We all have areas in our lives where we’re performing how we think others want to see us.
This has served as a great protector for us.
But if you want to fully step into being a life coach, it’s time to let performing go.
Tune in to find out why, and how you can stop performing and start coaching instead.
You’re listening to episode 149 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you’re going to stop performing because you are not an actor, you’re a coach. All right, let’s go.
Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.
Hey coach, how is everybody out there? Super good on this end. And this week’s show is actually, it’s a little pick up on something that was said in a couple of episodes ago. And I also think, as I was kind of outlining what we were going to talk about today, I also think this is a pickup of a conversation that we had last week.
So last week’s episode, episode 148, was the three steps to stop giving a fuck. And the episode before that was my interview with Victoria Albina, where we talked about a codependent relationship with your business. And in the podcast, kind of buried within that podcast was this phrase that multiple people commented to me online.
It got a shout out in the mastermind, it got a shout out in Free To Paid Coach, I got a couple of messages in direct message. It punched me in the gut when she said it to me live in the call. It’s when Victoria said that we were performing lovable. What she meant by that is we show up in the world as if we are in a performance, and today in this role Amy will be playing the role of someone who is lovable and loved.
And that phrase has stuck with me through, you know, because it’s been a couple of weeks since I interviewed her. It stuck with me, it was kind of resurrected this past week when I saw people’s reaction to that phrase that this is what landed with them too. And to me, when I think about performing, performing being lovable, performing being any number of things, and we’re going to dive into that, but this is a different way of talking about people pleasing. This is a different way of perfectionism.
So my people pleasers and my perfectionists in the room, hi, how are you? Welcome to the podcast. Come sit down for a little fireside chat for a few minutes. I don’t think this is going to be an incredibly long episode, but I really think it was so worthwhile to really dive into what we mean by performing, how to spot when we’re doing it.
And here’s the thing, we talk about people pleasing and perfectionism all of the time, but I really think this coin of phrase, this turn of phrase here about performing, I think it might open up some doorways for some people that maybe the standard conversation around people pleasing and perfectionism hasn’t quite landed yet.
Because really what we’re talking about here is not being your true authentic self. Trying to perform for people in order for them to like you. Having that codependent relationship with them of like I need you to validate my existence so I’m going to perform somebody who’s worthy of validation so that you can verify me.
I mean, I’m also going to need you to like stay with me here because that right there can sound confusing, but it’s what we’re doing. So, of course, if you spend a lot of time in confusion and uncertainty what to do, it makes so much sense, right? I need you to validate me because I don’t know how to do it myself. So I’m going to perform an act of somebody who is worthy of validation. As opposed to just learning how to validate myself, right?
We’re going to put on this entire stage performance and put all this effort into the casting, and the lighting, and the whole nine yards, as opposed to me just standing over here and just learning how to be somebody who can validate themselves. Oh, right? I just got like verklempt and I wrote this damn episode. I just felt that like, come right through my body.
Because here’s the thing here is here’s the cold hard truth, my loves, my Latta loves, my coaches, a whole heck of a lot of us spend a lot of our time in a performance mode. So many of you are performing being a life coach, as opposed to just being a life coach. Do you see it? Do you see that difference? You’re performing what you think a coach should look like, sound like, talk like, behave.
And here’s the thing, there’s a lot of other coaches out there dictating to you how to perform. There’s a lot of coaches who sell coaching with a, if you want to be a successful coach, here’s how you should act in my play. And if you act in my play this way, you will become a successful coach.
So you’re like, great, let me put on the costumes. Let me adopt that accent. Let me take that stage direction so I can make the director and the producer happy. And then I too will also be successful. So you are either performing what you think a successful coach looks like, a lovable coach, a desired coach, an in demand coach looks like. Or you are performing because somebody actually put you into the stage play and you’re just following their lead.
Here’s the thing, my friends, you are neither actor nor actress. You are not an actor in this role of online coach. And as long as you stand on that side of the line in the performing as one, you can never fully step into truly being a life coach as this is who you are as a person. And this is the vocation that you are engaged in.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely method acting, right? Where people take on that persona and the motions of the role. These are like all those big Oscar winning performances, right? We’re talking about Joaquin Phoenix when he did Johnny Cash, or like any of De Niro’s roles. You know, think about Christian Bale in The Machinist when he actually like lost all that weight to do that thing. I think about Jim Carrey and his role as Andy Kaufman.
Here’s the funny thing, those people were absolutely miserable to be around. Like this conversation is not about actual acting in Broadway or Hollywood or anything. But we could go down that and you can be like, well, Amy, there’s method acting and blah, blah, blah. Yeah, those people were also really miserable to be around because they just like dove so far into that they lost a sense of themselves.
