Authenticity can’t survive in a victim mentality.
Do you keep the promises you make to yourself?
How many of you hit your snooze button every single morning multiple times even though you made a commitment to yourself the night before that “tomorrow will be different?” (There’s that sentence again!)
How many of you have a goal to go to the gym, or take a yoga class only to find yourself eating pizza in front of the television again?
How many of you say that you’re going to save money next month? Payday comes, and you’re excited because you have a plan. But then, something happens, and the money doesn’t get saved?
Whatever “goal”, which is a promise by the way, you’re setting with yourself and not keeping, guess what? You’re a liar. Do you hate lies? Then, you also hate yourself every time you break a promise to you. The problem is, it’s subtle. You may feel bad for a minute, or two, but then you’ll start making excuses and justifying. After a while, you become numb to the promise. Every morning, for twenty years, you hit snooze, even though the night before you promised yourself you would wake up at 5:30 a.m. But you don’t. The reason doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. What matters is this. You set a time to wake up. The alarm went off, and you hit snooze. Why?
Part of the reason is that you tell yourself all the time, “I’ll do it later.” But, “later” never comes. You also lie to your children. “We will do it tomorrow.” They know “tomorrow” isn’t coming, but you’re content in your discontentedness, so you just keep lying. Then there is the “maybe” lie you tell yourself and your kids. “Maybe I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.” Your kids ask, “Can we go to the park today after school?” You respond, “Maybe.” You know. They know. So, why?
Another authenticity killer is the fear of being alone. You’ve bought into the possibility you’ll be alone forever. You’ve bought into this idea hook, line, and sinker. So, what do you do? You settle for anyone that comes along because you’ve also told yourself the lie that something is better than nothing. Guess what? You’re lying. First, no one is alone forever unless they choose to be, so the fact that you’re willing to settle proves your first lie is, in fact, a lie. Secondly, you know that the relationship is all wrong for you, yet, here you are…settling. So ask yourself: why?
Authenticity can’t survive in a victim mentality.
Everything in your life, and I mean every little thing in your life, is a result of a choice you made. Remember the ripple effect? Well, it includes everything. Your degree. Your career. Your lack of a career. The place you call home. The people in your life. The lie you tell yourself is, “I’m trapped.” No, you are not trapped.
Make a plan and leave. Your true authentic self is a powerful warrior, not a victim. Your authentic self is resourceful, smart, brave, strong, resilient, capable, and no one stands in her way. The lie is anything less than that.
Guess what? Blame hates you! Blame despises your true authentic self. Blame wants to choke the life out of your authenticity and if you are a blamer, then you’re half-dead. It’s time to revive you!
I survived some pretty horrendous abuse. All of my parents, yes, I have more than two, are seriously messed up. Do I blame them for shit I’ve done? Nope! I had two choices. I could take the pain and ripple pain or power. It was all up to me. I was done with pain. I woke up and I made a new choice. The choice was from my heart. It was my true authentic voice, thought, and action. Who are you blaming? Why?
Have you ever been in a relationship and realized that your story was, “I know they would love me if they would only…” Buy me the house, move me to my family’s town, have the baby with me, marry me. Every time you place a condition on another person to make you happy, you stuff authenticity into a deep, dark place where it can’t grow. Women allow themselves to fall into this trap when they know their lover doesn’t want marriage, yet, they believe that if they feel this deeply enough, a proposal will come. Sometimes it does, but it’s rarely sincere. I’ve witnessed women whose partner won’t quit cheating, but they lie to themselves daily. If he’d only quit cheating, then I’d know he/she loves me.” Your true authentic self is drowning, angel girl.
Look at your life right now. How many lies are you telling yourself? Let’s look at the list.
I’ll start my diet tomorrow.
I’ll get up earlier tomorrow.
I’ll spend more time with my kids this week.
I’ll start preparing better meals Monday.
I’ll start saving money with my next paycheck.
I’m trapped in my relationship/job/situation.
I don’t have the answer.
I’m going to be alone if I end this relationship.
If he does this, he loves me.
Things will be better once we are married.
Things will be better once we are divorced.
I need more money to be happy.
Let me complete this checklist. I’ll be good.
I am worthless.
There is someone better than me for this.
My mistakes are too big for you to handle.
I can’t trust me.
I’m a failure.
