Do you carry the feeling of not being your authentic self or living authentically, and a fear of doing so? If your answer is yes, here are two significant causes for this you need to be aware of.
What I consider the first cause—a genuinely significant one—is that we, for the most part have been socially “disconnected” from our whole-mind self that requires our intuitive skills be included in any thoughtful, creative mental processing. Developing and using this aspect of who we really are will assist us out of the negative effects of the other cause, which I mention in a moment, and into living as our authentic selves.
Years back, Dr. Roger Sperry conducted a surgical experiment that disconnected the logical part of the mind from the intuitive part. The result was telling: Without the intuitive abilities, the logical mind is unable to discern true from not true. This is a primary reason to keep in mind that genuine intuition never lies to us or steers us wrong.
The brain is a computer, and like a computer is programmable. Our initial and most prominent programs originated outside of us: they came from others who conveyed to us what is to be judged good or bad about ourselves, others, events, and life. We continue this pattern when we don’t turn to our intuition for more information.
The fact that a bigger picture beyond isolated incidents always exists is seldom included in our early childhood programming; nor is the fact that we have a whole mind, not just a logical mind, nurtured and developed. Society demonstrates a higher value is placed on logic than on intuition, as though we only have one and not the other, or should. Even if we believe or know differently, and even after evidence of what a whole-mind approach can create, we still generally fear expanding this, much less owning it as a fact of our human nature and design.
This means we struggle more often than not, even with matters that could be simpler to resolve, because we rely on logic that says matters are “black and white” or “good or bad”—defined as such for us first by others; and this results in our accepting untruths from others about ourselves and life. We accept these untruths with no further exploration such as using a “What else might it be” approach, often because non-acceptance of certain untruths—or questioning what we were told—resulted in some form of penalty. We adopt and adapt in hopes of being awarded acceptance.
Because high value is place primarily on logical thinking and behaving, we remain mostly disconnected from our authentic whole-mind selves. We know something is missing, but we look in the wrong direction to find and improve this.
This misdirection causes us to put more focus onto perceived weaknesses rather than genuine strengths—our own, as well as others’. And this leads to the other cause of feeling inauthentic: Living defensively. Defensive behaviors are a result of low self-esteem caused by feeling unable or uninformed about how to self-determine our worth or value separate from what others expect of us or “should” on us. We’ve been programmed, and have bought into the belief that we must meet others’ expectations in order to be assigned personal worth or value—by them, which is untrue. So, instead of exploring and discovering who we are and using our whole mind to do this, we spend our lives trying to please others, or at least, to not draw negative attention to us.
No one wants to feel embarrassed, humiliated, or considered a failure; and in our attempt to avoid this, we live defensively—sometimes in the extreme. But we have to realize that defensive living is motivation, energy, and life purpose in reverse. There’s a high cost paid when we practice defensive living. Here are several costs, though you maybe could list more.
Cost 1: Fear of embarrassment or humiliation impedes our ability to hear constructive feedback; and some either go ballistic or wither if any kind of criticism is given, including constructive. This fear hampers our ability to productively resolve issues and conflicts that come our way.
Cost 2: It’s exhausting to try to keep our weaknesses hidden from others. We put so much energy into this that we sacrifice a great deal of our creative, productive energy that leads to desired experiences and results.
Cost 3: Belief that we have to fix what’s “wrong” with us or with others or with our life locks the “this is broken” pattern into place, and we experience feeling we and life are perpetually broken, and possibly beyond transformation, instead of focusing on what and how and the truth that improvements can happen.
Cost 4: Defensiveness creates a negative, limiting magnetic field around us and “more of the same” comes our way, even if “new” issues are variations on a very old theme. We imagine defensive living will shield us from what we fear, but it just leads to what’s often called self-fulfilling prophecy (“That’s exactly what I was afraid or knew would happen!”).
Cost 5: It’s exhausting to try to identify and rid ourselves of what we believe are our every weakness; plus, we often find our “list” of top weaknesses may have the same items as 5, 10, or more years ago—we feel unable to break the pattern. This is because our time and energy are almost solely focused on perceived weaknesses, rather than on using strengths and building upon strengths.
Cost 6: It impedes our ability to accept responsibility for ourselves and our lives—we’re terrified to make a mistake. Or if we make a mistake, we behave as though the worst has happened—because that’s how we feel, and sometimes were made to feel. We disregard the fact that everyone makes mistakes, that mistakes can truly be used as opportunities to learn and improve, not as reasons to be punished or self-punished.
Living defensively isn’t living. Defensive living based on what’s been described here is depleting. If you focus on your strengths—using them and building upon them—you’ll find you engage your creative, inspired, intuitive aspects. This is energizing. Recall a time you were in your creative groove. No energy depletion there! This is why problem-solving based in intuitive, creative whole-mind processing gives you energy for more and for better. Intuition is able to give you inspired information that your logical mind can then take action on. This is our natural design and how we can perform at our best.
What might happen if you put into practice the application of your strengths, intuition, and creativity towards whatever may need a solution or resolution? You’d listen to and follow your inner compass instead of taking detours and misdirection prescribed by others. What’s more authentic than that?!
Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer
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Joyce Shafer, Life Coach, Author, and provider of Love Who You Really Are, Go for What You Really Want—an 8-week life-changing online coaching course that lets the real you come out and play (you know you want to!), and publisher of State of Appreciation, a free weekly online newsletter that blends practical & spiritual approaches to enhance personal power and self-realization through articles, and free downloads, when you subscribe at http://stateofappreciation.webs.com