Many of us have developed an identity, a role that we continuously play in order to be accepted and stay in our comfort zone. Unfortunately, we rarely stop to question if this role is really who we are.
What most of us don’t know, or try to ignore, is that our true self is right beneath the surface, waiting for us to wake up.
Our true self doesn’t care about others’ expectation, or about what society considers to be normal. It just wants us to grow and flourish. It just wants us to expand ourselves and live according to our true, genuine values — and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.
When we’re aligned to our true self, life is beautiful and we’re in a state of flow. We’re connected to our purpose and we attract people and opportunities that allow us to express ourselves and reach our fullest potential.
But more often than not, we’re too attached to our role. We just want to survive another day and do what’s expected of us. Maybe we feel that something’s wrong, but we don’t really listen to that inner voice.
If we’re lucky enough, there comes a time when our true self has had enough of playing a role that doesn’t fit us. These are some of the signs that you’re going through this process.
1. You’re waking up to your strengths
How many times do we let others tell us what we can and cannot do? How many times do we ignore our dreams because we believe we need to do fulfill other’s expectations?
When your true self starts coming up to the surface, you slowly realize that those dreams you had many years ago are actually achievable. You realize that you have everything you need to follow your true passions, and that nobody has the right to limit your future.
You start asking yourself,
What was I like before I started trying to be someone else? Why have I been trying to cover up my true personality? Who’s to say I need to follow a certain life path? Who’s to say I can’t be a writer/content creator/singer/painter? Why have I stopped doing what I really enjoy doing?
2. You’re starting to realize how dysfunctional everything is — including your family
This is probably the most difficult phase of your awakening. I’m still going through this process and I know how lonely and confusing it can be.
When you start questioning your life, you end up gaining awareness of your conditioning — caused both by society and your family.
You realize how many of your personality traits and emotional patterns actually come from your childhood. You realize that maybe your parents’ love for you is not unconditional — instead, they’ve only loved you when you were meeting their standards. Or that maybe they have messed you up mentally and emotionally.
You realize that many of the things that are considered “normal” are not normal or healthy at all.
“Your true self wants you to see what’s really going on. It tries to wake you up because it wants you to stop believing that your emotionally immature parents knew what was best for you and that creating a role-self is better than being who you really are.”
Dr. Lindsay Gibson, in Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
As children, we often feel that our true selves are not enough to engage our parents and, as a result, we start believing that the only way to be noticed is to become something we are not. Although our true self is still within us, it ends up being oppressed by family rules and expectations.
Then, as adults, we keep playing our role in hopes someone will love us the way we wish our parents had— until our true self wakes us up to our infinite potential.
3. You’re worrying less about impressing others and more about doing what’s right for you
Your true self doesn’t care about what others have to say. It doesn’t care if your goals and dreams will please your family, or if your friends will approve your new plans. It just wants you to be happy.
When you finally realize how much you’ve been neglecting yourself and prioritizing others, your people-pleasing tendencies slowly disappear and instead make space for self-love. Suddenly, earning more or securing a better-sounding title is not so appealing anymore.
You realized that life’s too short to care about what other people want. That you don’t owe anyone any explanations, and that the only person you really, really have to please is you.
4. You’re finally feeling anger and resentment
Becoming conscious of our conditioning is incredibly difficult because all those emotions we’ve suppressed start coming up to the surface — which means we have to face a lot of unwanted feelings about people close to us.
If you’ve been a people-please your whole life, you may feel guilty and ashamed at first, because that’s how you’re programmed to feel. You’ve spent years putting other people’s needs first — not reflecting about your own needs.
But now, you’re fed up with everyone’s judgements and you find yourself wondering why you’ve listened to them all along. You may even realize that some people you once considered close actually cause you anxiety or uneasiness.
Remind yourself that they don’t have to walk on your shoes. They don’t know you better thank you know yourself.
5. You’re letting go of friendships and relationships that no longer serve you
I can’t even count how many people I’ve lost touch with. Friends from high school that I once considered best friends, and acquaintances from college that I used to spend lots of time time.
As you grow, you no longer align with people and place that your old self used to love. It’s confusing and even hurtful, but this is actually a sign of growth.
This is the time to focus on yourself — on your true self. You’ve grown, you’ve changed. You’ll soon align with people who will truly understand the person you’re becoming, and who will support you every step of the way. For that to happen, you need to let go of the past.
“We aren’t meant to have the exact same circle of friends and acquaintances for the entirety of our lives. Unless those people grow in perfect congruence with us, we often step out of pace with them as they head down their own paths in life. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s not a sign of failure. In fact, the willingness to let go of social comfort in order to pursue what feels more authentic to you is a sign of massive, incredible growth.”
Most people don’t tell you that true growth hurts, but it does. It makes you feel confused, anxious and uncomfortable. It requires lots of courage, awareness and willingness to move through the obstacles.
I know it seems like you have no sense of direction. I know it feels like you’ve lost your comfort zone. But here’s a little secret: that’s exactly what you should be doing.
Give yourself some credit.
Are You Being Yourself Or Are You Playing A Role?
When the need for love collides with the need for authenticity.