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The Pathway to Authenticity is Self Approval

Every day that we pretend to be someone we are not, to gain the approval of others, we slowly but surely erode away another chunk of our true identity.

Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted as saying; “What other people think of you is none of your business”. She went on to say; “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Life changing statements that we all need to embrace.

It’s time to escape “The Performance Trap” and become your authentic self once again.

You know the story. You put on your best performance you can with the hope that you gain acceptance and significance in the eyes of another. There is no guarantee, even when we go above and beyond, that we will receive their approval. When we get it we feel great, but when we don’t we can be left deflated, disillusioned and disenfranchised. Unhealthy self talk creates even more doubt and uncertainty of our worth. “Why am I never good enough?” and “What do I need to do to please these people?” The result is that our identity takes a beating and we feel even worse about ourselves.

A performance is something I DO. My identity is who I believe I AM.

If I get cranky and yell at my teenager, in a desperate hope to get compliance, I immediately feel uneasy in the pit of my stomach. Instantaneous remorse makes me start to question my actions as I love my child and it’s not my intention to take out my frustration on them. I know what I did was not good behaviour and want to do better next time. That’s OK, it’s healthy to recognise when something you DO needs to change. The problem is when we nurse and rehearse the feelings of guilt for not doing a good job in the situation, we can go from “I yelled at my child” (something I did) to “I am a bad parent” (someone I believe I am).

The way to escape this performance trap and becoming authentic again is SELF approval.

Performing is not the problem; it’s the motive for doing so that is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with showing others around your gifts and talents. It’s even OK to like getting a word of affirmation or a pat on the back in the process. The trap is set however when the underlying reason we are performing is to get the approval and be accepted.

So instead of running this old strategy that erodes the very fabric of who you really are, let me teach you a more resourceful one. What I am about to share with you changed my life and the lives of many people I was impacting.

Step 1: Take sole responsibility for defining your worth,

Step 2: Engage in positive self talk that builds your identity, and

Step 3: Perform from a position of SELF APPROVAL, rather than seeking it from others.

So let me ask you a question.

What are the most important people in your world missing out on by only seeing a counterfeit version of you instead of the fair dinkum one?

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