“Identify what stops you from being your ideal vision of yourself. This is a core part of personal growth work,” Dr. Zwig. The part of this work, this journey to finding self that isn’t talked about in the nitty gritty is the underbelly of what you feel when you find things. You’ve/We’ve become so accustomed to shoving down everything we perceive as “bad” or “shameful” that we think we can ignore it. Repression of self is the standard and that is why we often feel lost. We are taught to ignore the things we feel. We are taught that our sense of self is bad/wrong and that we need to conform to what we are told both to be accepted and to feel normal. When we build our lives within the parameters set for us, it’s easy to lose sight of who we ARE and that creates anger because there is conflict between what we are expressing and what we really feel.
Humans aren’t designed to control emotion. We are designed to feel it, express it, reconcile it, and move on. What we are taught is to grab the emotion we aren’t supposed to feel, repress it, and express a flat façade. Let’s be clear, I’m not professing that we all need to run around yelling and screaming at each other, or punching someone in the face. No. But I am suggesting we stop carrying the weight of what we are feeling by dealing with it in the moment. Why on earth do we need “coping techniques”? Why do we need to “release pent up anger”? Such things didn’t exist for a long time. People duked it out and then had dinner together. We started feeling like we had to control those emotions when we wanted to manipulate others to get a certain outcome. Ah. THAT is a different thing altogether.
We will never be able to identify what stops us from being our ideal selves if we continue to ignore or if we continue to teach that we need to ignore what our very soul is saying. I have experienced ostracism for expressing the truth. I have been looked at as a trouble maker for simply finding the middle ground and a solution over a band-aid. For whatever reason we like to sit in our misery and bring others with us—it’s easier to create a scenario in our heads and bring others to be miserable with us than it is to take a situation as it is and be honest about it. We are so engrained that honesty is dangerous that we don’t innately feel we can express it. Why do we ever stop our children from telling the truth?
I’m not naïve, most people think it’s a terrible idea to be 100% honest all the time. The conflict comes because it’s isolating to be honest but we know we need to express ourselves. Call me selfish, but I would much rather bear the weight of isolation than not express what I need to (within reason). For example, there is no reason anyone should have to tolerate blatant demeaning behavior or discriminating behavior anywhere. NONE. No one should have to jump through hoops for a peer because of a perception the other person has. I will not be someone’s punching bag or live under their scrutiny when they have their own job to do. THAT is something I will confront. If my neighbor doesn’t like the outfit I’m wearing, I don’t care, that’s like water off a duck’s butt. If you’re taking every single .
None of this may resonate, and that is ok. There are many things that we can identify that hold us back. Things from a particular past experience and how we think about it, things like our perception of how people receive us, or just an engrained belief that we can’t do certain things. In my experience, I’ve found I couldn’t express myself openly and that was one of the first things that held me back. I hid who I was in order to be accepted and it still didn’t gain me acceptance—it made me a door mat. As soon as I shifted out of that position, the people who were so happy with me playing their game disappeared. There was no reciprocity or care for my well-being: if I wasn’t fulfilling their purpose, they had no use for me. So my foundation consists of respecting and honoring what I’m feeling and expressing myself—even if I have to take time to think about it. Don’t let your fear of anything hold you back from being who you are. Get honest with what your soul needs. Get honest with what you’re feeling and don’t be ashamed of it. Once you stop hiding, that is when the real you shines.