Let’s talk about the dangers of not expressing yourself truly. The best version of your life is designed for your most authentic self. When you are not being yourself fully, living your truth, you fall out of alignment with that most blissful reality destined for you. We can dim our light by accommodating others and making ourselves small in order to fit in, avoid conflict, or be likable.
When we suppress our authenticity and uniqueness we are jeopardizing our mission in this world. By allowing our uniqueness and individuality flow we bring attention to what needs to be noticed, learned, healed, improved, and dealt with by us and others. This is our mission, and it is accomplished by being ourselves unapologetically. Without the diversity, creativity and “imperfection” there is no progress, neither on individual nor collective level.
Here are the three most common traps of not being true to yourself that we fall into.
1. Staying silent in spite of a strong urge to say something
Back at school, I was always shy and afraid to answer teachers’ questions, in fear of looking stupid giving the wrong answer. When nobody raised their hand, she would then give the exact answer I had in mind. It happened over and over again. Thoughts in my mind were: “could I really be this much smarter?”, “how come nobody else knows it, something must be wrong with my answer.” Self-doubt acted here as a sabotage of my authentic expression of my skills and talent.
Other examples of this would be not saying sorry or “I love you” first, not sharing how you really feel at the risk of becoming vulnerable or losing one way or another. These phrases could mend a relationship and turn it around, while silence can destroy it.
Another example is bringing up a point that is being ignored in a particular setting. This point of view could help someone or benefit everyone. With issues like racism and inequality, we need to speak up. Yet many of us withhold comments on those matters, questioning if this is the right time and place to “stir the pot.” Some issues have to be brought to light, especially in situations where you question their appropriateness. It is those expected opposing views that need to be challenged. Maybe it is the Universe giving you this idea, phrase and sentence to say.
Learn to distinguish this strong voice within you, telling you to speak up, and act on it!
A taxi driver once told me, out of nowhere, to change my lifestyle and that I can do so much better. I am so grateful that he did, because I have changed my life upside down after that conversation. A few sentences you say can change someone’s life. The Universe does speak through you, in most random situations.
2. Acting “normal” not to seem silly or crazy
This right here is about trying to blend in. Blending in is safe. But how many people have gotten far playing safe? How many people have succeeded by being weird, strange, and “abnormal”? How many weird things are actually what we love about our friends, family, and lovers? This is what helps your people recognize and notice you in the crowd. Don’t switch off that light.
Saying something stupid
We are meant to say all the stupid things we ever said. Every mistake has to be brought to light, first, to be realized and learned from. Maybe you saying that stupid thing will help someone else avoid saying it in a situation that really matters for them. Maybe your stupid comment made you realize you need to upgrade your understanding of a subject. Maybe your mistake brings people closer to learning to accept the flaws of others and not being judgmental. Maybe that stupid thing you said is a catalyst for growth of you and other witnesses of your shameful moment. Be silly, be stupid, because in many of those doubtful situations you will also get it right, and will get great things out of it!
3. Adjust the way we speak to match the audience’s opinions
Are there some social circles in which you feel like you need to adjust your points of view and the way you speak to match the opinions and expectations of people you converse with? Especially if you expect your views to clash with theirs. At times, we can unconsciously start speaking in a way that we think will be acceptable and appropriate. But are you then going against yourself and your beliefs?
When we withhold our fresh perspective and keep playing along with people, who we think expect to hear certain things, we may very well rob them of an opportunity to learn and expand their consciousness. You may not change their whole perspective, but you could plant a seed. As a matter of fact, your opinion about what they wish to hear could be wrong.
Speak your truth always. People that cannot comprehend it will benefit from it one way or another. You can either motivate them to open their mind or bring them closer to awareness of their closed mind.
Fear of conflict
Stop being afraid of conflict. Staying true to yourself, conflict is inevitable. Always do it respectfully and calmly. But it is your confrontation of status quo, old limiting beliefs and judgements that gets this world moving and expanding. People pleasing will never get you far. And we all have it to some extent. Key here is awareness of situations in which you tend to adjust and change yourself in order to fit in and be liked. It is not worth it. You will gain so much more by expressing what needs to be expressed, for a reason. This will align you with people and situations that are the right fit for you.
Living your life being constantly prepared to adjust and reformulate your thoughts and actions to be liked and accepted, it is as if you are in an endless stressful exam. You do not fail when you give an answer they find incorrect. It can be correct for you, and for others. Relief yourself from this pressure.
Some of us are meant to be loud. Some of us are meant to be funny and silly. All of us are meant to look and act stupid at some point. Allow yourself to be all that. That state of relief allows your beautiful and extraordinary personality to shine. The world needs this light.
More from Anna: How To Deal With People You Dislike
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photos: Ian Dooley via Unsplash