365 Questions, One Page Per Day: A One Year Self-Discovery Journal
Day 90: Write down three things you do to train your authentic self expression
I think the only thing that has ever constrained my authentic self was my professional career because of society’s ideas of what a professional woman in the role ought to look like.
And now that I am not in that role, that went out the window.
Rock the white. And purple. And blue
My authentic self doesn’t want to do permanent hair dye for the rest of my life to hide my white hair because society says white hair makes me look old. Also, my boss said that. And she didn’t think it was professional. Sort of a dick move on her part, but I was young, and I hadn’t found my voice yet- that one that says, ‘Yeah, well, I don’t care what you think and I’m going to rock these hard-earned white glitter strands, thanks.’
Also, my authentic self wants to express herself with purple hair or blue hair. And shades of both. And sometimes turquoise or aqua.
Then it fades back to white. And I dig that too.
But also it constrains you to be a specific way, which would be fine since we all have ‘faces’ for different places. But when the Career doesn’t actually fit with your authentic self, well, that is a small death a day.
What is of Value?
Although, I remember there were things when I was younger that stifled my authentic self. I took a lot of things to heart. And when people shot down things I felt that were so important to me- as being useless and pointless- well, I felt bad about even pursuing doing them. So I hid that I even did them and felt embarrassed. And it took a very long time to even admit to people that I pursued these hobbies, or that they were even actually worthwhile.
I still did some of them, but I felt they were not of value. While others, I stopped entirely until recently. But I learned what I find of value is different from those people back then and maybe people now do. Value isn’t counted only in monetary value. What I get from creative pursuits sometimes has monetary value, yes, but its value to me far exceeds that. And definitely who I am as a person needs creative pursuits for fulfilment in life. No matter what else I am doing, I still need them.
I trained myself to ignore that voice that used to listen to Those people. That voice that had created ideas and beliefs based on those people that said it was not worthwhile to pursue things like that… because they had no Value.
But most of all, I tell myself to STFU
We believe so much about ourselves we hear from others that it digs a hole into our brain and spits it back out like it’s our own ideas and beliefs. So I don’t think it is any surprise that so many women develop Imposter Syndrome, and certainly, I did and have been working on that for years. Or that our self-worth is chipped away at in ways we don’t even know or sometimes acknowledge until years later.
But when we think about where all these ideas and thoughts came from, we can often remember times that influenced them. And as an adult, I have to train myself to tell my brain to STFU. Because none of that crap was true then or now. Society can suck it, really. And the more you do this, the more that You comes out. Not that it isn’t there- just dampened and resisted- because you’re not supposed to Be that way, Do those things, act That way…whatever. And you just become more YOU-ness like Alice in Wonderland.
We are all authentically who we are. All tangled up with old belief systems that do not work for us and limiting beliefs that suck the life from us. But we are all authentically ourselves and authentically tangled up like everyone else. It is just that if we can untangle some of that crap we can become more of what we want to Be without guilt, embarrassment or shame- and, damn, that is something.
We are all becoming something. That may be something that doesn’t change much. Or it may be something that changes a whole lot because we choose to and we know our self-identity is fluid. If we want to express our authentic selves? We just have to choose what our authentic selves are and then go forth and Become that.