Just the other day, I was chatting with one of my CORECARE mamas, when she made a confession. She said someone had invited her family to a church event, and her response was “Ugh! We can’t. We have something else and can’t reschedule.”
But the truth was (you probably know it): she just didn’t wanna’ go.
This happens a lot. Maybe your child sees you crying and asks “What’s wrong?” but you just smile and say “Nothing, honey – everything’s fine!” Or you only post Instagram photos of your angelic daughter sleeping and your “daily” green juice, without including the fact that her short naps drive you nuts and that just yesterday you ate half a box of Girl Scout cookies while locked in the bathroom, desperately needing a break.
Not being 100% honest with others isn’t always a bad thing. But it’s addictive because it’s so much easier. Over time, it can become your default position, and that is where it gets tricky.
When little lies turn into an inauthentic life, they steal your self-worth and, thus, your happiness.
So how exactly do you know when you’ve got a problem? More often than not, after you say those little lies, you start to feel not quite right. You feel off-center, off-balance, misunderstood, worried constantly what others think about you, unsure how to explain yourself. You might obsess over how to respond to a text, an email, or social situation. Or you might just feel alone (even though you’ve got a seven month old hanging off your hip and your three year old pulling on your shirt).
When you act like someone else, when you aren’t authentic to yourself, it creates a gap in your confidence; a space in between the masked persona you project, and the awesome person you already are.
And seeing the awesome person you already are is my greatest wish for you!
I encourage you to notice who you are and ask yourself what you really want to do or to say, no judgment involved.
Keep in mind:
- You can’t not show people who you are and expect to feel loved. You can’t shield yourself and feel seen. You can’t pretend to be someone else to fit in, and then feel comfortable in your own skin.
- You have to reveal yourself, and know that that you’ll be okay. You must trust that if it feels awful, that’s just the old “fake you” falling away (and the more resilient you are becoming). Embrace this.
- You must practice being with yourself, in order to actually be yourself. And you must do it so much, so that it’s impossible to wake up one day at 86 years old, and look back, full of regret, saying “Why wasn’t I just myself?? Why didn’t I let people see me? What was I so afraid of? Would it have been so awful? And was avoiding it worth it?”