And this is really what we’re talking about here, performance and the self. And as long as you’re in performance mode, you cannot be connected to self. Now, be really clear because I know some of y’all, because I’ve talked about it on this podcast umpteen millions of times.
I teach the concept of future self, not new and unique to me by any way shape or form, in Free To Paid Coach. I teach audacious self-concept at the mastermind level where we really take future you and we kind of like ramp it up times a thousand or times 10 or 100, or however comfortable you are when you come into the program.
So I do talk about future self, audacious self-concept, what do you want to believe about you? How do you want to be in the future? And that you establish that and you start acting like that person. But here’s the difference, do not confuse future self, audacious self-concept with performing. Those are two different things.
Yes, future you is taking on the persona of someone who has what you want. But that person is still you, it’s just a different version of you. It’s you in the future. It’s you where you are going. It’s you who is actually born into you and imprinted upon you before your birth, before you got shrouded in what you should and what you could and what you can’t do. And you’re uncovering that and unleashing that through the process of going through one of my two programs. But it’s always you at the core.
And a stage performance, even when it’s method acting, it is not you at the core. Future you and audacious self-concept, the core of it, is you. It’s your very essence. And in fact, I would say it’s your truest essence. It is you when the cosmos exploded and we created all of this magnificence in the world. It is your truest self.
So do not confuse future self work and performing because they could not be more different, even if on the surface you’re like it’s the same thing. No, it is not because one is so connected to you and the other one is so disconnected to you. So while future you is it’s you who has what you want, who feels like that person who has what you want, who thinks like that person who has what you want.
Performing is looking outside of you and seeing what you think people want and then trying to be that. And it’s not at all attached to future you. It’s attached to what you think success is based on from others or what you’ve been told.
In performing you’re performing being lovable, as Vic said in that podcast a couple of weeks ago. You’re performing being wanted and okay, and you’re performing being safe. There’s always this detachment from your performance and who you are in reality.
And here’s the thing, you know this. You can feel in your core the difference between operating in future you or audacious self-concept and performance because you can feel it in your core. When you are performing there’s emotion that might be more along the lines of like an anxiety or an uncertainty. And it’s more than nervousness, it’s this unnerving. It’s an ungroundedness.
But when you are operating from future you, or audacious self-concept it’s very grounded. And actually that core is actually very calm. Performing is not a confidence booster at all because it’s like an outer shell that you are putting on where the outside looks like what you think others want to see. And in reality, the inside is full of doubt and it hates that it’s full of doubt. And it’s trying to pretend that it’s not full of doubt, right?
And listen, of course we do this. We learned it very early. Being very vulnerable here, I learned this as a kid growing up to perform what I thought a normal family would look like that didn’t have extreme dysfunction. In my household there was alcoholism, there was abuse, there was so much disconnection going on behind closed doors.
So out there I was constantly performing that of a happy little well-adjusted little girl. And we all have places in our lives we’re performing how we think others want to see us. And this has served as a great protector for us at so many points. Like for me, I didn’t want to be made fun of at school. I didn’t want to feel othered, I didn’t want to feel ostracized. I wanted to feel like I fit in with everybody else and their happy little families.
Of course, I didn’t know whether or not they might have been performing too. I was sure I was the only one but this is what I have to do so that I can have friends. We just don’t go hang out at my house, we just go hang out at their house, because I wanted to fit in. My mom and I were constantly performing this we are normal scenario all through growing up. And I would say I even carried that well into my 20s.
So I understand and it did protect me from so much of what I perceived as dangerous growing up. It’s just now I don’t need it anymore and it’s not serving me. And in fact, it’s hurting me more now. And this is why it’s time to let performance go. Not only is it not connecting you to future self, that’s fake. That’s fake news. That’s not real. And because it’s not actually connecting you to future self, performing isn’t actually getting you closer to your goals.
Here’s the biggest lie, performing is going to help me hit my goals. No, it’s not. Here’s the thing, you might hit some goals. And let me tell you, there’s a whole heck of a lot of coaches, and I said this in last week’s episode and I’m going to say it again, who have created massive success.
They have performed and then they get there and they feel like giant balls of shit. Or they have to just keep layering more and more performances on because they keep paying attention to what they think other people want. They still are so bogged down in the making decisions from I don’t want people to hurt me. They’re still performing. I don’t care how many zeros they got in the bank account.
And when you drop the performance, you’re making it easier to actually achieve those goals. And even if you would have gotten those goals by keeping the performance on, when you get there they will have so much more meaning and power for you. You will be in such a better place to receive it and actually feel like, yes, this is good. I do deserve this because you haven’t been performing that entire time.
