Finding your true self08 Apr 2019
Your Life Live It Coach Brittany Huckle shares a compelling and brutally honest reflection of her life, her growth as a person and her passion to facilitate change in others. If you have felt lost with who you are, you need to take a moment to read this.
My school motto was "Be The Best You Can Be". Back then it didn't mean anything to me, I was too young to realise the power of words. I didn’t know I could become the best version of myself. I didn’t realise that it was me that limited myself and created so many negative thought patterns. I thought it was everyone else and outside circumstances that made me unhappy and feel the way I did.
When returning home to the UK last year, I had the opportunity to read my school reports, which my parents kept from the age of 5 all the way through until I was 16 years old. It was fascinatingto read that between the ages of 5-7 years I was a very confident child. I would volunteer to talk in front of the class, answer questions and I was described as an ‘extroverted individual’. What’s really interesting is that I’ve always believed that I am an introverted person. I could not remember any times being otherwise. After the age of 8 my reports started to read something quite different; that I was shy, quiet, I would not join in class discussions and my teachers reported that I needed to have confidence in myself. What had changed during that time?
Now being trained in Psychology and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) I have learned that up to the age of 7 we form beliefs and habits of how we react to the world. We carry these beliefs into adulthood. Interestingly, we all have a 7 year old self telling us how we should live our life. Crazy, how many of us would take advice from a 7 year old on how to live our life?
I found school difficult. I felt like I didn’t fit in and I was too scared to be me. I just wanted everyone to like me, yet I was very shy and timid. I found it really challengingto be in my head. I could not deal with my emotions. Everything outside of me was somehow my fault. I struggled receiving feedback and I felt I was not good enough.
These thoughts and feelings continued through to my teenage years and got worse. The way I chose to cope was by self-harming. I have never spoken openly about this area before, very few people know I used to do this. I'm sure others out there put two and two together when they have seen the scars on my arm. I still feel quite ashamed that I used to do it, as the stigma around self-harming is it’s a cry for help, or you are wanting to kill yourself. For me it was my strategy to get my emotions to stop, in that brief moment I would feel better. Then guilt would flood my body because I did not want to do it either. Looking back I created a quite a destructive pattern.
I found it difficult to stop self-harming. Sometimes I would go a months or a year without doing it. Then something would happen and I would feel the need to do it. Then I made the choice. The choice ‘never again’. You really have to want to change and I think that's why I stopped for good. When you have a big enough ‘why” to change it becomes easier to do the difficult things in life.
Life changed for me when I 17. My Nan died and my mum had such a difficult time dealing with this. My mum was always our family rock, she did everything for me and my siblings. We slowly watched mum spiral down where she could not get out of bed, she would get massive anxiety attacks just going to kitchen. She couldn't go to work. She really hit rock bottom. It came to the point where I was on study leave and she took some tablets, I knew at that time she didn't take enough to cause serious harm but she was in state and Mum knew that something needed to change. After that incident Mum started seeing a counsellor and the counsellor would give her reading material and we both would read it together. I would help mum as much as I could to support her to get better. As I helped her I became better too. The first book we read was ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers. For both us this book changed our life. It challenged our map of the world and made us realise that we are the controllers of our life. We are the ones that choose the way we are going to handle comments or situations. Every choice we make influences our emotions, so why don’t we make them positive?
At the time, this was such a painful experience but so much good came out of it. I often think if Mum never went through that difficult time, who would I be today? Would I still be stuck in that negative mindset? Would I be in the profession I am in today? Who would have I attracted into my life? Because my life literally changed after that moment I decided I wanted to study Psychology and Counselling. I realised I never want people to feel lonely, sad and unhappy about themselves. Mum gave me the belief that I could go and help others as she said how great I was with her on her road to recovery.
I went off to university and this is where I started to find myself again. University for me was a fresh beginning, to surround myself with new people and to become my true self. A big realisation was figuring out I was gay. I did not know any other gay people in Canvey Island, to be honest it was not in world that I could be one. I had always felt attracted to women but leading up to my 20’s I never put the two together. University was great because no one knew who I was before, now I had the chance to explore this. I soon came out to my parents and my best friend. What was really annoying but nice was that my mum guessed. I jokingly thought I wish you told me earlier! I felt very lucky that my family dealt with it so well. Processing it myself took along time because the imagine of ‘normal’ back then was having a husband and 2.4 children, which none of this was what I was wanted. With the friends I had around me the norm for my world was to be gay, which I drew lots of comfort from.
With my new learning of psychology and counselling and my amazing tutors that saw so much potential in me I completed my studies. Now for the real world to start, I made a decision I would not start my coaching career till I was 30. I strongly believed that I had to experience the world before telling everyone else how to live there life. I was very privileged to be able to travel where I gained a broader picture of the world. Even though I was growing and developing myself I still had low self-esteem. I knew something was holding me back keeping the real me protected and confined. I started looking at the best personal development and motivational coaches out there in the field and really wanted to know what they had done to make themselves become the best versions of themselves and the common thread was NLP! I booked myself on a practitioners course more to develop myself and destroy the barriers I had within. From that course I cannot believe how much I have changed since then and how quickly change can actually happen.
I have the self-belief that in my life I can be anything I want to be and fear is no longer stopping me from reaching goals. This year I even completed the instructor course, where I had to present in front of people, which was my ultimate fear. I completed the course and even started enjoying presenting. I'm so thankful for the journey I have been on. I stuck to my goal and at 30 became a NLP coach. From my personal experience I work with young people and the LGBTIQ+ community. I feel with the journey I have been on it creates a deeper rapport and passion to help this group. I love seeing people overcome their demons and unlock their authentic self as there is nothing more beautiful than being you.