Have you ever experienced yourself shift between the person you act like with one group of people and the person you act like with a different group? Maybe you’ve noticed or maybe it was so subtle you missed it, but we all do it. I didn’t realize how much I was pretending to be someone I’m not until I started to find my true self buried under years of hiding behind masks and putting up shields. Once I found a group of women who supported me no matter what – and actually called me out when I was being inauthentic, I began to reconnect with the real me.
One day I spent the morning with the group I pretended among the most. Then I went directly into virtual circle with the group who supports me being authentic. Just before my circle started, I made the switch. And I noticed it. It was a “WHOA!” moment because I did a 180 degree flip! Not a small, nuanced shift in how I laugh or what the appropriate topics of conversation are, but a total reconfiguration of myself!
I couldn’t believe it! I immediately knew which version of myself I liked better: the no-pretending version. No wonder I never felt comfortable with that first group; I was stifling myself under so many layers of faking it to try and be who I thought they wanted me to be that I was barely a shred of my true, authentic self around them.
Slowly, I’ve been letting myself drop the shields with that first group. Thanks to my circle, I know myself much better and I have a place to practice being in my truth. It’s been life changing! Especially since I have to be around that first group quite often. With the support of my circle I have worked through my limiting beliefs and fears about the first group not accepting me for who I am. I now realize they want me to feel comfortable and happy being with them so we can have real connections.
It takes time to break habits and reframe long-held beliefs. And, of course, I still keep some things to myself because they are solely for my personal enjoyment. I continue to move forward with grace and self compassion while developing new habits, and so much gratitude for the self awareness and the support of the wonderful women in circle with me.
How would it feel for you to have support like that? For others to see you as your real, authentic self and love you just as you are? To have a space to practice being your true self (because, let’s be honest, it’s often easier to keep hiding and pretending)? If you’re longing for deeper connection with your true self and with others check out the Connect Deep-Her Circle here.