On the surface it seems an odd idea that you could actually be anything other than who you really are. But from the time we can talk, we’re being programmed to “fit in”. This can be in a workplace, friendship group and, often, in marriages. We find ourselves conforming in order to please the people we love, and who love us.
But sometimes that means you have to suppress what you know is the real person inside. I did this for a long time. I buried my writing, went and got ‘real’ jobs in retail and transport, pretended like none of it mattered, that it was just a hobby, while I threw myself into my husband’s world with his car shows and racing events.
But, it totally mattered, yo. Denying yourself is akin to killing your spirit … slowly.
Your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have. Without a healthy relationship with yourself, it’s practically impossible to have healthy relationships with anyone else. I’m not advocating here that you’ve gotta love yourself before anyone else will love you. That shit is whack – you deserve love always, regardless of your mental health.
But, from experience, I do believe it’s hugely important to keep chipping away at this authentic you. Twelve year old Belinda, the one who used to write Jurassic Park fan fiction in old school books, is absolutely frothy about being nurtured properly.
If you’re ready to get reacquainted with someone you haven’t seen in a while – yourself – start with these four ideas to help you rediscover the real you.
Quiet the noise in your head
You know those voices well, the ones that are constantly nagging you to pick up the dry cleaning, talk to the school teacher, juggle the bills, schedule the vet, keep the boss happy. With all that noise going on, it will be impossible for you to hear anything above the din. This MUST be the first step. How do you do that? By setting up systems, simplifying, and establishing enough extras in your life to allow you to operate from a position of abundance, instead of lack.
This is something I’ve really had to pay attention to when learning about myself and how ADHD affects all this. My life is slowly becoming a series of little routines to shortcut around my brain. I’m going to have to write an entire post on this, but life hacks are where it’s at. It helps dampen the noise, helping you rise above and follow my path.
Practice thinking about yourself in healthy ways
In order to do that, you must first believe that you are valuable, and your Real Self has something to offer the world. Since you talk to yourself more than everyone else in your life combined –that’s a lot of talk!—it’s up to YOU to establish healthy communication in your thinking. Consciously listen to how you talk to yourself; write down the unhealthy things you say; challenge them; and replace them with facts. Self-Talk: “You never do anything right.”
Challenge: “Of course I do things right. I did (example) right. I did (example) right. This time, I just made a mistake. I’ll learn from it and have better success next time.”
Listen, I know this one is controversial. I laughed when my GP suggested I think happy thoughts. It’s not that simple when you’ve been in the middle of a stormy sea for an age, but you can get there. Again, it’s all about chipping away. Small steps make big leaps.
Listen to your heart
When he’s calling for you … *looks around and throws hairbrush microphone across the room*.
Seriously though, it sounds easy enough, but by the time we’re adults, most of us have stopped listening to our hearts and go only with our heads. Those two must reconnect in order to nd your real self. It’s easy to become accustomed to thinking about your feelings instead of really feeling them.
Instead of asking yourself what you think about something, ask why it’s important. Be careful not to get hung-up on a specic goal
What you’re really after is a feeling — respect, love, appreciation – as opposed to the company car, or a great person. Keep an open mind to the feelings, and be willing to adjust the methods you use to achieve them. Determine not just your goals, but how it satisfies who you really are.
The mask will come off and your real self will come shining through.
A person you can know and love – you! – is waiting for you to take the time to listen and understand and accept. When you accept your Real Self again, you’ll make smarter choices, and those choices will stick because they actually t who you are. Now, that’s what you’re really looking for, isn’t it?