This shows up as the “should have”, ” could have” conversation we have with ourself when we realize we ignored that little voice inside us that was telling us to do something differently. Wouldn’t it be great to have an idea of how to catch ourself while we can still change our choices and live our values?
Answer these 3 questions to gauge if you have been betraying yourself…if you have, you can CHOOSE what you will do about it!
1. Do you make yourself small in your relationships?
What is the story you tell yourself about who you are in your relationships? Are you a burden? An inconvenience? Do people “put up” with you? Or do you feel you bring something positive to your relationships? Do you think of yourself as a good friend? Someone who has the courage and kindness to call people on their stuff? After all, we don’t actually want people to buy the facade or mask we are showing, we all just want to be really seen for who we are.
If you are not sure, start by noticing the language you use when you talk about yourself– do you make self-depricating comments, like “that was my fault (even when it wasn’t)”, do you apologize for things that have nothing to do with you? Or say things like “I just don’t know what I am doing” (even when you do but just made a minor mistake). Maybe you prime people to reject what you are about to say by comments like “this is probably a stupid question, but…”. Some of us do this by not sharing our successes with others, when we are doing this a lot, we don’t even really let ourselves be excited about them!
The story we tell ourselves and others about who we are CHANGES how we experience ourself and how others experience us. For example, if you start with “this is probably a dumb question”, people are more likely to perceive you as being less intelligent or knowledgable whether or not it was actually a dumb question, and you will too. If you any of the above sounds familiar, you are making yourself small in your relationships.
This is draining because we are denying the reality of the powerful strong and healthy us who is there, and it takes resources to make ourselves small when we are really big, to deny our gifts and lie to ourselves and others about who we really are.
2. Do you do things you know are bad for you, and not do things that you know are good for you?
We would like to argue that they are just bad habits that we can’t break- but most of us sometimes do the healthy thing and sometimes not. If this is the case, it is not that we don’t know HOW to make healthy choices, we clearly have the SKILLS required, so it is not just a bad habit that we can’t break. But it sure is a great way to make ourselves small and dampen/ distract ourselves from our connection to our strong and healthy self.
We often do this because we don’t feel we are allowed to be strong and healthy, or because we are afraid of what that would mean. What if it meant we got really angry at people? Or sad about things that we have gone through? Many of us have learned that those feelings are not ok and may even get us rejected by the people in our lives, making them dangerous.
If this is true for you, you will make the healthiest choice for you when you are ready, until then, consider what happens if you don’t listen to your strong and healthy self? What is it costing you to dampen your signal?
We will often fill our schedule with all sorts of things we “have” to do, and some may even be value-based activities, but not the ones that would be healthiest for us. We also always know relatively quickly if we are focusing our energies on the right things, because we start to feel depleted pretty quickly when we don’t.
A recent example for me would be that just before school started again and we were about to undergo a massive change in our schedule and how we actually manage our day to day lives, I “had” to get a bunch of organizing done. This is actually value based, and I did get a lot done, BUT I was doing this as a way to avoid meditating for a couple of days after learning my aunt died. I didn’t want to sit with the grief. As a result, I was fretting over getting organizing done, when that is really not something that would usually cause me distress. Sometimes we just fill our time with anything, and it can be even trickier to catch ourselves when we are filling it with value based stuff, but strong and healthy always knows when we are focusing on the low hanging fruit and not on the things that we need to focus on and will let us know.
By focusing on depleting activities or minimally energizing activities, we are also dampening our connection to strong and healthy us, and denying what we know that we know- ultimately, making ourselves small again.
So all said- If any of the above sounded familiar, it is safe to say that you are betraying yourself. So now that you recognize this, you are at a fork in the road, who do you want to be moving forward? Are you going to keep dampening your signal or are you ready to lean into your greatness?
Are you ready to TRUST WHO YOU ARE AND WHO YOU WILL BECOME?