On any given day we wear numerous masks; being who people expect us to be.
We are the good mother to our children, the perfect wife for our husband, the loyal worker and the trusted friend.
Sometimes in amongst all of that being everything to everybody we lose ourselves. We forget who we are, what we want , what lights us up.
Now I am not saying that we need to stop being all those other labels and hats that we wear .
What I am saying is that we need to give ourselves the space, time and commitment to being our most authentic selves. We need to get still and quiet and listen to our inner voice, our gut instinct, our true nature.
Peeling off the layers of others ideas of you can take time. We are so much more than anyone has ever led us to believe. And as Marianne Williamson famously said "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
But instead of reaching to be our most authentic selves we hide behind the mask of our small idea of our self.
I get it.
I truly do. If we were to be our most authentic selves we would have to put ourselves out there. We would have to be bigger than our fears and those suckers, on any given day, can go from tiny to monumental, insurmountable. We would have to fulfill our potential, not just talk the talk but actually take the action necessary to achieve our goals and dreams.
So instead we play small.
We blame our parents. Our ex. The government.
We list all the reasons why we shouldn't go be awesome; I'm not good enough. Who am I to think I can do that?
Oh, that little negative voice in our head can be a real bitch at times. I hear her kick in every time I sit down in my chair to write a blog post or send out a newsletter. Some days she is very, very loud and insistent so I take her out for coffee and we have a little chat.
You see I have been getting the urge to write since as long as I can remember. I adore stationery (clue number one). I cannot go past a book shop with out stocking up on pens and paper and I now have lost count of how many notebooks and journals I have got ideas jotted down in.
I read. Constantly (clue number two). If there are no magazines or books to hand I will read a cereal packet from top to bottom.
Words and quotes make my heart do the happy dance (clue number three). But for some reason I never put all that together to mean I should be writing.
Even when I was told (repeatedly) in card readings, clairvoyant readings etc that I was a writer I would smile politely and nod and then file that away as "not on your life"
Then I found blogging. Oh happy day!!! Now I finally felt that I had a voice!!
Then people actually started reading, following and commenting. Joy upon joy!
What does this mean for you?
(1) Go back to the beginning. If you haven't found something that lights you up from the inside out go back and look for clues in your younger years. Trust me the child in you knew what lit you up then and you can rediscover it by looking backwards
(2)Keep it simple. What makes your heart sing doesn't have to be earth shattering and of epic proportions. What it does have to do is make you want to do the happy dance every time you think of it. It does have to make you lose yourself in the process of doing it. (3) Commit time to it. If it lights you up then you will be your most authentic self while you are in pursuit of it. Look at all the people who dress as their favorite characters at Comic Con? Do they care what others think of them? No, they are deliriously following their passion and have committed time and effort to it for no other reason than it brings them joy.
It might look like they are trying to be someone other than themselves but in reality they are tapping into the archetype of the hero to bring that aspect of themselves to the fore.
(4) Be open. Being our most authentic self means we have to be open and vulnerable. Sure some people might not like you and may be more than happy to tell you so but that is more about them than it is about you. Being your most authentic self does threaten those who are heavily invested in playing small, it shakes their comfortable view of the world. Leave that issue with them and keep being open and authentic.
(5) Play. Take a leaf out of Madonna and David Bowie's book and keep trying different persona's until you feel you have found your right fit. Just like a child plays dress up trying to figure out what being an adult will look like to them, try on different aspects of yourself until one just feels right. The more fun you have with it the better.
What do you think? What is the best way to find your most authentic self? What worked for you?
I would love to hear your thoughts.