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Overcoming Public Stigmas: Discovering Your Authentic Self

June 11, 20243 min read

“Those who get angry when you set a boundary are the ones you need to set boundaries for.” – J.S. Wolfe, The Pathology of Innocence.

In my last article, “Achieving Life Balance: Overcoming Common Struggles,” I defined the four significant setbacks to achieving life balance. In this article, I want to dig deeper into the struggle of public stigmas. As a burnout coach, I often encounter clients burdened by external expectations. These societal pressures can distort our sense of balance and divert us from our genuine desires and needs. Whether it’s the push to climb the corporate ladder, maintain an immaculate home, or participate in every social event, these external demands can overshadow our personal goals and well-being.

I frequently hear clients say, “I have to take on this project because my boss expects it,” or “I need to keep a clean and tidy home, or my mother-in-law will judge me.” Such statements reflect the powerful influence of external expectations—tasks undertaken not out of personal conviction but to conform to others’ perceptions of success.

External expectations stem from various sources, including family, work, social circles, and broader societal norms. These pressures can be explicit, such as direct demands from a supervisor, or implicit, like the unspoken standards set by social media portrayals of an ideal life. While some external expectations can be motivating, many can lead to stress, anxiety, and a sense of disconnection from one’s true self.

The Impact of External Expectations

Succumbing to external pressures often results in several negative outcomes:

Overwhelmed

Loss of Authenticity: When we prioritize others' expectations over our own, we risk losing touch with our authentic selves. This disconnection can lead to a diminished sense of self-worth and identity.

Increased Stress and Anxiety: Constantly striving to meet external standards can be exhausting and overwhelming, contributing to chronic stress and anxiety.

Burnout: The relentless pursuit of goals imposed by others can lead to burnout, characterized by physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of ineffectiveness.

Neglect of Personal Goals: By focusing on external demands, we may neglect our personal aspirations and passions, leading to unfulfilled potential and regret.

Recommendations for Overcoming External Expectations

To combat the detrimental effects of external expectations, it’s crucial to take deliberate steps to reclaim control over your life and prioritize your well-being. These are some of the steps and recommendations I use with my coaching clients.

Identify Sources of Pressure: Take time to reflect on the various sources of external pressure in your life. Understanding where these expectations come from is the first step in addressing them.

Take a Pause

Critically Evaluate Their Impact: Assess how these external demands affect your life. Are they aligned with your values and goals? Do they enhance or hinder your well-being?

Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to protect your time and energy. Communicating these boundaries to others and standing firm in maintaining them is essential.

Prioritize Your Well-being: Place your health and happiness at the forefront of your decisions. Engage in activities that nourish your body, mind, and spirit.

Practice Saying No: Learn to say no to activities or responsibilities that do not align with your personal goals or values. It’s okay to prioritize yourself over societal expectations.

Seek Support: Surround yourself with supportive individuals who respect your boundaries and encourage your personal growth. Consider working with a coach to navigate these challenges effectively.

Remember, it is your life, and you have the right to choose how you spend your time. By critically evaluating external expectations and setting firm boundaries, you can create a life that reflects your true desires and values. Embracing your authentic self leads to a more fulfilling, balanced, and joyful existence.

Public stigmas can lead to imbalanced living and burnout, which is why ending the public stigma associated with external expectations involves recognizing and challenging these pressures, setting boundaries, and prioritizing one's well-being. It is about reclaiming your power to define success on your terms and living a life that aligns with your true self.

If you want to hire a coach to help you overcome public stigmas, contact us at [email protected] or book a call with us here - https://calendly.com/lfwellness/free-30-min-consult.

Public StigmaLife BalanceExpectations
After experiencing burnout working long, stressful hours in the tumultuous oil and gas field, Megan decided to break out on her own and focus on health and wellness. Megan found a passion for teaching and coaching physical well-being but recognized the need to build mental resiliency in her clients, leading her to study positive psychology. Megan brings her passion for wellness back into the corporate environment by working with leaders to transform company cultures to focus on employee health and wellbeing.

Megan has studied various topics, from creating exercise and diet plans to building mental resiliency, understanding behavior change and creating engaging corporate programs. This led her to create Life Force Wellness LLC, a corporate wellness organization focusing on work-life balance and seven distinct areas of well-being. Megan has a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in psychology. She holds certifications as a personal trainer, health coach, nutrition coach, corporate wellness specialist, positive psychology practitioner, stress management, sleep and recovery coach.

Megan Wollerton

After experiencing burnout working long, stressful hours in the tumultuous oil and gas field, Megan decided to break out on her own and focus on health and wellness. Megan found a passion for teaching and coaching physical well-being but recognized the need to build mental resiliency in her clients, leading her to study positive psychology. Megan brings her passion for wellness back into the corporate environment by working with leaders to transform company cultures to focus on employee health and wellbeing. Megan has studied various topics, from creating exercise and diet plans to building mental resiliency, understanding behavior change and creating engaging corporate programs. This led her to create Life Force Wellness LLC, a corporate wellness organization focusing on work-life balance and seven distinct areas of well-being. Megan has a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in psychology. She holds certifications as a personal trainer, health coach, nutrition coach, corporate wellness specialist, positive psychology practitioner, stress management, sleep and recovery coach.

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