Encourage: To inspire with courage, spirit or hope.
One thing my parents were always proud to tell me about my childhood was they rarely had to punish me because I was so good at self-punishment. I am sure that made their life a little easier as they didn’t feel the need to dole out punishment. What they overlooked was all of the harm that happened from my own self-punishment.
I got really good at beating myself up because I couldn’t meet my own expectations. Any criticism that came from an external source would put me over the top because I was already so hard on myself.
The Image of Perfection
One of the stories my mom was proud to recount from my childhood was the time she met with my sixth grade teacher for a parent-teacher conference. My teacher expressed concern that I had perfectionistic tendencies. My mom was really proud that my teacher saw me as a perfectionist. After all, if I strive for perfection, that means my mom is perfect and she raised a perfect son.
Of course, being perfect is impossible, but I tried my damnedest for years to uphold the outward image of perfection, while inwardly I was beating myself for being human with flaws. I wouldn’t let people see the imperfect side of me. That wasn’t safe. No one was getting to be let in on imperfect Troy. You don’t get to see my shadows. After all, I have an image to uphold.
In the meantime, I am dying on the inside, trying to be perfect so I can be loved. My pattern for years was to be incredibly hard on myself for not living up to my own expectations and the perceived expectations of others. I put so much pressure on myself to perform. To be the best. To have the best physique. To get the best grades. To make people happy.
I could see the good in others, while showing nothing but contempt for myself. I lost myself in perfectionism and people pleasing trying desperately to make other people happy. I had no clue how to fulfill myself and be happy. I have struggled finding inner joy with a pattern of self-abuse both verbally and physically for years.
I am finding my way out of that harmful pattern, but it hasn’t been easy. I am starting to see the light and learning how to enCOURAGE myself, but not without help.
Every once in a while someone comes into our lives at the right time when we need encouragement . That happened to me about five years ago when I was in quiet desperation. I had just gone through another failed short-term relationship and I was in a career that was sucking the life out of me a little bit every day.
But God works in mysterious ways. Through that failed relationship, I met my now business and life coach, Kimberly Dawson, of REVOLUTION Business and Life Design. We have been working together for five years, going deep every week.
At times it is extremely challenging and painful. But more often than not it is inspiring and encouraging. I am experiencing a better, more authentic and fulfilling life because of our co-creative coaching.
To give a glimpse of our work together, as of late we are doing intentional work around learning how to enCOURAGE myself by letting go of the expectation of pleasing others. I am learning not to rely on others for encouragement. It is my job to be filled with courage, aliveness and inspiration living my life for me.
If I let other people down, so be it. It’s time to take the pressure off myself knowing that it’s impossible to make other people happy. When I try to live my life trying to make other people happy I have only become discouraged, feeling like I am never good enough. That is a faulty brain pattern I have lived with for years.
This upcoming year is going to be about learning how to enCOURAGE myself while simply sharing what I am learning and encouraging others through my story.
I get to shift from being hard on myself to encouraging myself even when I fall down. I don’t need to be discouraged anymore.
Finding Beauty in Imperfection
I am grateful and appreciative that I am learning how to enCOURAGE myself with the help of Kimberly. The self-discoveries that I have made have been powerful over the past five years. We have done a deep dive on archetypes, moon cycles, my Point of You phrase and what I stand for.
She recently made available her 2023 Journey Book for free. If you are ready to do some deep inner work I highly recommend you check out the revolutionary work Kim is doing. You can go here to download a PDF copy of her 2023 Journey Book and learn more about her coaching.
I am excited about the possibilities moving forward. It will be a lot more fun to realize my divinity and appreciate my humanity finding my beauty in imperfection.
Inner Transformation Coach