The Real You

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The Real You

“Everyone sees who I appear to be but only a few know the real me. You only see what I choose to show. There’s so much behind my smile you just don’t know. ”
– Unknown

It’s not uncommon for people to approach me at the end of a conference to ask me questions.  I’m quite used to it. What I am not used to is what happened a few weeks ago.

It was about 8pm at night, after a grueling and amazing day of learning and sharing a woman approached me and waited patiently for others to move on. As she started to open her mouth, tears began flowing down her cheeks. She said to me, “When I first saw you and heard you speak, I felt so intimidated by your presence and thought to myself that I should avoid you.  What I have come to learn today is that you are so like me and even though we look different and you have a presence that I don’t have, you are normal and have the same crap as the rest of us.”

By this stage I had tears rolling down my face too. This was one crazy moment and the first time I have had someone articulate something that I am sure happens as often to others as it happens to me. I am this woman. I have self-talk all the time about my perception of others that just is not real when I actually get to know who they really are.

My key points in appreciating how to enable our perceptions of others to be our greatest asset to ourself are:

  • When you see someone who inspires you, model the qualities you like about them. The words I use to myself are, “See that body? Show me how I can do that too please.”

  • Appreciate that the day each of us was born we came into the world with two natural fears: falling and loud noises. All other fears that we have developed in our lifetimes are in response to experiences, beliefs, genetics and behaviour. Ask yourself is this fear serving me? If the answer is no, imagine yourself as though you are starring in your own movie. Play the movie in front of your eyes, with yourself as the actor and make the vision the outcome as you would prefer to see it. Then fill the screen with bright white light until you can no longer see the picture and it vanishes.

  • In circumstances where you judge someone as better than you, remember that we are all equals. Most people remember the first time they saw a school teacher at a cafe or in the supermarket in Primary School and realised that their teacher ate and shopped like almost everyone else does. As an adult knowing that we are all the same and training yourself to see the equal humanity in everyone is key. We all have our own individual perspective based on our model of the world and we should act in ways that serve us. If it would serve you better to feel you are eye to eye with anyone who inspires you, then you have the greatest chance of being the best version of yourself.


Madelaine Cohen Author

Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader, Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring executives and training business leadership in large and small enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick Learning. Madelaine welcomes connection and networking so if you have something to ask or share, go for it.