This is a guest post written by MSc (Accred) Integrative Psychotherapist Amita Shukla. Check our their website amitashuklatherapy.com and Instagram: @amitashuklatherapy for more information!
Knowing whether you are being your 'real' self or carrying a 'false' self-concept that unconsciously adapts to who you have been told you are, or believe yourself to be, is a tangled web. It can be argued that you cannot have one without the other, and both are influential factors to who we are!
There is 'us at our core' and then there are 'influential factors', such as; our societal norms, cultural beliefs and conditioned values or morals that are embedded through our upbringing and experiences. Therefore, can we truly see ourselves without accepting that our experiences shape or become a part of who we are!
What is in our awareness is all we know, however there are many unconscious thoughts, feelings and behaviours that can go unrecognised. Our experiences and interactions with people throughout life can negatively impact our internal belief system of ourselves, these can become so rooted internally that we hold them as our truth. We can therefore quieten our own voice, to a point where we no longer hear it or realise that it's even there. The truth is that we ALL do it!
Our way of being in the world can become so familiar for us that we no longer recognise what is our 'real' self and what is our 'false' self. As a result, there can be an internal conflict, a sense of confusion, or feelings surrounding anxiety or depression that may arise. There may be a part of you that speaks negatively about yourself, and then there may be a part of you that holds a quiet voice that believes something different, that which is unique to you, that may see yourself in a more positive light and feels authentic and true to who you are. It can almost be too challenging for us to believe that this COULD be us!
It is important to ask ourselves if we are living within the realms of how others see or expect us to be, or whether we are living within our true potential. If it is the latter then what is stopping us?
Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself, think about and answer:
What is the tape that is on repeat in my mind? Whose voice is it and what are they telling me?Where's my voice and am I following my own truth? What is my truth?
We are social beings that like to feel a part of the collective and require a need for acceptance. There is nothing wrong with this… I mean, who doesn't want to be liked! However if we are not living authentically we need to ask ourselves, at what cost this may be coming at. The further we move away from our true selves, the more confusion that may lie within us.
Taking the journey towards discovering your real self and what that means, is a unique experience, one that uncovers layers of yourself that you may not have realised were there.
Imagine moving in the direction of your true self!
Thank you to Amita Shukla for contributing this post!