Can I Be Myself Already? (excerpt chapter)

Principle 5: In Her Own Words
A Life-Affirming Belief

Principle 5 – You believe that when you bring your Innate Gifts to your Innate Life Purpose as you honor your Innate Values you are living your Positively Brilliant Self.

Can I Be Myself Already?

Phyliss Francis, PCC, Professional Certified Coach, Speaker
Marina del Rey, CAHonolulu, HI

I remember my father telling me, “You have to be the best at everything you do to succeed in this world because you have two strikes against you: you are black and you are a woman.” I bought into the belief that my core value was to represent my race and gender well, and make my family proud.

While I was growing up, this belief was perpetuated by living in upper-class neighborhoods and attending private Catholic schools that lacked diversity. I remember being told, “You’re special because you’re not like other black people,” and this was intended to be a compliment. I spent most of my life trying to fit into a mold that I believed my environment expected.

Growing up with this underlying belief made it difficult for me to recognize my natural gifts and talents., and I could not distinguish my personal values and authentic self-expression from others’ expectations. I tried to fit in socially and professionally by being perfect so that people would see beyond my two “strikes” and get my worth. After receiving two degrees, acquiring multiple certifications, earning promotions and awards, etc., it was no surprise that I was left feeling exhausted and unsatisfied. I recognized that my insatiable  appetite to achieve was fueled by underlying feelings of unworthiness.

When I was supported to focus on the positive, and encouraged to allow my authentic Self to emerge, I felt my self-perception shift from judgment to acknowledgment. I changed my focus from what is wrong and needs to be fixed, to what is working, what is the lesson, and self-acceptance.

I discovered my core values and learned to align them with my daily actions. I discovered my life’s purpose statement: I am whole, perfect, and complete in this moment! All that I need is within me as I shine my transforming light into the world.

Now, I effortlessly express my authentic Self in everything I do. I am a beautiful black woman who has value simply because I breathe. I am attracting diverse professional projects that use my natural gifts and talents. I am experiencing more joy and fulfillment than ever.