Any change starts with awareness, then follows understanding, acceptance and action.
Any change starts with awareness, then follows understanding, acceptance and action. Photo Thinkstock

Are you ready to dare to be you?

WHO are you?

I feel we all experience a time when we are lost, confused, uncertain, not sure who we are or what we want to be. It may be during adolescence, as a result of our upbringing or something happening to, or around us.

This feeling can be apparent in many different ways. Doing something you don't really want to, just to keep the peace or save face. Behaving a certain way to feel loved or accepted.

Following the crowd instead of being independent. Not voicing your opinion for fear of being challenged or creating conflict. Dressing a certain way to please others although it feels wrong and uncomfortable. Following a certain path or career because you're told you have to or that it's the "right" thing to do.

And while some may continue along that path unconsciously, being pushed and pulled by circumstances and seem okay with it, others become aware that they are concealing their true self. And that creates a quandary. You experience a growing awareness but it doesn't feel safe to reveal who you are so you try to ignore it and choose instead to numb the discomfort through various means.

Whether it's comfort eating, drinking to excess, needing caffeine or sugar to fire up, keeping yourself overly busy, exercising to exhaustion, spending all your income or something else, you can only ignore it for so long before the need to have a deeper reflection about what is really preventing you from being who you truly are.

So what's stopping you?

I would say it's an underlying fear based on an inaccurate, unconscious belief you have about your self. Fear of judgment, fear of confrontation, fear of rejection, fear of what you might unearth if you dig deep into your self with the underlying belief that who you really are is not enough. But if you stay stuck in the fear nothing changes, the feeling of disconnection increases and it takes more and more to numb it.

If you are experiencing some sort of separation between who you appear to be to others and who you are inside then perhaps it's time to explore what's causing it and look at it differently. As with any change it starts with awareness, then understanding, then acceptance and action and I would say that the action needs to be increased self-care leading to self-love.

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned:

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