Do you sometimes wonder where stress comes from? Does it build up over time and like a dam wall, suddenly bursts after a long rain? Unexpectedly, out of nowhere, with the tiniest most insignificant trigger which makes you lose it, or tips you over the edge, so to speak.
It is no wonder that stress is increasing in our lives. There are so many demands on us as humans; digital technology; political events; changes in our external world; all on top of what we are already coping with in our lives. We all lead busy lives; managing demands from family; keeping good friendships going; our work life; being great parents; and being great leaders for other people at work. Whatever it is for you; I genuinely understand it. I recently left my safe well-paid, secure corporate life to follow my greatest passion and purpose. I had strategically planned this for a number of years but nothing prepared me for the unexpected stress and pressures of going it alone.
Sometimes, these stresses push us to regulate or compromise who we are at a very deep level. We might sometimes keep quiet because we know if we are truthful and speak our mind, we might rock the boat. This can be with a friend, our partner or in our working life. We might do it once and it works. It doesn’t feel good, but we accept it because we did gain something by doing it. We might have avoided conflict or upheaval, although the conflict played itself out in our minds. Actually, we all want to move through life without too many disruptions and sometimes it is not worth voicing our opinions. It is better to choose our battles.
If this becomes normal for us, over time we compromise a tiny bit of ourselves every time we act this way, preferring to say nothing. In a worst case, we do this so often that it becomes our coping mechanism and we become pretenders; not really knowing who we are any more. We live from one holiday to the next, looking forward to the escape; where we can simply be, without doing all the time. Or we live for getting to the next destination, not really knowing how we got there when we arrive. It can also be living from promotion to promotion; until we realise that it is very lonely, empty, lacking purpose and meaning at the top. We start to have different personas in the various aspects of our lives; making changes for different interactions; and in a worst case, starting to wear a mask at work or for certain relationships.
Once we start living in this way, we forsake a deeper connection with other people and with ourselves. We live without a deep appreciation for the different people in our lives; we might even start to judge the differences between us. This discord between who we are at a deeper level and how we behave can become greater and greater. We compete to protect our vulnerabilities and to control situations, to ensure that our deeper fears and limiting self-beliefs are not exposed to other people. We lock ourselves in a state of doing; driven by ego, fear and our deepest limiting self-beliefs.
The opposite state is the state of being. This is where we become more conscious of these behaviours, thoughts and feelings. We actively want to: understand ourselves better; connect more with who we truly are, our values and purpose; know why we are here; and live our greatest potential and passion every day. We connect at a deeper level with other people when we understand ourselves better and we move to co-creating and forming partnerships that were unheard of before. Through this process of connecting with our true authenticity we gain POWER. This means we have: Presence or confidence; we Overcome our fears, we are a Whole integrated being – deeply connected to body, mind, heart and our intuition; we Effortlessly flow between the various aspects of our lives; and we Resonate with who we are and with other people in a very deep and meaningful way.
© Talita Ferreira author, “The Authenticity Dilemma Resolved®”