How We Forget Who We Really Are & How to Find Ourselves Again
I’m convinced most people don’t know who they are. Life conditions us at a young age to suppress our true selves so much so that when we are older we are unrecognizable.
I remember when I was in high school I went to breakfast with some classmates. It was senior ditch day. Of course there was tons of conversation, jokes and laughter. Apparently I laughed a little too hard (based on someone’s opinion). I’ll never forget one of my classmates saying to me, “You laugh loud!” and I felt myself instantly shrink. “Did I laugh too loudly?” I wondered.
That’s how it happens. Someone says something to us that makes us question ourselves. Life has these “rules” that we’ve learned to live by in one way or another. If I’m criticized or isolated in any way I’ve done something wrong. Something that shouldn’t be done again. If I believe something no one else believes my beliefs are challenged. If I want something no one else wants my desires are frivolous. And because we are taught to “fit in” that’s what we do. We fit ourselves in. Not only are we trained to fit in, but we want to. We crave close connections and anything that is perceived as a threat to those connections has to be done away with. We change ourselves to fit in, to not stand out, to not be criticized or talked about. We change ourselves for a false sense of connection. After years of this routine we don’t remember who we really are to begin with.
So, how do you know if you don’t really know who you are?
For one, if you even have to ask the question you probably don’t know who you are. Other signs include:
- Your opinion changes depending on who you are with or you never even have an opinion.
- You have a hard time deciding or expressing what you believe in, what you want for your life or what makes u happy.
- You feel uncomfortable in your own skin.
- You have a habit of making decisions you are certain will lead to the transformation you are yearning for, yet they rarely do.
If that describes you and you want to find yourself try these tips:
Journal – record your thoughts, feelings, and desires as soon as they hit you (before you have time to process whether they are “right” or “wrong”).
Meditate – Clear your mind to hear your heart and your soul speak to you.
Enjoy silent, alone time – Spend time alone with your thoughts. The next time you’re driving turn off the radio and ride in silence. Learn to listen to you.
Challenge yourself – Challenge a current belief, habit, or activity. Where did it come from? Do you enjoy how it makes you feel? Does it align with the real you or the you, you pretend to be?
I’m 31 now and long past those high school days. As an introvert I spend a lot of time in self-reflection. I finally know who I am and who I want to become. I learn more about my true self every day and I fight for her every day. No battle is too costly to engage in for the benefit of protecting and preserving her. In fact I lost a job over it. My boss at the time was extremely controlling and manipulative. I didn’t accept that behavior from her. I wouldn’t be controlled because then that wouldn’t be the real me. Today I live life on my own terms. I’m not trying to fit. I don’t care who shares my beliefs or desires. Most importantly, I laugh as loud as I want to.
IT Statement (Inspiring & Transformational)
I know who I am and I like who I am.
Not sure who you really? Sign up for a complimentary clarity call with me. I help women just like you discover their true self so they can transform into the person they were always meant to be. Sign up on the Work with Charlene page.
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