Have you ever wanted to express your opinion, but stopped yourself in the tracks, because you feared the people around you would judge you? Or you had a great idea, but never got started implementing it, because you assumed that your family or friends would think you are crazy?
I can relate.
My interactions with people used to be stifled by trying to look good so that I could get approval.
There was a record running in the back of my mind repeating messages like “What will they think of me? Will they still like me?” My decisions passed through the invisible mental filter called “avoid rejection” which eliminated anything that may have earned me disapproval from others. Pretty limiting, huh?
Where is there room for playfulness, spontaneity, and fun?! Thank goodness this has changed!
The people that inspire me are the shamelessly authentic ones, naked (not necessarily nude!) in exposing their weaknesses, and imperfections. People, like Ellen DeGeneres or Celeste Barber, who show up in their uniqueness and quirkiness with a great sense of humor are powerful magnets that have social media followers in the millions. It seems that the world craves realness, that we are growing beyond pretense and masks. It is time to embrace our humanity, warts and all.
However, sometimes we may still be caught up in patterns we adopted as children to avoid pain, get love, and survive. In certain situations, it may not be comfortable to let our guard down and be authentic. Sounds crazy, right? You would think it should be as natural and easy as one two three!
Let us take a moment to explore some common strategies we use to avoid showing up in our full glory. These patterns are sneaky!
I invite you to ask yourself questions like:
- Do I act smarter, holier, wealthier, or tougher than I really am? Do I show off, use name-dropping, or try to impress others with my knowledge?
- Do I make myself appear smaller, dumber, less than I truly am by exaggerated self-deprecation or by being over-humble?
- Do I sell out on my dreams to please somebody else?
We are infinitely creative in our endeavor to avoid vulnerability, exposure, and realness. These are just some examples of how our facades may show up.
Affirmations are an excellent start to help turn this around. As soon as you notice yourself slipping into one of the above common habits:
- Acknowledge yourself for becoming aware—that’s huge!
- Affirm an empowering statement of your choice and—here is the key—FEEL the truth of the words. Let it sink in.
- Ask yourself, “If I truly believed this thought, how would I be acting from my authentic power.”
Here are some examples of positive affirmations to counteract negative beliefs and patterns: “I am good enough the way I am,” “Whatever I set my mind on, I can achieve,” “I am allowed to live life my way.”
The more you step into and act on the empowered consciousness the quicker it will become normal and enable you to create your life with boldness.
If you struggle with this practice, you may just need a little support to go deeper for lasting change.
You are not your old patterns; you are something far greater and more magnificent. In the past, you may have needed to take on specific behaviors to protect yourself, but now, as an adult, you are free to be you!
Empower your self-perception and demonstrate it in new authentic behaviors and you will create a more fulfilling, self-expressed and fun life.
Isn’t it time to fully enjoy the freedom of being bold and living life your way?