“Even when I say I’m going to be more authentic, I catch myself being fake.”
Thank you for that ironically authentic self-observation, Emily. You’re on the right track! First of all, I’m not telling you to be authentic because it will make you a better person, or you owe it to the world or anything. I’m telling you to be more authentic because authenticity and self-love are your keys to the kingdom. Without them, nothing else can bring you joy. With them, nothing can fail to bring you joy.
We all started out gloriously authentic, but our authenticity was beaten out of us. Over and over, we got the message, implicitly and explicitly, that “image is everything,” and “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.” My friend who works in sales for a mega-publishing company likes to quip, “Anybody who says you can’t judge a book by its cover never tried to sell one.” The cover is all we judge by! And all of us want our covers to be the shiniest, most impressive covers we can manage to project. But where does that really leave us in terms of self-love and genuine connection with our fellow humans? Our inauthentic tendencies are often woven so deeply into the fiber of our beings that we have no idea they’re even there. People-pleasing is an all-too-common and insidious addiction in our world, and I know I will forever be a recovering addict in that regard.
At the root of all people-pleasing tendencies, and most inauthentic tendencies in general, is a fear of being judged. Many of us grew up with some degree of a fear of abandonment from being found unlovable if we were judged and came up short. And we all judge ourselves to varying extents. If you think you don’t judge yourself, it probably just means you have a judgment about judging yourself.
If you’re sensitive to the criticism of others, consider this: The extent to which you feel hurt by anyone’s judgment of you is directly proportional to the degree to which you subconsciously judge that trait in yourself. If I called you a jerk, you might feel insulted, because most of us have a fear, deep down, that we have the capacity to be jerks. But if I called you a rhinoceros you’d probably just think I was nuts and shrug it off. You know you’re not a rhinoceros, so there’s no way I can insult you with that – unless you have a big nose or a big butt that you’re sensitive about, in which case your own self-judgment would cause you to be insulted.
When you catch yourself “being fake,” celebrate it! Celebrate it because you caught yourself and that means – in that moment at least – you’re glimpsing your real self. Juicy Joy training is filled with powerful self-love motivators and every one of them starts with awareness. Becoming ever more aware of the masks you wear will have the marvelous effect of revealing to you – by way of contrast – who truly resides beneath those masks. That’s who you’re looking for. That’s who you love.
Thanks so much to all you Juicy Ones sending in thoughts and questions for me to blog about! Keep ‘em coming to Lisa@LisaMcCourt.com!