Why is it so important to be authentic why do I feature it so much in my coaching?

Nobody thinks they’re being fake, everybody feels like they’re the good guy and they’re genuine and quite possibly, it’s everybody else that is weird.

And the great thing is – that is actually mostly true in our heart and soul – but our ego mind has got a very clever way of positioning things for us, because its main job, is to protect us, defend us and get us through life to the best of its ability. And it will do, and believe, anything to get us there.

The ego mind is formed in infancy when a baby starts to understand and have the awareness that they are an individual and that there is also the other – their mother or siblings, family, other people. This process starts the process of forming our personality and inner belief systems.

Those experiences inform the ego and personality as to what the world is like and how you have to be in the world to survive in it.  Surviving doesn’t just mean ‘will I live or die’ – it concerns itself with all our needs,  physical, emotional, societal needs too – will be accepted? Will I be safe? Will I be loved? Am I OK? Do you think I’m OK? What do you think about me…?

Being accepted for who we are is what we crave but we fear that we won’t be accepted – and let’s face it, there may have been times when we have not been OK. Sometimes, we have experiences that are real and disturbing and damaging. We have to somehow deal with it, process it and hopefully, avoid it ever happening again. We create a system of protection around us – as best as we can while we are still fairly helpless and dependent on others for every single thing we need. Even if we have had a great childhood and nothing majorly unfortunate happened to us, we can interpret, decide and infer something that forms a ‘belief’ that may end up being fairly unhelpful, to downright destructive. It can then go on to be a core part of our operating system – encoded in our inner world.

Belief systems control everything, like the programming parameters of a computer, or the software that runs on it – so it’s important that we understand how we see the world and us in it – so that we live the best life possible for us. If we have, for example a belief that ‘I can’t be myself because I’ll be laughed at,’ possibly because we were actually laughed at in some incident as a child and it was so embarrassing for us that we decided we can’t do whatever it was, ever again, then this can rule many situations in our lives. Like giving us crippling stage fright, for example.

This becomes all the more interesting when we feel like, no matter how we try, we aren’t getting where we want to in life. Or at least with a particular goal or situation. Maybe it’s a career goal, relationships or just feeling bad and we don’t know why. Or maybe we do know – but there is seemingly, nothing we can do about it.

I am not a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a counsellor – so I feel it’s important to say that there are people who are qualified in those disciplines that can unpick those areas with you.  If you feel you need that kind of help then I urge you to seek it out and if things are very critical I would also encourage you to talk to people like the Samaritans or other other charities that are set up for people who are in crisis.  (https://www.samaritans.org)

I’m not talking about when we’re in crisis like that. What I’m talking about is our authenticity with regard to our creativity and how we present ourselves in the world, because even things that are not about actual survival, can greatly hinder our progress.

Our ability to be real, be ourselves and be the most authentic soul that we can be is, in my opinion, why we are on this planet in the first place. We are all here for a reason and one of those reasons is to be yourself and to bring our whole creative beautiful self to show up in the world. Yes, you are unique. Yes, you are beautiful. Yes, you are here to bring that, fully.

However, all that has happened to us in our life can cause us to cover up that purity, cover up that bright divine spark of genius, of our talents, our empathy for others amongst the other great qualities that make us human.

This is the ego doing its job to protect us from either real danger or perceived danger based on those experiences – and it may not even have happened to us – it may be something that happened to someone else.

Our defence against these uncomfortable or difficult experiences is that we start to put on layer after layer of protection. It’s sort of an energy barrier – we’ve all either done this or seen it in others. When they just won’t let you in.  Those layers build up over time and eventually get so big that we lose touch with ourselves and those around us. We become isolated, lonely and disconnected not only to friends and family but to ourselves.

Maybe you’re sitting there thinking, “I’m fine. I’ve built up whatever barriers to protect myself for good reason and I’m glad about that – I don’t want to be hurt again so why would I even think about removing my layers, becoming vulnerable? What’s wrong with a safe bubble to exist in? People just abuse your trust anyway so I’ll just stay here, in superficial-land and hang out in my comfort zone, thank you very much.”

Here’s the problem. If we block pain, grief, sadness, fear – basically any emotion, block ourselves from feeling it – we also block out joy and happiness.  (Check out Brene´ Brown’s TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en ). We end up feeling not much of anything. Then we feel empty, disconnected, unhappy. Guess what else is blocked?  Creativity. Yes, that very thing we are trying to do most in our lives, trying to make a living at, trying to achieve something great at – is actually blocked.

Is that being your best and most talented, potential-reaching, awesome self? Is it being authentic?

The thing that is in command and is controlling us in everything we do is the ego mind and it should be the other way around.  We ought to be able to observe the ego responding to situations and be able to decide whether that danger is real or not.

So what do you do about it?  There are things you can do. It takes time but is totally and utterly worth doing. It involves the process of understanding each belief that you created as a child, and deconstructing that belief bit by bit. Feeling what you needed to feel and moving through it. It takes courage, time and lots of self-love. Even if you don’t initially feel the self-love, I assure you that it’s even more important to start the process. Eventually, when you’ve done enough sifting and healing – you will feel something has changed. You’re different, at peace and calmer. You’ll feel more confident, safer – and your authentic, creative, genius inner toddler will allow you to play in joy instead of fear. Your energy will be about playing and not trying to keep you safe from the past. And creativity – is playing.

If you would like some help with any of the above, by all means, contact me and let’s talk about what you need. https://authentic-artists.com