When was the last time I truly felt comfortable being me… I asked myself this question recently. I never took the time to pause and reflect and when I did I realized it was in 3rd grade. Twenty years ago. Think about that for a second, I haven’t fully felt comfortable being me in twenty years! Third grade stuck out for me because that was the last time I remember sticking up for myself, writing in class with glitter pens and not caring what people thought. I was blissfully unaware of the concept of changing who I was for other people.
I then spent the next twenty years desperately living for other people. Somewhere along the way I thought I was going to be left out. That the world around me was something cooler then I was able to be, and able to be a part of. So I started to morph. I started to stop talking. I started to change based on the idea of fitting in.
Do you know what happened when I kept changing who I was? Everytime I decided to take one step further away from my authentic self, I reinforced the idea that my authentic self was never going to be enough, and my confidence took a hit.
This transformation happened over time, over a long period of time. Each step I took away from my authentic self didn’t seem like a big deal. I was unaware of the actions I was taking, and the thoughts I was forming. Until eventually I couldn’t keep running from myself. For me the loud alarm bell showed up in the form of depression. Severe life altering depression. Depression I could no longer ignore. Your alarm bell might look different. Your alarm bell might not be as loud. I had many alarm bells try along the way, but I ignored them. I pressed on in the pursuit of being liked by others. Depression was the alarm bell I couldn’t ignore.
I remember one day looking in the mirror and not even recognizing myself. Who had I become in the midst of trying to fit in and please other people? Who had I become when I was trying to silence myself and chip away all of my confidence? It was time to change, it was time to figure out who I was.
Waking up to reality wasn’t the easiest process to go through. When you decide to commit to transformation you have to shine a light in all the dark places you were running away from. I had to come to terms with my hard truths. I define a hard truth as something about yourself that you don’t like, but it is reality. I could no longer go through life unconsciously. I had to build the awareness of what was happening in my mind that was driving this behavior that I didn’t want to participate in any longer. I mentioned this wasn’t the easiest process, but this was definitely the most rewarding.
I was leading myself back to who I was authentically. I was doing the work to uncover the lies I had been believing for fifteen years. I was growing in compassion for myself, I was rebuilding my confidence one action step at a time. It was reversing the process. Instead of spending my time hating myself, I was loving myself back into the person I knew I have always been.
Remember back to when you felt like your authentic self. She is still inside you. You are still here even if your actions don’t reflect it. Try compassionately becoming aware of how you are not showing up as her. It is time to transform your life, and become the person you know you are meant to be.