Do you know who you are?
Who am I? It’s a pretty straight forward question and surely we all know the answer to that...yet increasingly what we see when we are coaching and doing podcasts with incredible people, this isn’t the case. Somewhere along the journey, as we are wearing all of the masks and running just to keep up...we forget which mask is really us.
KIDS KNOW HOW
When we are kids we know what we want to do, who we want to play with and who we want to dress up as. If someone tries to persuade us otherwise - it’s outright warfare! Have you ever tried telling a five year old that they are wrong about something? Or told them that they have to go in normal clothes instead of dress up to a party? It’s not pretty! They’re so clear, so determined and set in their little ways. It’s really adorable - and let’s face it, outright infuriating at times! Yet somehow they often lose this strong self as they move through their teenage years. They don’t have the same confidence that their view is right. They start to want to blend in, not stand out.
AM I REALLY WHITE?
For so many of us, life somehow takes that strong self of self away from us as we start adulting. I was never one of the cool kids at school but I had a strong set of friends so I stayed pretty true to who I was around them. For Cheryl it felt different. Her identity was not as clear cut for her - back then when you were adopted, families weren’t encouraged to openly talk about birth parents and forever parents like they are now. The fact that Cheryl was black was totally ignored! Out of good intention, if anyone mentioned Cheryl not being white, friends and family would jump to her defence! So imagine how confusing that then becomes as you’re trying at very subconscious levels, to work out your place in the world. It was much later in life, that Cheryl realised how much of an impact this had on her identity.
WHO DO YOU NEED ME TO BE
Sometimes it’s not in all situations that we are impacted. For me it was mostly around work. In work and boyfriend relationships it manifested. I was a pleaser. I did what anyone asked of me even if it was detrimental to my health - mentally or physically - the goal was to always make them feel like I was the right person for them. Regardless of whether I even actually liked them or not. What I thought about them wasn’t really the point, I had to be liked. That’s how I got some sense of feeling like I was worth something. I felt like a chameleon, constantly changing colour and pattern to be anything I was asked to be.
YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
The different identities, the different masks are all just a cover. They are the faces we share with the world when we are a little lost internally. When we have become disconnected with our authentic self. When our own sense of self worth has been damaged, cast aside or left in a dark room somewhere along the journey. But it is still there.
YOUR INNER GPS
Your sense of self, that knowing inside you of who you really are - is still there for you. It never leaves you. We have just chosen to ignore it for some reason. The way we know it’s there, is because you’re reading this, knowing that you too wear those masks. The reason you know they’re masks and not the ‘real you’, is that you sense it somewhere, inside of you, as you do certain things, laugh a certain way, say yes to things that you know deep down just aren’t you. Maybe you’re in a job, a relationship or a way of living that just isn’t clicking, isn’t fulfilling you or just doesn’t feel right. Your inner GPS feels off. Your gut is niggling you. You feel ok but you’re not filled with joy.
All of these little signs are there to help you get back to you. They’re all there, to show you the way home. Observe them, listen to them, let them show you how to be just you. Because that’s enough you know? Always was, always will be, you just forgot for a little while.
Time to put the masks away.
Love and hugs,