I can’t make things better.
I can’t stick to a plan.
I want you to make a list of everything you feel you can’t do. Write the list, and make sure the word “can’t” is in each item. For example, I can’t wake up on time. I can’t start a diet. I can’t save money. Think of promises you’ve made to yourself and haven’t kept. Ready? Go!
Okay. Now, before you feel completely defeated, I want you to go back over that list. Cross out the word, “can’t” and write “won’t.” Because, you see, THAT is the truth. Are you ready to be truthful? The truth is you WON’T do those things. You CAN, but you have reasons that you won’t. Let’s explore that.
Let’s look at your typical day. Who do you spend most of your time with? What do you do with your time? Be honest. If half your day is on social media, then admit it. Who you spend your time with is a reflection of your true authentic self, so if you aren’t happy with the people you’re with, then you’re not in your authenticity. What’s happening is you’re tolerating a situation that doesn’t serve you. One lie leads to another.
How are you spending your time? Does it bring you joy? If not, this isn’t your true authentic self. It’s a repeated pattern.
I may be jumping the gun because if you aren’t first happy with YOU, then it really doesn’t matter who you are with or what you’re doing. It won’t resonate with you one way or the other. In other words, you have to be happy with you first and foremost. The only way to do this is to take time with you. Spend time asking yourself what you like, what you dislike, and get to know you for the first time, or again. Some of you are so lost in your relationship that you don’t know who you are anymore. Others of you live in your family’s shadow. Your parents have molded and controlled you to the point that you have no idea if you’re straight or gay, or if you even like classical music. Your life is your life. You get to do with it what you want. Period.
Another block to your authentic self is the past prison. We already talked about guilt and shame, and this is part of it. When you are marinated in shame, you will take on a persona that is not you. You may fool yourself that it’s you, but deep down you know. Be in the moment. Let go of the past by doing things such as gardening, meditating, or painting. These exercises have been shown to help put the past in its proper perspective.
Be willing to lose “friends.” As you shift and grow, becoming more of who you truly are, some people will embrace you while others will try to hold you back. Don’t allow that to happen. Also, don’t focus on why they can’t accept the new you. That is their stuff. Trust me when I tell you that the growth and freedom that comes with finally being you far outweighs any criticism or rejection from your new choices.
Keep those broken promises close by. Remind yourself daily of all the things you promised yourself but failed to keep. Allow that list to motivate you to keep your word to yourself. The more you keep your word to the real you, the stronger your authenticity becomes. The more you don’t hit snooze, and the more you skip dessert or the third glass of wine, the more confidence you’ll build, and then you’ll start to make bigger promises to yourself – ones that you’ll keep.
Learn to be a silent observer. In the process of becoming you, an amazing thing happens. Other authentic people show up in your circle. At first, it may feel very uncomfortable. Notice how it feels in your body and where it lands. Take mental notes. When someone else’s truth triggers you, try and not react. Sit with it, ask yourself questions, and learn more about you.
Your true self wants to learn from others. When you listen, you learn. Most people who are not in their authenticity stay on the defense. Defensive people rarely listen, instead they react. When someone speaks, all they are doing is thinking about the next thing to say. Being authentic teaches you compassion in a way that is difficult to put into words. It’s a magic that happens. If you are defensive, listening will be difficult at first. Just practice.
Experiencing your truest self also means that any shyness you feel will start to fade. This will result in you engaging more with people you love and who genuinely love you. You’ll find yourself conversing more, caring more, understanding more, because in your circle of trust will be authentic people treating you with the same kindness.
Something you may have not experienced yet is being true to your inner-self. This looks like a person who isn’t afraid of change anymore. When unexpected things happen, instead of going into “I can’t because I’m a victim,” mode, you will adapt to the shift.
Probably the biggest gift of diving into your authenticity is that you will suddenly want to live – really live. If there is any part of you that is merely existing now, she or he will surely fade away. Life becomes a precious experience where you simply want to explore, take risks, and follow your passion. If you don’t currently know what your passion is, when you explore your authentic self, your passion emerges. When I witness this with the clients I coach, it brings me to tears every time. It’s like watching a baby come into the world. It feels like this brand-new life that is filled with promise, wonder, and joy.
Are you tired of breaking promises to yourself? There is a reason. Once we uncover it, I promise, you will never break another promise again.
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