If you’re like me you grew up with the idea that there are separate parts of you. The most common ones many of us are familiar with are:
Work self vs. home self
Relationship self vs. alone self
Social self vs. quiet self
Happy self vs. sad self
What parts of you do you keep hidden?
Do you manage different aspects of yourself based on where you are and who you’re with?
This used to be me. I was so fearful of people rejecting me if they knew my real self that I masked parts of me. At the core is that I wanted to please people. I wanted to be liked. And if I’m honest with myself, I wanted to be loved.
It’s painful to write this is a way because it feels so disempowered. The goal is not to beat myself - or yourself - for the current ways we show up in our lives. The goal is to see what is so we can find a new way forward.
Time and energy
There’s a finite amount of time and energy in one’s life. Everything we choose to focus on takes that time and energy. When I was seeking to please by being what others wanted me to be, I gave (a lot!) of time and energy to managing all the parts of myself. It was like a Rolodex of Urszula’s that kept me up through the night scanning for where I went wrong, did I say the right thing, if someone saw me.
Many of my coaching clients can relate to this. Can you? I’ve had a 100% confirmation from everyone that this current way is exhausting.
I believe the most disruptive thing you can do in the world is to be yourself.
This is at the centre point of most of our struggles. What would it be like if you were simply you?
A practice to being you
It sounds like it should be easy to be oneself. If this were true we wouldn’t be talking about this. In the practice of being you, the notion of being oneself can be a larger topic for non-white individuals. Being oneself can be difficult as there are many places in the world and many systems that keep people from non-white races and cultures oppressed.
If you can’t be yourself then you don’t allow others to be themselves either.
“World peace must develop from inner peace.” — Dalai Lama
The practice is to let yourself be seen. In small ways. This asks you to be vulnerable. To show a little emotional skin. So that all the parts of you can be you. No matter where you are or who you’re with.