It’s astonishing that it took me until my late 30s to really start figuring myself out, defining who I really am, and really finding my authentic self.
Or maybe it’s not astonishing at all and it’s just the order in which my life happened.
There’s really not a required time frame, or a Guide To The Human Adventure, which tells me by which age I have to start really feeling like me, the real, true, authentic, amazing me.
(Sidebar: If there was a Guide To The Human Adventure, the answer would still be 42… that, my friends, is a special shout out to all the geeks that are reading this… oh you know….! )
Part of becoming my authentic self is learning to listen to inner-me. She’s got a voice.
I was always a “weird” kid. I didn’t fall into fashions and what others did very much, I also didn’t have a whole wack of friends because of it. But I was okay with that. For the most part.
It really started to bother me in my teens though, when I wasn’t as “cool” and “popular” as the other kids, so I started to change myself to “fit in” more with those I wanted to be like.
Looking back, I wish I could tell 14 year old me that it’s not necessary to do that.
Regardless, I did.
It wasn’t big changes, but I often went against my inner-wisdom, if it meant I was doing something that would make others accept me, or make other people happy.
I turned myself into a “people pleaser”.
I wanted to please others, as I had myself convinced that this would, in turn, bring me acceptance.
And it did. Sadly, the experiment worked – I was loved by others. And thus the habit grew.
Do for others, others will love you. (Wrong!) That became how I lived my life for a long time – many things I did I knew were wrong, or I shouldn’t do them that way, or I didn’t want to, but I did.
I did it because I felt it was what others expected of me. I listened to them before my own self.
Looking back, I ask myself “why”.
Why did I quiet my own inner voice, to listen to others? How are they to know what’s best for me? And why is my inner voice any less important than what they feel is best in that situation?
I brought that habit, that behavior, well into my adult life.
My inner-voice would tell me one thing, but I would do another, just to please others. It’s a terrible habit that I took with me to my home, my work, and most areas of my life. Not ideal, I’d say.
I’ve seen a lot of examples of this in my life.
Some big, some little, some as simple as going for coffee with a friend and saying “we’ll go wherever you want” when asked where we were going, even if I had a preference in mind the whole time.
I created my own “please others” habit.
Do you recognize this habit?
Here’s the great news – awareness is the first step. Once you become aware of an unhealthy pattern, you can turn it around and choose to create a new habit. Sounds hard, I know, but it’s possible.
You just have to choose to do it. Consciously create a new habit. One day at a time.
At the start of this year, I gave myself one goal, one “resolution”: be my most authentic self.
I use to have the habit of pleasing others, and now I am creating the habit of pleasing myself ( om’on now, don’t be dirty HAHA). I’m consciously learning to listen to my inner voice, little inner me.
I will still do things for others as i love to make those around me smile, but I will not be quieting my inner-voice if it steers me in a different direction. I will listen to inner-me, and all of her wisdom.
So, the next time I’m asked the question like “Where do you want to go for coffee?” I will speak up and say what I’m thinking… I will take the mic. I will face my fear of rejection and just speak up!
How can you challenge your habits today and turn them around?
Hugs, love and all things happy,