Why do we struggle to let our true selves be seen by other?
Being truly genuine is difficult in a society that demands us to achieve more and to fit in. If we choose to step out in out authenticity, many times we take the risk of being criticized and shunned by other including those who are closest to us. In the process of fitting in, we learn to only show certain aspects of who we are while hiding the rest of ourselves. Some of us are so good at fitting in at the price of hiding ourselves even from those closest to us. What is the cost of always wearing the mask of approval?
Our brains are programmed to protect us from pain, we learn to avoid pain at all costs as we grow and develop into adulthood. This mechanism is made for evolution of out species, it is deemed necessary for human interaction in the society that we have created. We go through our lives to seek approval so we can fit in, not be judged and get what we want from others. We have played the game for so long making us feel as if our real selves are not enough. What happens when we feel we are less than, and we have to strive for it? The simple answer is that we start to accumulate shame as we learn how to scheme better.
Dr. Brene Brown, the author of several NY Times bestseller describes shame as a master emotion. It’s when we feel inadequate, not enough and deters our ability to make positive changes. There are many times when we are so excited and eager to make positive changes yet there a voice within that tells us we are undeserving of it. That voice reminds us that we were incapable of having what we wanted in the past, so why should it be any different now? To have the courage and trust to step out of what we always believed is difficult and will require much practice.
Sometimes our desire to achieve will drive us to take a new path from the one we have always known. Desire along will not be able to sustain us in the long run, we need support to feel that we are accepted to be on our true paths. The journey is always ongoing even though the destination might change. When we truly allow ourselves to be genuine, we are able to see the beauty and strength that lies within our souls. We can connect authentically through our hearts and experience the beauty of every moment, we are missing out on it when we are not being who we are meant to be.