So far as I can tell, there are three ways of being in the world.
One, I can decide that I’m fundamentally broken. So I try to hide my broken parts, shine up the acceptable parts, and only show people the parts they might like. This is what I call living in the false self.
Or, I can decide that I’m whole, complete, and worthy just as I am. If that is true, I can show people all my parts (even those that are a work in progress) and let the chips fall where they may. Some will like me; others won’t. This is what I call living in my true self.
Why does this matter?
If I’m trying to live in the first scenario, I spend (a lot of) time and energy polishing up my false self and managing how others think about me. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t control how others see or judge me. All the energy and work that goes into that is unproductive.
As we mature, we (hopefully) can spend more time living as our true selves, giving up that need to hide and polish. Obviously, this is a process; it’s not a binary switch. But the more we can live as our true selves, the less energy and time we spend trying to control and manage how others think and feel about us. So giving up on that false self releases all kinds of capacity for greatness!
Plus, when you let your freak flag fly, you can better hone in on the opportunities that are designed for your uniqueness. And those opportunities are made just for you.
What are you hiding or polishing? Where are you wasting energy trying to control or manage how others see you? If you gave that up, what could you have instead?
P.S. Yes, I did say there are three ways of being in the world and only outlined two of them. The third way of being in the world is to see the inherent connection between all people and all things and to live in a way that honors that connection. From that way of being, I see that living in my true self frees you to live in your true self. I think it’s only available if I’m first living in my true self — and I’ll admit I’m still working on that. So I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself!