People need people. It’s a fact. Connection is one of the driving needs of the human condition. We spend a lot of time and energy working on relationships that oftentimes end up unsuccessful because we aren’t being authentic. Instead, we present pieces of ourselves to others that we think they will like the most. This can leave us feeling frustrated, misunderstood, and alone.
Somewhere along the way, we had a relationship meltdown. It left us feeling not good enough. It made us think we had to change. And maybe we did need to change in order to grow, but we got confused about the why of it and decided to change for someone else rather than ourselves. Because of the hurt, we started to present sections of ourselves to others as a litmus test to see how they would respond, rather than being our full, authentic self. If the pieces we showed were received well, we might present another part of ourselves, but if not, we went into hiding.
The need for acceptance runs deep. We want others to accept us, so we try to be something that we aren’t, because the something that we are has been rejected in the past. We look to the world to tell us if we are enough. This is a fundamental problem, and the solution can only be found within.
When we show up as we are with no pretense, we are taking a risk. And it’s scary. But the flipside is we get to be honest about who we are. And when we do that, the rewards far outweigh the costs because we give people the opportunity to accept the real us—not a version or a sum of our parts, but the whole picture, who we are at our core. When we are courageous enough to have this kind of vulnerability, magic follows.
We find the people that get us. They see past the exterior and click with who we are on a soul level – from our sense of humor to our cynicism to our private outbursts to our fears. What follows is acceptance, and acceptance feels good.
Find that acceptance. Make it your mission. Search for it until you do. You owe it to yourself to be authentic. While you’re out there searching for your people, remember there are people out there searching for you.
It’s time to put your relationships on notice. They are up for renewal. Take some time to evaluate if you are getting what you need. Are you fulfilled? Do you feel safe? Can you be yourself? Not your Facebook self, but your real self? Are there people who make you feel bad about who you are when you’re with them? If so, let them go. Seriously, stop wasting your time and move on so that you can make room for the people who will get you.
Here’s a caveat: I am not suggesting that you run from relationships that are hard when there is an opportunity for growth. What I am suggesting is that you tune in to your inner voice and ask yourself some hard questions about who you’re spending your time with and whether those relationships are nurturing your best self.
We aren’t for everyone and that’s ok. We aren’t supposed to be. Accepting yourself and being with the people who accept you will free you up in ways that you cannot imagine. The support you feel will ground you and give you courage to take chances in life because of the unconditional relationships that hold you up. Life is short. Don’t waste precious time pretending to be someone you’re not. Find your tribe. Take a chance. Be yourself. Stop worrying about who you should be and be who you are. It is more than enough.
Reconnect with your authentic self today and schedule your complimentary 30-minute You Are More Than Enough session. Meanwhile, don’t forget to join the encouraging, supportive tribe at Shine on Purpose.