You’ve Been Lying – and why I haven’t been completely honest either

oldaboutI have a confession to make. For the past 2 years I haven’t been exactly who I said I am. In fact I actually lied directly in the very first sentence of my “About” Page.

 You see, it used to say “Hey! I’m Annika Stahlberg, a young gym instructor based in Auckland, New Zealand.” – and well, I’m not a gym instructor. Sure, I trained as one, but I don’t work as one and never have. I worked in corporate hospitality for the better part of the last 18 months, and have been doing various forms of waitressing & catering since I was 15.  

 So why did I lie? For the same reason we all do sometimes – because I thought I “should. I felt that to do what I do: helping people to eat well, exercise and look after their bodies, I felt like the kind of person that does that, is the kind of person that works as a gym instructor. 



 That’s what I said online. I find it very hard to lie to people face-to-face, so when I met them in person I’d claim to work in corporate – only letting on that it was the hospitality side of corporate if they asked. I thought waitressing was only for out-of-work actresses; until recently I’d never heard of a coach or entrepreneur that successfully made the leap from waiting tables to entrepreneur. But women made the jump from corporate to self-employed all the time, so that’s what I tried to make it sound like – because that’s the kind of person I “should” be, to help people properly and for them to trust my work.

I’ve probably just gone and destroyed that trust, (if it was ever there at all), but I feel better for it. This most recent rewrite of the site has been the most open and accurate representation of me to date, and I love it. I don’t have to be careful how much I tell people, I can just be me. I know what I do & I’m good at it – check out the photos from my most recent workshop here. I’m proud of who I am, and proud of my past.


 We all fudge the truth a little sometimes; it’s just so much easier to go along with people’s expectations of who we should be, or what we should be doing.

Do you actually like the gym, or did you sign up just so you could chime in the conversation?

Do you agree to catch up with people even though what you really want is to have some time alone?

Do you do certain things because you think they are things a proper woman should do?

Are you a stay-at-home mum even though you quite liked your career?

Do you go on a diet, or complain about your weight, even though secretly you actually quite like your body?

 If any of this is resonating with you, there are definitely parts of you that you hide because you’re worried about what people will think.

Looking back, there was never anything worth hiding. Working for the company was probably one of the best things to happen to me. I’ve left there with a ton of experience, and the confidence to go it alone as a coach & an event manager. (I still love doing formal functions, and now freelance with caterers around Auckland.) Good friends, some of the biggest supporters of my business & some of my very first clients were all thanks to working at the firm.



Need more quiet time? Check out my 1+1 Coaching Program

Most importantly, I never would have met the stressed & frantic women that were desperate for me to fix the coffee machine. And it never would have occurred to me to help them. Now, I successfully run a “Me-Time” workshop, and can confidently offer my 1+1 coaching program: create quiet space in your life & allow yourself to be the real woman you know you have inside you: quietly confident in your body & your life.


 professionalthmbI feel so much better for having put the truth out there, and I continue to aspire to be the most authentic version of myself. And I like challenging others to be their true selves as well (ask me what happens when I tell people I don’t drink alcohol!).
So let me know in the comments, or via email, What do you do, even though you know it isn’t entirely what you want? What part of yourself do you hide from the world?

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6 Responses to You’ve Been Lying – and why I haven’t been completely honest either

  1. Olivier Gingras-Audet says:

    Haha.. I guess we all tell those “little” lies. Very inspiring; i’ll try behing more honest sith myself and others!

    Ps: you should check out this article “I think you’re fat” ;)

    • Annika S says:

      Thanks Olivier,
      I just read the “I think You’re Fat” article, I think I’ve read it before somewhere. Radical Honesty, (where you just remove the filter between your brain and your mouth) I think is not exactly the way to go. There are ways to be honest about how you feel without offending people and without coming across as a creep like the writer did sometimes.
      I like being honest, it makes me feel better about how I show up in the world, and if I don’t like something, I express it in a way that minimises bad feelings – I learned from the best, my mum is an expert at this,!
      I encourage you to try it – next time you think “no, I’ll just let it go”, say something instead :) Have fun!

  2. Woot woot! Fantastic stuff sweetheart. Good on you for opening up :D

  3. Ash says:

    I think we’d all be amazed just how much people lie to themselves and others as well. I am actually at the opposite end – I tend to say the truth too often, and seem to get in trouble for it! I used to be incredibly naive and I guess I’m still carrying some of that around. I think I know what you mean by the alcohol comment – I get strange looks for my ‘healthy’ behaviours, and I do feel at times as if I was the odd one amongst the ‘normal’ bunch. :)

    • Annika S says:

      Hi Ash, good for you! It’s not easy being the odd one out, but I think we are worth it.
      I don’t see why I should drink, just because everyone else does – now I just need to work on saying no to the cake as well! How have you gotten in trouble for telling the truth?

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