It can be very easy to slip into an inauthentic way of living over the years. Perhaps you have noticed that you say yes when really you mean no or perhaps you do a job that you hate because you feel it carries more status than the job we would really love to do. Maybe you are constantly striving to earn more money to buy a bigger house or a shinier car when actually all we would like to do is to work less and enjoy your life a little bit more. Before you know it your own needs, values and and desires have become forgotten and life has slowly moulded you into someone that doesn’t feel quite right.
If you’re lucky something might crop up that shakes up your life a little bit and causes enough of a disturbance for you to look around and question if you life is shaped the way you would like it to be. Sometimes this disturbance can be a loss, redundancy, depression or stress but embrace this as an opportunity to take a long hard look at your life and work out what you want to let go of, fight for, or change?
Deep down we all know what is and isn't working for us but we do ourselves a disservice by choosing to ignore that knowledge whilst pursuing the things we feel we need to achieve and do to feel accepted. It’s much easier for us to risk being ourselves and to start tapping into our authenticity and creativity if we are provided with the right environment, an environment in which we feel safe enough to truly be ourselves without fear of judgement, criticism or reprisals and this is the environment I hope to provide in my practice.
Carl Rogers was an American psychologist and one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology, he said
“ the curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I change.” (Rogers, 2012)
So what if you were to stop using up all that energy focussing on what you are not, where you are not and how far you have to travel to get to that imagined “good enough” you? What if you were to accept yourself as you were? Perhaps if you were to shift the focus away from non-acceptance and conforming you would be free to listen to your own needs and desires and perhaps that burden of conforming and pleasing others is the very thing that is blocking your path to growth and change?
Perhaps counselling could help uncover all that suffocated potential, empowering you to do what it is you need to do to live a more rewarding and authentic life.
Michelle Brown MBACP Registered Counsellor and Psychotherapist and Associate Counsellor for West Kent Mind.
Quote taken from
Rogers, C. (2012). On becoming a person. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt