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“How do you discover your “true self”? I am who I am, isn’t that right? I have a certain job, I live in a certain type of community, I help people, I work hard, and I socialize in comfortable social circles. I have certain types of friends, and my home/ apartment/condo/mansion says a lot about my accomplishments in life. I mean, I’m pretty clear on who I am. I think.
But who are you when you aren’t being all that you are? Who are you in the core of your being?
What is your sole purpose?
What is your destiny?
To answer these questions, you must dig deep — usually so deep that it can seem unattainable, too murky, or simply frightening.
The fear of discovering your true self is a normal fear. It may cause some shifts for which you are not yet ready. It may change the world around you. It could upset your social circles, rearrange your priorities, and confuse family members. It could even cause you pain … darkness … and internal shifts for which you may not be ready.
Many times we assume that self-discovery will cause too much change — change that may be hard to deal with.
Will people still like me? Will I fit in? Will my shifts and changes cause notice and gossip?
If I become more confident and powerful, will others feel intimidated?
Is my soul searching a selfish act?
How we act in the world may be a shield of protection, a layer of “fluff” that we created as a barrier to keep us safe from emotional harm. This layer is a result of fear: fear of others’ responses, fear of not fit- ting in, and fear of not conforming to a norm. These are obvious fears placed on us by our upbringing of learning societal values and general conduct rules. Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a code of ethics that all humans would benefit from following. What I am suggesting is that the code that you were brought up with may be slightly skewed toward your peer/family/community beliefs and not truly your own.
Fear teaches us how to adjust our behavior to fit others’ needs. We learn to act differently around different people, based on our intuitive sense of how they may respond. We have become sensitized to others’ reactions and, in the process, have lost sight of our truth. When we are not acting from our core, our true self, we become fragmented. We wear different hats: one for family, one for friends, one at work, one at play, one for a lover, one for our pets. But which one is REAL?
So I ask you again: Who are you when you are not being all that you are?
Do you even know where to begin answering that question?
If you think you already know who you are and this does not apply to you, let me ask you a few questions to make you aware of yourself in the world.
1. Do you often engage in activities that you don’t really enjoy, just to go along with the crowd?
2. Can you think of anyone you spend time with who makes you feel badly about yourself?
3. Do you continue to nurture friendships that you suspect may be toxic?
4. Do other people influence your decisions, choices, and actions in work or personal life?
5. When socializing, do you find yourself eating or drinking foods or alcohol when you really weren’t in the mood for them?
6. Do you often wish that you had said something that you kept quiet about?
7. Do you think it is selfish to take quiet time to reflect and ponder what really makes you happy?
8. Are you afraid to ask for what you want? (Do you even know what you want?)
If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, you may find yourself pretending. Pretending to be other than who you are. Pretending to live a life that is unsatisfying yet fits the status quo. Pretending to participate in a society that doesn’t fit your true self.”
~Excerpt from Diana Stobo’s Chapter in 27 Flavors of Fulfillment, How to Live Life to the Fullest!
Diana Stobo is a raw chef, speaker,and health coach. She created “Naked Nourishment” to help others eat for health, vibrance, and beauty. Diana is the author of Get Naked Fast! and Naked Bliss. You may contact her at www.DianaStobo.com