We are going to focus on a route to happiness – being yourself, your true self. We will explore some of the challenges around this and then some strategies to be able to be yourself as crazy as that sounds. We will be exploring how Life is about coming to terms with who you are and being proud of it.
Many people put up various fronts (or ‘masks’) to disguise the people they really are. It’s a defence mechanism to stop them from getting hurt, and an attempt to cover up things they don’t like about themselves.
But what if we stop caring so much about other people’s opinions and start being proud of who we are, despite what others may think?
Then everything changes.
They will give you the courage to embrace who you are and find some much-needed self-love.
Let’s have a think about how you can measure your self worth. Often we can hear what we are believing about ourselves and our self worth through our language or thoughts. Our self – talk? I often notice how hard people are on themselves and this comes out through their language.
Our language to ourselves and out loud has so much power and can change the reality. When we need to build up our self confidence and self-worth, there are some words and phrases that are vital.
I often hear people saying:
I am not good enough to do “…” or I am trying “…”, I will try “…”
We are often very woolie in the way we speak to ourselves and about ourselves.
A simple statement and exercise is to use more ‘I am …’
This can change how we see ourselves and how we feel about ourselves. Am I doing ok? Am I making progress? Am I having a go? Am I enough? (this is the big one!)
We are often conditioned to believe that who we are is ordinary, that who we are is what we have, what we do, what people think of us and what we own. None of this is who we really are.
We are who we believe we are, so let’s make sure the thinking is right. Because the subconscious mind believes everything you say or think, then the great news using these I am statements you can start to describe how you want to be. For example, I am confident it can be something you are working towards although repeating the ‘I am …’ like a mantra is powerful and a clear instruction to the subconscious mind.
Let’s have a think about one challenge we have for being our true self.
The relationship we have with our true self and our social self.
It is interesting to explore the impact of others’ expectations, their opinions and how much these affect our actions. This can cause a challenge between what we will call your social self, who wants to please others and will do what you ‘should’ versus the real you. It is very common to be concerned by what others think of us. In fact, we are governed by what others expect of us. This can be another reason why we get on the wrong life track. These situations can lead to feeling insecure, stifled, trapped, confused and often lonely because we are not following our own path. An example could be everyone saying that you should finish school, do ‘A’ levels and then go off to university. By living up to other people’s expectations, you could be completely on the wrong path.
Because of the impact of other people’s opinions and an innate desire to not upset anyone, we often ignore our own needs and hopes. We are so often driven by society’s expectations of us and this is shaped by what we think others think or expect of us. For example, you might find yourself wanting to get married because that is what is expected of you and yet this may not be what you truly want. How often do we find ourselves in conflict with our social self and our true self?
People can be nervous or unsure about their own future because it appears to be different to what is considered the ‘norm’. But what is ‘normal’? What can be right for one person is certainly not right for all. It can feel like we ‘should’ be doing what is expected. We can feel bombarded by so many different influencers telling us what is acceptable in our life and these include our families, friends, the media, and society in general. This can be for literally any decision we want to make about our lives. It could be in relation to a career path, having children, who you want to be in a relationship with, where you live – there will always be someone who has an opinion which doesn’t fit with your ideas. While it is ok for people to have their opinion, what we are interested in here is whether this has been pushed onto you and ultimately changed your decisions. Do these situations stimulate an emotional response in you which triggers your own doubt, shame, guilt, or anxiety?
The question is, do the feelings come because you are too nervous to follow your own true path (which may feel scary – in a good way) or because you are doing the opposite to what society and others expect you to do? This can emerge as a conflicting voice in your head, creating confusion and stress. Quite often we become indecisive or maybe we start to feel different from the ‘norm’. This can prevent you from doing what is right for you and you follow the masses.
Another challenge we have which prevents us from being ourselves are the Self-limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves.
We can all have some beliefs you hold which are positive, healthy, and good ones. They allow you to succeed and come with a good feeling. Positive beliefs are linked to your self-confidence and self-worth. It is these positive beliefs that drive you forward to going for what you want and finding a way to achieve it. It is more important to know what your positive beliefs are as they create resilience and power.
We all have lots of positive behaviours and habits that fill our lives and yet we have a tendency to focus on the negative things. The positive ones are almost in the background because we will be focused on what we can’t do, and we seem to go to the default button of thinking negatively about ourselves. Our goal is to create more positive beliefs that will then override the unwanted ones. It is vital to reiterate that all beliefs will be affecting the path of life. Believing that you can or can’t do something will drive life and it is the ‘can’t’ ones that hold us back. We have identified that these beliefs can be formed partly because of others’ opinions, comments, and actions which we interpret to be negative towards us. The reality is we all have some limiting beliefs in one form or another. This may be a deep-rooted question such as: ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Am I worthy?’ or ‘Am I lovable?’
The impact of having any limiting beliefs varies. They can be much more obvious in some people’s lives than others. Commonly, confidence and trust will be affected. We also know that limiting beliefs can be created at any time in life and, unless they are addressed, can become more of a problem. Beliefs will continue to be reinforced by situations or a new belief can be formed by new experiences. The type of internal thinking, behaviours and how we respond to others are all indicators that the beliefs are running the show. I now invite you to take some time to think about what you believe about yourself currently. You now know some of the reasons you can have limiting beliefs about yourself. It is good to be honest with yourself and acknowledge what is happening in your life. Remember, many of these limiting beliefs are not always obvious as they can be running in the background.