Live as if being you is the only choice you have

“I wish I’d have known you. I wish I’d have shown you all of the things I was on the inside.”          -Top of the World (Dixie Chicks) Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t fully show up as yourself? This might have been at work, or in your romantic relationships, with your family and friends, or even around strangers. In some way, you felt like you needed to be someone you’re not. Maybe that meant hiding parts of your personality – things you thought people might not like or may not understand. Maybe it meant trying to fit in or gain someone’s approval – seeking to find that sign which says you are good enough and worthy of someone’s affection and appreciation. I can honestly say this used to be a fairly common behaviour for me in my personal relationships. I never intended to be inauthentic; it just always sort of happened. I became what I thought people needed me to be – whether that was my friends, coworkers or someone I was dating. (And of course it was always based on my perception – it may not even have been their reality.) I often felt like I was “too much this” or “not enough that”.  I would bite my tongue and not speak up about certain things because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings (somehow respecting my own never even crossed my mind). Or I would give more time and energy into a project than I wanted to. Or I would say yes when I meant no. All of these...

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