What’s between you and the Real You? Baggage.
- Hurts, disappointments, grief, shame, resentment…
- Self-protective barriers, self-defeating behaviors, limiting beliefs …
- Other people’s demands and expectations; our own unrealistic expectations…
- Stored/unprocessed emotions and physical pain from shocking and traumatic experiences …
None of these things are the Real You. They’re like energy devices that become attached to our minds, bodies and spirits. In other words, we get so used to thinking or feeling a certain way – even though it’s unpleasant or even torturous – that we can’t imagine life without certain feelings and experiences.
As you accept, receive and learn the positive lessons from these experiences, and forgive (not just others, you probably also need to forgive yourself for “letting bad things happen”), then you can face life without being distracted and unduly influenced by the past.
Personal growth means releasing as much of this baggage – these false parts of yourself as possible – so more of the Real You can shine through.
Where are you on a scale of 1 – 5 in becoming aligned with your Real Self?
5 – I know who and what I really am.
I define myself and I am in integrity with who I am – what I say and do is compatible with what I know and believe.
I identify with the best within me and am ready to forgive the worst.
Most likely I also have a sense of purpose.
4 – I’m committed to knowing who and what I am.
I’m working on being real and sincere in every situation.
I’m getting more neutral about things that used to bother me.
I’m still concerned with what others think of me which can throw me off track, but I’m very aware when I’m not being authentic.
The more I work on my purpose the better and more whole I feel.
3 – I’m becoming aware that there’s more to me than meet’s the eye.
Deep down, I know I have untapped potential for creativity and accomplishment.
I’m aware when what I say and do are not a match for what I believe, but I feel compelled at times because others might not like it, or won’t accept the Real Me.
I’m actively seeking my purpose in life, or becoming aware of it, or know what it is but may not quite feel good or worthy enough yet to take action on it.
2 – Not sure who I am or what my purpose is.
Maybe ready to find out (and that can be an exciting adventure!) Not sure where other people end and I begin.
Don’t feel autonomous and would rather fit in than stand out.
Very concerned what others think of me.
Identify with fears and perceived flaws – ie. “I am fat,” is calling “fat” your identity, over-identifying with it. You could choose instead, “I’m holding excess weight.”
1 – I feel like a shadow of a person.
I’m not good enough. I feel like I’m trying to be someone I’m not and/or allowing others to define me. I’m uncomfortable around other people who seem real and sincere – afraid they will see through my façade and judge me. I may be dominated by others and their opinions. I have no sense of purpose.
If you’re lower on the scale than you want to be, think about what you identify with and who or what you allow to define you.
Common resistance to aligning with the Real You
- Believe we need permission – ie from parents, or won’t give it to ourselves.
- Find yourself thinking, “There’s just something wrong with me,” or “I’m not good enough.”
- Fear of outshining others.
- Fear of abandonment.
- Change and transformation (the unknown) can feel like danger and death to the small you/ego mind. Preferring, “The Hell I know over the Heaven I don’t know.”
Get more connected with the Real You
1. Explore what you like and don’t like, believe and don’t believe – and test it.
Take baby steps out of your comfort zone – for example, look at art – what effect do different artists have on you?
What movies and TV shows do you like? What books?
What skill or topic are you interested in learning about?
What brings you joy? What are your happiest memories?
2. Explore who you admire and why.
You can only see and appreciate what is in you – whatever you admire in others is somewhere inside you – look for it on the outside and see if you can feel the same potential inside.
3. Explore what you like best about yourself right now.
Everyone has positive, lovable, admirable qualities. What are you proud of? How have you grown in understanding, compassion, thoughtfulness and kindness toward yourself and others?
Start a self-appreciation log – everything you like about yourself, any accomplishments – nothing is too small. Keep adding to it and review whenever you feel disconnected from yourself.
4. Look for positive lessons in past experiences that still irk you.
Ask yourself, what did you learn from the experience that could serve you in future?
Many people take negative lessons and shrink themselves down into a supposedly safe little ball. What is the positive lesson that can help you feel stronger and expand your consciousness?
5. Begin allowing others to see and appreciate the Real You – including perceived flaws and faults.
Giving others a chance to meet and appreciate the Real You gives them permission to relax and be real with you too.
The Real You In Relationships
If you’re looking for love or friendship, this approach will attract compatible people into your life.
Putting up a false front or trying to be “all things to all people” takes a lot of work. The minute you let your guard down you risk disappointing people by not living up to the false expectations you set up.
If you let people see the Real You, that helps them self-select. Soon your life will be filled with sincere people who appreciate you as much as you appreciate them.