The Art of Playing Yourself
Do you have a different personality for different situations or people? Yes, I know that it sounds crazy, but it happens quite often. It’s the kind of thing that sneaks up on you often disguised as “survival skills” or “being nimble” or “resilient”. You know what happens when we try to be all things to all people? We lose ourselves. By the way, I’m speaking from experience here. I was one person to my ex-husband, another with my friends (even had several variations with different friends), another to my parents, another to my colleagues etc. Of course, I didn’t realize how I was driving myself a little stir crazy. I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do. It was exhausting.
At some point in my life I internalized the belief that just being me wasn’t enough. And to keep it real and not play victim – I clearly thought I held some superior intelligence and could read everyone’s mind. The person I was playing for all these people was based on what I thought they wanted me to be or what I thought they needed me to be. I really believed that what I was doing was helpful for all. I was straight out playing myself. And furthermore, by not being authentically me – I wasn’t even showing up as my best. Everyone was getting a fragmented version of me.
Once I stilled myself long enough to realize it didn’t make sense to try to be all things to all people – that’s when things got ugly. Real ugly. See, I’d trained so many people in my life to expect a certain behavior from me – often times that meant not having any boundaries. When I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I was “acting funny” or “tripping” or “going through something”. Guess what? The ridicule from those I spent so much time trying to please wasn’t even the worst part. The fact that when I decided to be authentic to me – I had no clue what that meant. THAT PART!
I was so accustomed to playing a role – playing confident, playing unbothered, playing small, playing perfect, just playing myself. Wait…there’s more. Once I realized I created that crazy for myself – I started to go in on myself, hard. I figured if I was harsh with myself it wouldn’t hurt when people were harsh with me. I was not showing myself grace at all. Again, I was playing myself.
I had a LOT of retraining to do for myself. I realized, I did quite a few things to avoid pain or judgement. I was afraid to be vulnerable because I thought ‘what if I’m not enough’ or ‘what if I’m too much’. The truth is I’m likely not enough for some people and too much for quite a few – and none of that matters. I know emphatically that I’m enough for me. I can say with conviction the journey back to me has been the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done – DEFINITELY WORTH IT. It feels so good to just be. Learning to accept and love oneself is so empowering – it’s true freedom.
“Love yourself first, because that’s who you’ll be spending the rest of your life with.” If you want to study the Art of Loving Yourself instead of the Art of Playing Yourself…let’s talk about it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Trust me you are worth loving you.