And for me personally, it’s never worked. Some people can achieve massive success and still put on a performance. And even then that confidence they have isn’t true confidence. But for me, I’ve never been able to put on massive success with performance.
So first of all, only some can do it. And even then it still doesn’t solve the issues that they’ve been trying to out succeed with. And then for most of us, it just doesn’t even work. So performing doesn’t necessarily get you closer to your goals or get you there faster. And even if you do get there, you’re still not standing on solid ground when you get there.
And you aren’t connecting to your clients as deeply as you could when you’re performing. Like how can they possibly know the real you if everything they experience of you is a performance, it’s an act? It’s an act of you showing them what you think they want to see in a good professional coach that I can rely on.
So you aren’t connecting with them on a human to human level. You’re connecting to them as an actor and client. And if you feel like you need to put on the role of a good coach, how are you showing up in those coaching sessions? How are you showing up when you’re going to write copy? Are you saying the really uncomfortable difficult things that they need to hear that’s going to create a change in their life if you are in the role of performing what you think you should be doing?
So let’s right here, just start by noticing when you’re doing that. Because here’s also the thing, when you’re trying to perform for one person, you actually have to perform for all the people. And they might all want different performances. And that’s a huge use of your resources and your energy. And that’s not time that you could be spending getting coached in Free To Paid Coach on how to drop performing.
This is what we coach on in the weekly sessions. That’s time you’re not learning how to regulate your nervous system to become more comfortable when you drop the performance and you truly show up as you really are. And this is taking tons of your mental energy and all of your resources. What’s left over to problem solve for your ideal client so that they’re dying to work with you?
Here’s the thing, you think the performance will have them dying to work with you. But when you are performing, you don’t have the energy to do what’s actually going to make them want to work with you, which is solve their problems simpler and faster than you ever have before.
And of course, the biggest reason here that you want to stop performing is because you’re keeping the distance between you and yourself. So first, it’s you’re putting distance between you and your goal and your business You’re putting distance between you and your clients and your future clients. But most importantly, you’re putting distance between you and yourself.
And none of this is really real if that’s happening, because you can’t build trust and self-trust with yourself from there. You can’t have your own back from there. You need everything to go right all of the time, and that’s just not possible.
So putting on this performance only feels momentarily comfortable, but in the end, it’s also kind of devastating because it’s a facade. It’s not real and you know that it’s not real. It doesn’t work long-term, it always eventually catches up to you.
And this is a little bit of a different take on the conversation that we had last week about not giving a fuck. It still comes down to not caring what other people think of you. And this is why, because otherwise this is all of a performance and none of it matters.
And not in a good way none of it matters. When it’s performance none of it matters because you’re always doing something or acting in a way to appease others and there’s no connection to self when you’re doing that. When it’s not giving a fuck, none of it matters because it’s all made up and you can actually do, truly, whatever you want to do.
So this is where I invite you to just notice when you are acting. Notice when you are putting on the performance of what you think others are looking for. I have noticed more and more of me doing this this past year. So many of you have dropped into my DMs, sent me emails and said, “Amy, you were like a different person.” Yeah, because I have dropped so many of the performances that I used to have on.
I’ve stopped performing somebody who needs to be liked and loved all of the time in order for me to feel safe and secure. I have dropped the performance of needing to be the gold star getter in somebody else’s room. I don’t need to be the star in somebody else’s room anymore. That was all a performance in the first place so that I could get my Oscar or I could get my Emmy once a year, right? That that was my validation.
I don’t need that anymore. I can just go be me now in the marketplace. It hasn’t been a comfortable ride. I’ve been sharing with you over the past, you know, month or two of podcast episodes how uncomfortable it truly has been and also how liberating that it is. And this is possible for you, it starts by just noticing.
Where are you performing? Where are you acting because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do? Right now just start bringing awareness into it and say, oh, I see what I’m doing here. Watch where you’re performing the type of person you want to be instead of practicing actually being that person.
See what shifts in you and how you show up in your day, in your conversations, in your writing, in your videos, in your life when you stop perform reaming and you start being more direct and more honest with yourself, and thus with your audience.
And I want to coach you on how to drop your performance. And I want to coach you how to regulate your nervous system. So if you have not enrolled in Free To Paid Coach, this is the best time to do this. There’s never been a better time than right now when you’re listening to this and you know that this is the work because you’re ready to drop the performance. Amylatta.com/ftpc, Free To Paid Coach.
We have a live coaching call every week. We have a Facebook group there to support you. And everything you could possibly need is in the member site and you have lifetime access to all of it. It is $1,000 or four payments of 250, easy peasy. Let’s go get started today. Let’s drop the performance, I can help you do it in Free To Paid Coach. You coming with us?
Until next week, coach, let’s go get paid.
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