A few weeks ago, a client shared with me a conversation that disturbed her. She had casually mentioned a struggle she was having to an acquaintance.
“You’re so real. I love that about you.”
And yet, when she had the major success of landing a job that she previously thought out of her depth, the response was quite different. From a few of the people around her and from herself.
No acknowledgement. No celebration. Even she almost skated right past this big achievement.
No one was patting her on the back for being “real” then.
But she was. She defined what she wanted, went after it and achieved it.
And that, my friend, is as real as life gets.
Some of us have this idea that “being real” means sharing our struggles, challenges and when things go wrong.
As if, somehow, the beautiful moments, the big successes, the times when it’s easy, the times of joy and celebration are less accessible, less shareable, less real.
They’re not. Those are the moments that move us all forward.
I encourage you to embrace them. Revel in them. Celebrate them. Share them widely.
I’ve experienced this myself as I’ve made some bold moves in my life and work. “Thanks for being so real” when talking about the night my home burned and I lost nearly everything. And “that’s not real life” when talking about what my current work and travel schedule looks like.
The truth is that all of life is real.
It’s time to start a positive conversation about what’s possible instead of what holds you back.
We often hear that social media and marketing gloss over life and show us only the highlight reel. Maybe there’s a bit of truth to that, if we choose to look at it that way. But I also see plenty of drama, commiserating and negativity happening in those same channels.
It’s hardly all Hallmark moments and shiny unicorns out there.
Life is messy. Careers are not linear. Families face challenges. Businesses have their ups and downs. Sometimes life is easy and beautiful and it just flows. Sometimes, there is hardship.
Real life is what we make of it. It’s what we create each day and how we respond to what each day brings.
As you move into creating what is next for you, as you unfold a new year, as you create a life you love, as you identify and build the work that lights you up, you can expect some challenge and growth moments. You can also expect joy and fulfillment and the feeling of knowing your path.
The question is where do you choose to focus? On what you want? Or what you don’t?
On what others are doing or what they (seem to) have? Or on your own ability to own and influence what is happening in your own life?
What conversations do you choose to have? The ones that elevate you? Or the ones that keep you spinning in circles and not moving into what is next for you?
The ones that are defined by other people’s ideas of what’s real? Or by what you are making real in your world?
In real life…
- You are being real when you share your ups as well as your downs.
- You’re being authentic when you talk about your desires, not just your bad day.
- The Hallmark moments are just as real as last week’s drama.
Be present for all of it. And choose carefully where you place your time and your attention, and how you choose to respond.
Because you are creating your real life, right now.
(What are you getting real about? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.)