

Love, Nicole.