What stops us from showing up as we are? There are many reasons and most if not all can be traced back to a powerful symptom called Fear. We are fearful that we won’t be accepted and the result will be a figurative shunning of us, that is being told to leave the tribe.
Fear is not rational and while it might have depths to it – if you are feeling fear, your body still recognises it as a danger. Feeling that you won’t be accepted triggers a further feeling of loss of your community, of having lost your support system of being isolated.
And so, to avoid this we rather choose the safer path, but by no means the easier path, of showing up how we believe others want us to. In order to achieve this, we have to be inauthentic, insincere, disregard ourselves, deny our own needs and put others first. This is certainly not sustainable – at some point you will have had enough – there is only so much of this you can hold.
What if you, from this very moment, you decide to chose yourself instead? No, I am not suggesting you shout this out, charge into battle so to speak and get yourself outcasted and have to live forever in a cave somewhere eating juniper berries, but rather picture an elastic band and start to stretch it slowly (not break it!). Okay, I think you get the picture 🙂
How would this look like starting now? Well, the first step is to start hearing your own needs. You will be surprised how difficult this could be, if you have been working at deny it, its probably on its lowest volume or nicely shut in a sound proof room. The practice below focuses on helping you hear your needs – once you do, pause and reflect and then only act.
1. Think of a person whose opinion of you is important.
2. Now think of a time with that person when you acted out of character.
3. Are you able to go back to that moment and reflect on what caused this behaviour? What did you actually want to do?
4. The next time you talk to someone, notice your behaviour?
1. Notice if you are holding anything back?
2. What is causing you to hold yourself back?
3. What do you actually want to do?
4. What if you could stretch yourself and express some of your needs versus denying them completely? What could that look like?
I look forward to hearing your journey.