In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about the importance of representing yourself—showing up, speaking up and stepping up for who you really are. If we’re not authentically representing ourselves, people don’t have a true sense of who we are, including our needs, boundaries and values.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • Representing yourself means recognising, acknowledging and expressing your needs, desires, expectations, feelings and opinions with respect for yourself and others. I add ‘respect’ because representing yourself is essentially being assertive instead of passive, passive-aggressive or aggressive.
  • What you can learn from your default responses to just the idea of representing and being yourself is that you have negative associations with these. Your practised response is to shut yourself down. But guess what? That’s automatic, but it’s not accurate
  • These thoughts and feelings are your cues to ask: What do I really need here, and where am I about to hurt me with suppression?
  • Pay attention to how much of your bandwidth, of your day and week, is spent representing yourself? When you consider the conversations and interactions you’ve had, how you’ve spent your bandwidth, how much of how you’ve shown up today, whether it’s to yourself or others, is a true or truer reflection of you? Did people get to interact with the real you? Did you give airtime to your thoughts and feelings? Did you have time to meet your own needs?
  • You’re not going to become more comfortable about being honestly, authentically and happily yourself, including knowing what to say yes and no to, if you don’t do more ‘reps’. So exercise reps are where you do a repetition of a set of exercises that, for instance, builds strength but also the habit of exercise. Do more ‘reps’ of expressing who you are and representing yourself. e.g. Be direct instead of dropping hints. Say yes when you mean yes, and no when you mean no. Acknowledge and express your limits. Stop holding wees and skipping meals, breaks and meeting your basic needs.

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