Why is it so hard to be our authentic selves?
Why is it so hard to express who we are fully?
Why is it so hard to love ourselves to the degree that we were intended to be loved?
This came up for me this week because I’m watching someone promote her new book, one you might have seen me promoting as well, and she’s been very transparent about how much she dislikes all the marketing.
And I am witnessing her through my own lens of having a very similar experience when I promote Tipping Point Recovery’s programs, which is that—it’s really hard to promote our own stuff.
It’s really hard to be open and vulnerable and fully authentic in our truth and how we show up.
Why is it so hard to be authentic?
Over the years I’ve come to think it’s because we’re taught not to be.
It’s my belief that when we’re born as babies, we are born as our pure essence. As our souls. Just clean slates that don’t have judgment, biases, criticisms, or self-doubt.
In the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (which I highly recommend, if you’ve never read it), he talks about how we’re born perfect and whole. And until the age of around seven, we are pure essence. We can walk into a room and say fully and proudly that we love ourselves. But as we get older, the way he puts it is we get “domesticated” by the adults in our lives.
Usually this domestication comes from a place of love and concern for safety.
Say, for instance, I’m six years old and want to climb a tree really high. And I just want to keep going, but an adult yells from a window to get down because it’s not safe. Suddenly I have a story in my head that, Oh, trees are unsafe. The world is unsafe. The fun I was having is unsafe.
And we get knocked down a little.
It’s not our parents’ fault. Parents are just imperfect humans who were raised by imperfect humans, all doing the best they could with what they had.
But over time our light gets dimmed more and more. Maybe something happens that knocks us down a lot. Maybe we get bullied in school or told our art isn’t good enough or yelled at to stop talking so much or so loudly. And we close ourselves off.
I believe it’s the human journey to come back home to ourselves.
To return to the pure essence we were when we were born. Our authentic selves.
You get to define you. No one else.
You get to love yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.
You get to decide who you are and how you want to express yourself.
Do you know what that looks like yet?
Share with me below or comment in our Friends of Tipping Point community: where are you on your journey of self-acceptance? What do you think your life will be like when you’re more yourself?