Helen McKillen

helenmckillen what is our essence


What is our essence?  Why is it important to discover? This is a question that I would have struggled to explain had it not been for a simple explanation I was given when I was training to become a coach. It’s an important reminder for me when I run into episodes of self-doubt.


I was told that not everyone would be attracted to me as a coach, and not to take it personally. Coaches, just like human beings are like flowers in a garden.   Some people like tall oriental lilies, others prefer roses or tulips, and some prefer non-flowering plants like ferns.  All of these varieties are attractive in their own way – none being any better than the other.  Each has their own unique ‘essence’. They just let what is natural within them come through and bloom in the world.  There is no competition or comparison.

And so, it should be for us too. We are all created differently – each with our own ‘ essence”  – a way of being in the world that defines our uniqueness. It is our birth right to let that ‘essence’ be expressed in how we live each day.  Just like the flowers – some people will like and be attracted to us, and some will not. This doesn’t mean that we are of any less value, or that we have to make ourselves different in order to appeal to others.


Unfortunately, early in our development, we lose touch with our  ‘essence’  – the true person we are at our core. Usually this happens unconsciously. As children, we may have learned that it is better to be quiet, fit in and be good.  So we develop ways of being that makes us feel safe and secure.  My way was to please and always be agreeable – I learned that people accepted me then. People pleasing  became  one of my unconscious patterns that I carried into adult life.


It’s important to be aware of the conditioned patterns that you may have adapted.  What have you become conditioned to believe about yourself or life? Are these beliefs still running your life? Do they enhance your life experience  or are they making you miserable?

Many of us fear being judged so we strive to improve, change or perfect some aspect of ourselves. Trying to avoid feeling vulnerable, as if being vulnerable was a crime. We also fear being criticised or seen as not good enough, smart enough, qualified enough or whatever version of ‘enough’ you relate to.

So we adopt beliefs, habits, and ways of being that we think will give us what we want – only to realise that even when we get what we want, we are still left with an emptiness – as if something is missing.

There is… our connection to our true ‘essence’.

While external factors can make a contribution to our happiness in life – they are not everything.  It is just as important to pay attention to what is going on in your internal landscape. When do you feel secure, happy, motivated?  What do you notice about yourself when you are doing these things?

It is one of the reasons why I chose to become a coach. I wanted to pass on and teach others what I had come to see for myself.  That we are not what we have become conditioned to believe –  we are way more than we could ever think possible. Within each of us is the ability to create, have fun, grow and develop as human beings. When we allow ourselves to be human, not perfect, we start to have some peace and harmony within ourselves despite what may be happening on the outside.


By letting go of the stories we tell ourselves we are giving ourselves permission to be OK. We have always been OK, we just thought we weren’t.

When you become more conscious of  your patterns you will begin to “wake up” from being on auto-pilot. Noticing what is right and good about you – rather than focusing on what you believe is missing or not good enough.  You can start being the real and authentic you – expressing your true essence in all that you do and say.

This is when we come home to that place within us where we can finally feel safe and secure.

You might also enjoy reading this post – https://helenmckillen.com/accepting-what-i-cannot-change/



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