Learn to Be As Authentic as a 4-Year-Old
Have you ever watched a young child, say under the age of five, interact with the world? They are unapologetic about what they want. They’re quick to laugh, curious about everything, and relate with everyone on an equal basis. Sure, they’re still learning to respect others’ boundaries, but they have absolutely no doubt that they deserve the best in life. They are authentic and real.
Young children, especially those growing up in loving homes, know that they are innately worthy of existing, and of following their passions. Their sense of self-worth is fully intact. They know what’s meaningful to them, and what is not.
This isn’t something you see often in adults.
But why? How did we lose that innate feeling of self-worth and purpose?
An accumulation of factors, like these:
- Failing, in a world where winning is everything.
- Not fitting in, as part of a society that values conformity over uniqueness.
- Being shy or introverted in a culture that favors the outgoing.
- Criticism and correction by well-meaning family members, which nonetheless made you feel like you weren’t good enough.
- Being a woman, a minority, or a disabled person.
- Having a sexual orientation that’s frowned upon by mainstream culture.
- Growing up in poverty, and not being able to keep up with the mythical Joneses.
- Looking different, feeling different, being different.
Nothing is wrong with any of these things, and yet you were taught that being different is bad. You absorbed that lesson, especially as a child. Public school is all about conformity, about measuring yourself against others. In the institutional school setting, even the most popular and academically-minded kids often feel like a fraud, hiding their true selves behind a mask of success.
The self-worth you inhabited as a young child gets buried under a mountain of beliefs that were served up to you by those around you and society as a whole. You bought into the notion that you’re just not good enough to live your dreams, to have what you want, to live a joyful life. You’re fed the line that you should be humble, and modest, and not “toot your own horn.”
And sooner or later, you believe it, to the point where you feel guilty on those rare occasions when you do feel good about yourself. So many kind, creative, and compassionate people believe that there really is something inherently wrong with them.
It doesn’t feel good – and it’s so untrue!
The bright side to all of this is that you learned this behavior, so now you can unlearn it. You can shed those layers of beliefs and criticism and pain, and uncover your authentic self. It’s still there, somewhere deep inside.
You know that you’re worthy of love, of joy, of sharing your unique gifts with the world. Deep inside, you know that you wouldn’t be here without a purpose. Once you shed those layers of doubt and shame, you know that you can really shine.
I’ve been working with my core beliefs for several years now, including reclaiming my self-worth and self-love, with amazing results. By uncovering and embracing my innate worthiness, I’ve become so much happier. My life has changed for the better. I’m making incredible progress toward my most cherished dreams. Each day, I wake up feeling truly grateful for my life.
No, it’s not a magic pill. I still have down days, and failures, and disappointments. But the difference is, there’s no need to blame myself. I know that I’m worthy of love, joy, and health. I fall down, but I get back up and try again, without all the self-criticism and recriminations that used to hold me back. It feels fantastic!
Is this something you want for yourself?
Sure, you can take this journey on your own, like I did, with the trial-and-error, three-steps-forward-two-steps-back approach. But wouldn’t it be awesome to have some support from someone who’s been there? To discover techniques that will help you in your quest to rediscover your authentic self and your innate worthiness? To jump-start the process with a boost of momentum?
BlackLion and I are offering a free virtual workshop that lends you a helping hand on your journey to self-worth. Join us for A Self-Worth Tune-Up: Gear Up for an Epic 2017! on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 7pm EST. You’ll tune in from the comfort of your own home to learn tools to uplift your worthiness and banish old negative beliefs.
Let your inner 4-year-old out to play, and you’ll be welcoming more joy, purpose, and self-love into your everyday life. You won’t regret it!