If you’ve been around the self-help community, you’ve heard it a million times… “Just be yourself.” It’s as if doing so will make all our worries go away, attract the dream job, manifest a heartfelt soulmate, etc.
Brene Brown calls being yourself, “being authentic.” She seems to be the authenticity guru. I’m not taking anything away from her nor am I going to knock her. She’s doing some very needed work in the world and helping thousands if not millions of people. My issue is, what if we don’t like our “authentic self”?
When I made the transition to becoming my “authentic-self”, I did not like him very much. He was easily scared, arrogant, wounded, and full of all kinds of stories to cover up his shortcomings. He also was living a quiet life of desperation.
Understanding ourselves has a lot to do with, understanding the way we were raised as children. I realized, what I was experiencing as my “authentic-self”, was not a product of my own conscious design. So, of course, I would not really like myself because my upbringing was a nightmare filled with boys group homes, abandonment, mental and physical abuse, and poverty.
Here’s an insight, many people do not like themselves. What they fail to understand is, the person they dislike is not really who they are. It is an image that was projected onto them by their upbringing, then later reinforced by themselves. If people could just understand this, they would realize, all they need to do is recondition themselves into how they want to show up in the world, then practice being it until it feels as natural as brushing one’s teeth. Some may call this, “Living By Design.”
Once I realized the person I disliked was not really me, but an image molded over me and tricking me into thinking it’s me, I was free to be whoever I wanted.
So for me to tell anyone to just be “yourself” or just be “authentic”, seems it would be doing them a disservice.
If you too have been struggling with the Clichés such as “Just Be Yourself” or “Just Be Your Authentic Self”, maybe what I shared today will be of use. I hope so.