This is not a trick question.
I recently concluded that our adult lives are about undoing all of what we were taught in our childhoods—the core limiting beliefs and the fears that prevent us from living to our full potential.
Regardless of whether we grew up in a dysfunctional or somewhat functional family, we still learned that it was not ok to be ourselves aka the real you.
We were constantly told, “don’t do that!”, “don’t say that!”, “be nice!” and anything else that made us feel as if we did or said something wrong. So we created what I call personas.
Maybe you believe that who you are is the real you and the question reads like a foreign language.
If someone asked me the same question a year ago, it would have baffled me. Up until that point I had been living according to other people’s expectations and trying to prove myself.
I was unaware this is what I was doing—being someone I “thought” I had to be to get love and acceptance. I only set myself up to be in co-dependent relationships where I was caretaking and rescuing people.
In the second half of my memoir, I use the cliché looking for love in all of the wrong places. Because I didn’t feel loved in my own family—I kept searching for it in people-places-things.
Eventually I stopped looking and discovered that love and acceptance comes from within. When I also challenged my beliefs and confronted my fears, I became the real me—an empowered woman instead of a helpless victim.
Imagine that your life is similar to a movie and you’re the lead actor. The role you play is one in which you are directed to act a certain way by people-pleasing, the inability to say no, always doing the “right” thing, perfectionism, feeling guilty and responsible for everyone and everything.
You become so good at acting in this role, you could win an Oscar award and because you don’t want to disappoint anyone you continue for many years rehearsing the same script.
Though the scenes change and you act with many supporting actors/actresses the underlying storyline is the same. For a while it’s exhilarating and you feel good about yourself because you’re getting a lot of attention.
But deep down you’re not entirely happy and fulfilled in this role because you’re always afraid of what others will think if they found out things about your past—mistakes, flaws and the messes you created.
So you continue to hide behind your role to remain in control of how you project yourself in your movie.
Until one day you feel exhausted, depressed and sad, you’re unable to act in the role you once played convincingly well.
How often when our finances, health, car, home, job or relationships seemingly out of the blue changes—we either lose interest or there is an abrupt ending that we don’t know who we are without them?
If there was a part of you that identified your worth to what’s gone, then you frantically seek a replacement to fill the emptiness from within.
Maybe you’re starting to see that this is not the real you, the one who is constantly seeking, searching and longing and the one who thinks that in order to fit in they need to be a certain way to be accepted by others.
This is not true!
It’s time to let go of the stories that keep you playing small and discover that you are FINE! Fabulous Independent N Elegant.
The real you—an empowered person loves themself just as they are and will remain the same and know that they belong anywhere, at a political function, at work, at home or at a fancy dinner soiree.
You can only be who you’re meant to be!
So the next time you’re at a formal or informal function leave behind your persona and allow the real you to please stand up.