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  • Laurie Teixeira and Jari de Jesus

How To Be Your Authentic Self

Most people want to be perfect. When we were kids, we wanted to be liked by everyone else. We tried to fit in with different groups of people so we could feel accepted or loved. It's a universal fact. We want people to like us. We want their love and attention.

But have you ever felt like you're not being true whenever you're in front of other people? As if there's a mask you wear whenever you're around them. Have you been trying to please others all your life to avoid conflict or make someone happy, even at the expense of your true self?

Have you been just reacting to others instead of showing them who you are born to be? You want to take off the mask, but it seems to be glued to your face your whole life. How can you stop being an impostor and be true to your heart?

In this article, we'll talk about the possible reasons why you are acting this way, and we’ll also give simple tips to show up as the person you were born to be.

Why Can’t I Show Up in the World as I Am?

You may have been asking yourself this question all this time. Don’t worry. It’s not your fault. You may have had parents who pressured you to be the best that you can be and perform to the highest level possible. You may have felt being successful meant that your parents would love you more.

You may have grown up in an authoritarian household. Where your guardians have high expectations, and making a small mistake is equivalent to harsh punishment. This molds the child to react and act in a certain way. They stayed safe from punishments by controlling their actions and reactions. This can result in childhood trauma and become unconsciously brought into adulthood.

There are also some scenarios where the child mimics what they see from their parents or guardians. A good example is an abused mother who tiptoes around her husband. The children may have followed suit, and the behavior has been unconsciously ingrained in their minds.

How To Stop Pleasing Others and Be Your True Self?

Here are some first steps you can begin to practice.

Allow Yourself To Be YOU

As you grow older, you’ll realize that you have your own beliefs and values from others. You will also notice that your interests are different from your loved ones and peers. It’s okay if that happens.

Don’t do things just because it’s expected of you or you want these people to like or even love you. True authentic relationships start by being true to yourself and being true to the people around you.

Detach From Other People’s Opinions

Don't strive to win people over. Seeking approval from others makes us their prisoners. In reality, we have no control over how other people feel or think, but we have power over our actions, feelings, and thoughts. Other people's perceptions of you are merely perceptions filtered through their own lenses. Know that you are lovely and worthy, not because others think so, but because you choose to believe it.

Establish Healthy Boundaries

Consider this a sort of self-love. Know and respect your own boundaries. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed or exploited. This does not imply that you are uninterested; rather, it means that you are not accountable for all of their problems.

Don't be surprised if your relationships begin to shift and some connections dissolve. You'll notice that individuals who were defensive or angry over your boundaries are the same people who have always manipulated or benefited from you.

People that actually care about you will accept and appreciate your newfound freedom. Knowing this ahead of time can help you maintain your cool.

Ultimately, by setting healthy boundaries, you attract better relationships in your life - relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding.

Say No With Conviction

Saying “no” can definitely be a challenge for people. Let yourself be free by politely declining. Learn that a no to them is a yes to yourself. Keep in mind that we teach others how to treat ourselves. And people only disappoint themselves with the expectation they set for you. Remember that a no is a whole sentence.

Be Comfortable With the Discomfort

It’s not so easy setting boundaries and saying no if you’ve been a people pleaser throughout your life. There will be feelings of guilt, rejection, judgment, abandonment, and the feeling of not being enough or not being perfect.

To heal from your trauma, you need to be comfortable with these uncomfortable feelings. Sit with them. As time passes by, these feelings will gradually decrease, and you’ll be free from unhealthy behavior or pleasing others.

Develop Confidence in Yourself

When you have confidence in yourself, you don’t seek validation from others. When you have a sense of self-worth, you can stand up for yourself and can easily say no. First, you need to start with self-acceptance. You need to accept your quirks and everything that makes you YOU.

Become Your Own Friend

Whenever you make mistakes, cut yourself some slack and forgive yourself. Be kind to yourself. No one is really perfect. Everyone has quirks and makes mistakes. You also need to make yourself your priority once in a while.

Do activities that bring you joy. Search for things that interest you and make you feel glad you’re alive. Doing this creates happiness deep inside you, and you stop chasing happiness, love, attention, and approval from other people.

Treat yourself with dignity and respect. Pay attention to all your self-talk, and always talk to yourself kindly. Doing this sets the overall tone for how people should talk to you. Be comfortable with being alone and loving your own presence.

By loving yourself and having harmony within you, you no longer seek validation or things to fill the holes in your self-esteem.

Seek Support

Sometimes even if you try really hard, it’s still hard to break free from people-pleasing behavior. It’s highly recommended to seek trauma therapy or professional help to assist you with your healing process. It also helps to seek support from loved ones who truly care for your well-being.

Final Thoughts

Being inauthentic to who you truly are drains your energy. And as time passes, you’ll realize that you’re living your life with a lie about who you are meant to be in this world. You cannot be your true self as a healer if you're still doing this. You cannot be the person you are meant to be if you’re worried about other people’s expectations of you.

You can't focus on being perfect and making others like you while your goal is to heal others. How can you heal when you’re not even being true to yourself? As healers, we understand that the healing journey isn’t easy but so is life.

By going on a healing journey, you can become clear on who you are and show others who have experienced the same things that you can start to live authentic and fulfilling lives through care and compassion for our own selves.

We’re here on a mission, and it’s up to us to do our best to fulfill those missions. One important step is to be our true selves so we can shine authentically and serve this world better.

Be your own kind of beauty. Stay true to your feelings, beliefs, and values with no apologies or regrets. It’s time to live life on your own terms instead of someone else’s.

Let people see the real you.

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