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Fear of Knowing Yourself

While there has been a lot of discussion about people coming to know their own unique power, and finding their authenticity, there are also a lot of people terrified to find out who they really are. Why would we be afraid of knowing our true selves? What would happen if I could be my full self? What would change in my life? What would I be risking?

We’ve been conditioned our entire lives from family to our school system to our workplaces to ‘play the game’. We’ve been shown what gets rewarded and how to move up in a homogenized system. We’re either ambitious and think we can beat the game, or we’ve lived in our heads listening to all the negative self-talk and feel down deep there’s no way we’re going to win this game. That’s for other people who are ambitious. I’ll just stay where I am until I retire then I’ll go do what I really want to. Or work is not my life, so I find satisfaction, success, peace or joy outside of work.

There is a fear for our very survival while we are still in a system that feels rigged and serves the few who make it to the top. Many are just not willing to do what it takes because it goes against every fiber of their being or they may just feel they aren't good enough to make it. We’ve been conditioned to think we need to get an education so we can get a good-paying job to afford the things we want in life. We may be focused on paying the bills, caring for our family, and being able to go on the occasional vacation, buy a new toy now and then, and take the safe bet with a job that pays the bills. Sometimes a simple life is more attractive than the stress it takes to play the game and ‘win’.

Learning about who you are and how your energy works in a workplace or in your life can be the difference between having the energy to work and not. As our world becomes more technologically dependent, we’ve created more work than we can manage. Knowing where your healthy boundaries are for what you have energy for and what you don’t may help you avoid burnout. Understanding how your energy gets used in a business can allow you to do what comes easily and let go of the things that are stressing you out, and wasting your energy.

Like the story of the monastery that was about to be attacked and wanted to protect its valuables before the warriors arrived. They covered their most prized possession, a golden Buddha statue, with clay, disguising it as a regular statue, hoping the enemy wouldn’t notice it. It worked and for years it remained hidden, as the monks were all killed in the attack. It was discovered centuries later when they were relocating their village and getting ready to move it. As the monk pondered how to move it, he noticed something glinting in the sun and he began to chip away at the clay.

We’ve done the same thing, covered our true selves, our Buddha nature, with the clay of conditioning and what we’ve had to do in order to fit in, be accepted, get along, be loved, and stay safe. How we’ve had to mold ourselves into someone we’re not to survive while we follow society's rules. It hasn’t been safe to uncover our true nature until now. We are in the midst of a massive shift in history, the change of an era from one focused on planning and control to that of the individual. This is the time to allow ourselves to come out of hiding even though the world seems chaotic during this transition, our safest bet now is to know and be ourselves.

So, what’s the reward for uncovering ourselves? It can be very transformational to come to know ourselves deeply seeing ourselves clearly for the first time. The chipping away might involve letting go of conditioned thoughts about ourselves, and other people’s projections on us of who they think we are. Or who we think we have to be in order to be loved, accepted, and protected in our family or workplace. Our role at work might change or we may end up losing a friend or two when we realize that we really don’t have anything in common with them anymore now that we can see ourselves more clearly and connect with what we really want in life.

These can be scary things to consider since the conditioning we’ve received has been the clay we’ve plastered over ourselves, hiding our true identity. What if that cracks and starts falling apart? What if people see who I really am? Will I still fit in?In fact, that is what has to happen to reveal our true selves. And what if being that true self feels more amazing than gold? Strong, powerful, reflective, valuable to ourselves and others. What if being your true self creates resiliency and empowers you to do the things you really want to do in the world? What if it sets you free to be more relaxed about yourself in the world no longer fearing what others think of you or expect of you?

That quiet, sleeping self, that’s been watching and waiting for the perfect timing to show up. The one whose voice is small but persistent and won’t be ignored any longer. The one that is busting to be free as long as it is safe to come out now. The one who has been trying to be seen and heard your whole life that you may have thought has given up but is ready now.

I understand this feeling as I lived it my whole life, watching, waiting to see if it was safe to be me. To live for me and not for everyone else or their expectations of me or even my perceived expectations of what they wanted from me. When I finally decided to ask for what I wanted in life, it was terrifying! I thought the floor would disappear from under my feet and I’d fall into a big, black oblivion. In reality, in that moment I took the risk, I fell what felt like about an inch.

And I laughed so hard I cried that I’d waited so long to take that leap of faith. No one said a thing. There was no pushback. Everyone adjusted quickly to the new me, the one who could now set boundaries that considered my needs too. In fact, it seemed easier for others to know what to expect from me when I set clear boundaries. When I stood up for myself first. When I claimed my own inner power, my own gold. And as I knocked off the surrounding cement and stepped into my life as me, I realized that everyone had been waiting for me to do this too. I can now participate in life as all of myself and not just parts that I had been acting in order to fit in.

BG5 helped me see myself clearly and for the first time, my life made sense. I was able to see how I'd been conditioned and what I could let go of. What wasn't me just fell away like the clay off the statue, dust on the floor never to be worried over again. One realization after another and a new picture of who I really am emerged that I deeply resonated with and knew in every cell of my body to be true. Letting go of all the things I've tried to be in my life that frustrated me, stole my energy, made me nervous and anxious - gone. The peeling away of the clay was so deeply satisfying as I laughed and cried equally. It wasn't painful, it wasn't scary, it was relieving to let all the dead weight go.

This time in history is a great turning point for each of us to allow our true selves out of their hiding place, to let go of the clay that has bound us to other people’s expectations of us, or our own perceived expectations that we thought we needed in order to survive and be loved. We’re at a pivot point and we’re not going back to the way things were. The era of control and planning is ending, and we are heading into the era of the Individual where we will only thrive if we can be fully ourselves.

If you’re ready to get to know who you really are and connect with your inner gold, BG5 Coaching can show you the map of your uniqueness and help you clear away the cement stopping you from living fully as yourself.


Shelley-4 small.jpeg

I'm Shelley

I am inspired by all the ways BG5 can help us know and trust ourselves to show up at work and in life with confidence allowing us to 'do what we love and love what we do'!

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