04 Aug 2021

Why are we so scared of being our authentic self?

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An opinion piece by Anika Raya

“Who am I?”

This seems to be a question we ask ourselves regularly. In fact, we go to some pretty great lengths to discover who we are, whether that be on travels around the world, month long vipassana’s or simply reading self-development book after self-development book to see if we can discover a glimpse of who we truly are.

Now, I’m not saying that any of the list above is a bad thing to explore or experience. Along the way, I honestly do believe that we grow a deeper understanding of ourselves.

From learning how to deal with hard situations when we are tired and thousands upon thousands of kilometres away from home. Meeting and talking to new people who offer us a different perspective to how we normally think and act. Sitting with our thoughts, and discovering what appears when we remove the daily distractions that have seamlessly become a part of our daily routine and life.

I have personally done most of this in my life… and am currently on the wait list to complete my first vipassana. But the question I seem to constantly come back to is not, “Who am I?” But more so, “When did I become so scared of showing my authentic self?”

I deeply believe that we all know who we are, but somewhere in our childhood, we’ve been taught to hide our authentic self from the world.

You know the internal dialogue that occurs within your mind. Someone asks you a question… your internal mind might say, “NO! I don’t want to do that.” But for some reason we say, “Yes, I’d be more than happy to do that.”

I’ve heard a lot of theories about why we do this.

“It’s a primal instinct to fit in with our tribe.”

“We just want to belong.”

“It’s easier to say yes, then deal with the conflict that would come from saying no.”

I just don’t believe any of it. We are born with the innate knowledge of who we are. You only have to look to children to see this. When you interact with a child they are so true to who they are and what they desire.

No matter what you ask them, they know what they want and they aren’t afraid of speaking their mind. That is why I KNOW, we inherently know who we are. We aren’t looking for WHO we are, we are trying to discover how to show up as our authentic selves like we did when we were kids.

I believe the key to revealing our true self, is to re-learn how to trust our inner truth. How often have you been in a situation where you seek the advice of everyone around you, instead of trusting your inner truth?

We already know the answer to every question that comes our way. What is missing, is trusting in our inner voice. No one else knows what we truly desire. No one else knows you like you know yourself.

They haven’t walked in your shoes, experienced your life or understand your desires as deeply as you do yourself. Therefore it makes sense, that no one else’s opinion can truly understand what is right for you, a part from your inner voice, your inner knowing, your inner truth. Whatever you want to call it.

But HOW do we start revealing our inner truth. I personally believe it comes down to vulnerability. Accepting ourselves as we are. Speaking our vulnerable and showing up as we are with all of our perceived faults and flaws. With all of our traits that others have told us need to be hidden, like being too loud, or too quiet, or too nice, or too talkative.

We each know who our true self is… it’s the part of us that fills us with joy, with contentment, with release. When we lean into our true self, we can physically and mentally FEEL it!

It feels like coming home. It feels like a loving warmth filling every cell of our body. It feels like our body is releasing tension and embracing connection.

I’ve only just started to learn how to start showing my authentic self, and I am not saying I am 100% there 24/7. I’m not sure how long it will take me to get there, but I do know that speaking my truth and showing my authentic self even 10% of the time has increased my happiness immensely, has allowed me to follow avenues I once wouldn’t have because of fear of what people would think.

You deserve to follow your truth. You deserve to present your authentic self daily. You deserve to revisit you inner child and listen to their opinion and trust your voice.

You already know who you are. Now it’s time to show the world.


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