Why do people struggle to be themselves?
Jul 07, 2020
Have you ever felt like you struggle to fit in? Or that no one understands you?
You want to be loved, but don't want to have to struggle in conflict with doing things that will make you more acceptable to others while losing yourself in the process.
Being ourselves in a world with so many pressures, so many expectations and various ‘norms,’ can be daunting.
The risk of being rejected and not accepted feels too much and it can seem easier to go with the flow, blend in with the crowd, agree when you don’t and sacrifice your authentic self, for approval.
Having the courage to be yourself is a challenge many face.
As children we learn ways of behaving that are deemed as worthy of approval from those around us. If our behaviour is not acceptable we take it as a reflection of who we are not as a socially constructed norm.
This follows us through life into adolescence, where we have found ‘place’ amongst peers who accept often modified versions of who we really are.
We learn quickly that if who we really are is not acceptable to others, we adjust for acceptance.
As we reach adulthood, we have developed within our minds, criteria we have learnt over decades, of what will gain acknowledgement and recognition.
We maintain the masks and don't express our true feelings because we have learnt expression is conflict and conflict creates troubled and distant relationships.
There are many things that influence our commitment to be ourselves, including pressures from family and friends.
People may want us to fit into a ‘box,’ because of their own fears about being who they truly are also.
There are expectations from society about how we should think, feel and be for example; as a woman, or man, or when we come from a particular background or ethnicity.
There are established community ‘norms,’ that are deemed worthy and acceptable to others and if we fall outside of these we are seen as strange, weird or ‘different.’
The pressure of these expectations to shape and mould us can become overwhelming when our spirit wants to break free.
Finding ways to set ourselves free from the ‘box’ that we put ourselves in or of others expectations, and starting the journey of honouring yourself will help you to live a life of truth, meaning and purpose.
Honouring and Serving,
Simran K. Rattan MD