Do you self-minimise?
Hello. Do you self-minimise and subsequently dim your light? I do, and I didn’t realise it for years. My first challenge is fighting that internal battle and beginning to type, and I’m not referring to procrastination (not yet!). The battle I speak of is one of social conditioning and/or downright self-consciousness. It’s what strikes fear in some of us enough to limit our social media action to “likes”, “shares”, supporting charities, etc. Anything to avoid judgement. Heaven forbid we actually express ourselves for what we are or what we do, because that’s just showing off/attention-seeking/exhibitionism, isn’t it?
Be loyal to yourself and your values!
Where has this come from, this minimising of who we are? Condoning others for their have-a-go attitude/being “authentic”/just getting on with it oblivious to others’ opinions, whilst simultaneously condemning ourselves if we break out of the habit of nod-and-agree. Indeed, imagine instead maybe saying “no, I actually like the wind and rain” or “I don’t need an encyclopaedic knowledge of politics to have a valid opinion on Trump/Brexit/NRA/immigration”. For many it’s simply down to what you value in other people or those you look up to, i.e being modest and self-effacing. For others, it can simply be part of their personality inclined toward introversion and less of a need for external feedback.
It’s a slippery slope
But what about those who have gradually toned-down, pre-edited, and ultimately renounced their internal and external responses to life? Could it be that they are no longer in touch with how or what they feel? How sensitive a person is can have such a huge bearing on how they react to normal interactions and experiences. For instance, being part of a group of pass-remarkable friends or colleagues can shape how we think others view those around them. Being shamed for expressing yourself as a child, or maybe even just being extremely critical of others yourself can contribute to a negative bias. Ultimately, it can result in living a very restrictive and uncomfortable life. It can take a long time to question why we didn’t just speak up, act out, be true to our values. And would it really have been a big deal? Would we be living a very different life? More adventure? More autonomy? Who knows!
Don’t dim your light!
Well, I’ve finally taken the first step anyway in writing this. Apologies to anyone who feels that by reading this they’ve lost 3 minutes of their life that they’ll never get back. And there we go, I’ve slipped back into pretty much apologising for expressing myself. It really is that automatic and deeply ingrained. I’m wondering if this resonates with you? Old habits die hard, but I’ve taken the first step by typing this first post without excessive “dimming”. It’s not just other people who can dim your light, we ourselves can be just as guilty.
“…I’m not afraid of storms for I’m learning how to sail my ship” – Louisa May Alcott
She who tries learns to have faith in small changes x
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