I want you to meet someone you already know but I’m not sure if you’ve been formally introduced to. You may allow yourself a nod and a smile occasionally but you’ve never sat down and properly got to know…yourself.
I’m talking about your authentic self. So, where would you like to start? Questions? Reflections? Suggestions? You may want some time to prepare. After all, it isn’t every day you meet yourself so you’ve probably got a lot to talk about.
Generally speaking, we don’t often stand back and look at what’s happening to the inner self that’s driving our thoughts, our feelings, our life. Most of the time we’re reacting. Something happens, we react and then move onto the next thing. It’s cause and effect.
In my view, the reason for this neglect of our authentic self is because we don’t have a clear idea of who this person is. We’ve never seriously thought about ourselves as a self contained entity, so we’re unlikely to make the connection easily. If we have formed an impression in our mind about who we are it’s often negative.
For me, contacting that inner self begins by simply making a conscious decision to do so…’I’m going to have some time with myself’. It sounds simple and it is but the first time we do this can be daunting because as with anything new, it’s a step into the unknown.
Sometimes when I’m connecting with my authentic self, I just wait and see what comes up in my thoughts because very often, that’s something I didn’t even know was on my mind. Other times I start with a specific topic that I want to work out, letting my thoughts form and then consciously observing my reaction to them. We can do this anywhere and at anytime. It’s the process that’s important. A routine helps and if we’re getting benefits from it e.g. clarity of direction and priorities, more sense of purpose, new inner resources to manage pressure, then we’re motivated to make the connection.
When we are our ‘authentic self’, we’re not in our ‘Boss’ role or our ‘Expert’ role or any kind of role that we’ve been assigned. We are ourselves, aware of who we are…our values, our strengths and weaknesses.
When we start to explore this inner connection what comes up can be intense: fear, anger, excitement. Our immediate reaction may be to pull the plug and stop. But when we can breathe, stay with the feelings and let them settle, we move towards rational, calmer reactions to what’s coming up in our mind and begin to take it forward and explore it. This is our Authentic Self.