Embracing Your Authentic Self: Letting Go of Expectations
Episode 46: Embracing Your Authentic Self
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Hello and welcome back to the Own Your Confidence Podcast! It's Ellie Curry here, and today, I'm recording on Halloween. I've just wrapped up some gaming in Animal Crossing and indulged in my guilty pleasure, binge-watching Pretty Little Liars. Ah, the joys of being yourself, right? I vividly remember the days when shows like this would keep me up all night, but times change. Now that I'm 33, the fear factor has definitely diminished.
Today, I want to dive into a topic of letting go of expectations. This is part of my framework, especially in my workbook, the "Discover Your Authentic Self Workbook." I designed it to help you rediscover who you truly are. You see, for the longest time, I struggled with societal expectations, family pressures, and my own self-imposed standards.
Embracing Your Imperfections: A Journey to Self-Discovery
When we talk about letting go of expectations, it's not just about freeing ourselves from external pressures; it's also about accepting our flaws and imperfections. I recall those moments when I felt I wasn't smart enough, creative enough, or confident enough. The cycle of 'shoulds' haunted me – I should work out, I should eat healthier, I should be more productive.
But here's the thing: 'should' is a word that often leads to self-judgment. Whenever we tell ourselves we 'should' be doing something, we're essentially holding ourselves to unrealistic standards. It's like wearing a mask, pretending to be someone we're not to fit in. These expectations stem from various sources – family, society, friends – and they create an invisible web that we feel compelled to adhere to.
Breaking Free: Curiosity Over Judgment
To break this cycle, I had to become aware of it first. Recognizing when my inner critic was telling me I 'should' be doing something was my initial step. Instead of succumbing to self-judgment, I started asking 'why.' Why should I be doing this? What's driving this expectation? This simple shift from judgment to curiosity was transformative.
For instance, I wanted to work consistently on my business. But instead of berating myself for not doing so, I delved deeper. Why did I want to work on my business? What was stopping me? It turned out fear was a significant factor – fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown. Embracing this fear with curiosity allowed me to dissect it and challenge it.
From Self-Judgment to Self-Compassion: Embracing Your Fears
Understanding your fear response is crucial. For me, acknowledging that I tend to flight – wanting to avoid or run away from things – helped me navigate my fears. Whether it was fear of creating content, fear of failure, or fear of judgment, recognizing my fear response empowered me. I started asking myself, "What if I tried this step? Can I sit with the fear and still take action?"
Embracing the Journey: Self-Love in Action
The journey from self-judgment to self-compassion isn't a linear one. It's messy, it's challenging, and it's incredibly human. Just like my journey to becoming a consistent flosser (yes, that's a thing!), where I had to embrace the imperfections and persist until it became a habit, embracing yourself requires persistence.
So, my lovely listeners, let's throw the 'shoulds' out the window and invite curiosity and self-compassion in. Embrace your fears, acknowledge your imperfections, and remember, you're exactly where you need to be. Here's to a week filled with self-love, curiosity, and embracing your authentic self. Sending you all my love!