As the maxim says, “Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”
The stress of showing who you are
Self-acceptance is not easy. And while working on self-love, inner judgments and the need for perfection can block us.
Since childhood, we have put our reference system into the hands of others. As a matter of fact, for a child it is normal; by modelling caretakers, you learned to walk, speak and connect with other people. While growing, the referential people shifted from parental figures to classmates, teachers, co-workers, a boss and so on.
But when it comes to self-acceptance, the fact is that we are highly trained to seek love externally. It is somehow logical as it was with the smile of a parental figure that we would understand that we did good or were on the right track. In fact, we learned to grow through pleasing and feeling other’s pride as much as from perceiving disappointment.
Thus, our brain is definitely wired to seek love from outside sources. Therefore, when you want to be yourself, it may be uncomfortable. It will trigger the fear of rejection, abandonment, not only form our loved ones but also from society, a workplace or friends.
Somehow, there is much at stake when you do not express yourself. It is even harder when your core values are triggered by your environment. But in the balance, you have these people, family, friends or colleagues that seem to love you that way. So, what will happen if you start saying what you need and what you truly feel or desire? Will they still appreciate you, be friends with you?
The stress of allowing yourself to be you is often ignored, but it exists, and it is normal. But the more you allow yourself to be you, the more you attract the people that are liking and loving you for the good reasons, for who you are. It may sound cheesy, but your uniqueness will always attract other’s uniqueness.
It is only your inner perception that prevents you from connecting with these people. And the other face is that some people around you are just waiting for you to be you as they already love who you are underneath your mask(s). This being said, daring may be challenging, and a coach, NLP therapist (amongst other techniques) can help you along the way.
Should you want some more tips on dealing with stress, you can access a free 5 tips to Dance With Your Fears (Gracefully) and find your way back to calmness at www.christelmesey.com. This is also available in a French version.
Illustration by Christel Mesey