The Acceptable Version of You
I asked my client Kelly what makes her unique.
This wasn’t easy for her to answer. After some prodding she said…
“I’m a lot of fun, kooky, silly, and creative around my friends. I’m authentic and comfortable with who I am and in my skin because of the people around me."
Why isn’t she authentic and kooky all the time?
When she’s with her friends they accept her for who she is and love her for it. But, in other areas of her life she tries to protect herself from judgement. She is worried people will think there is something wrong with her.
Kelly can let her hair down and just be herself with friends. She knows she belongs in that group.
Outside of that, she is afraid of being criticized or rejected.
Kelly is not alone.
Her fear that people will think there is something wrong with her stems from a belief somewhere deep down that there IS something wrong with her. There’s not. She's a normal human trying to navigate between fitting in and belonging.
Brene Brown says that fitting in is “...assessing situations and groups of people, then twisting yourself into a human pretzel in order to get them to let you hang out with them”
Kelly is hiding parts of herself hoping this watered down version will be acceptable. When really all that matters is that she accepts herself.
When we stop believing there is something wrong with us, the criticism or rejection doesn’t land in the same way because we know who we are.
If you criticize my ugly tattoo and I don’t have a tattoo I won’t buy into what you are saying. I know that isn’t true about me so I won’t give your opinion any credit. Believing in yourself is the same thing.
What criticisms are you afraid of? Where are you watering yourself down? Please leave a comment or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know.* With love and acceptance, Jen *P.S. Yes, I'm talking to you. I really do want to know what is going on in your world and you aren't bothering me. :)