When’s the last time you put on a happy face hiding how you were really feeling? Or said “Yes!” when you really wanted to say, “NO!” Or held back instead of speaking up?
If you’ve done any of these things in the last couple days, you’re not alone. Most of us have developed a way of living that’s partly authentic, partly inauthentic.
It’s a survival impulse.
Think about it. In caveman times, if you were exiled from the tribe, left to handle the dangers of living in the wild on your own, (animals, the elements, etc), the chances are pretty good that you would die.
So, in order to ensure we stay alive, many of us have developed a way of being that ensures we don’t get rejected, cast out and left alone – like people pleasing, or wanting everyone to like you or over-giving at the detriment of your own self care.
And while this strategy may work to an extent, it comes at a major cost.
It hemorrhages your life force
It leads to resentment
It adversely affects your health (contributing things like inflammation and thyroid issues)
And, it actually drives you to addiction patterns.
Here’s how that works.
When we smile through our melancholy, or people please without getting our needs met or silence the emotions arising from within, we create internal incongruence.
Incongruence is when your head, heart and gut are not all on the same page, and so you act out of alignment with your authentic self.
Like when you get a gut instinct to go do something, (leave your job, start a business, put yourself out there, help others, etc).
If you’re living congruently, then you would follow through with it.
But if you’re living incongruently, then your head might get in the way thinking…
You can’t do that!
You’re not walking your talk!
You’ll be judged!
What if you fail!
You’ll be rejected!!”
And so you don’t.
These are just some examples of what living incongruently can look like. The problem with incongruence, is that operating out of alignment with your core truth doesn’t feel good inside.
In fact, it creates internal discomfort and dis-ease.
You get irritated, annoyed, antsy, anxious, easily upset, resentful, tense, overly sensitive, insecure or just not feeling ok without knowing why.
⇒ Here’s the piece that’s so important to get with all this:
The discomfort and “dis-ease” that comes from internal incongruence drives us for a sense of ease and comfort – which we find in addictions.
Food, wine, busyness, sex, love, shopping, screen time…
This is why the #1 secret to being free from any addiction is to become congruent and totally aligned with our authentic selves.
So how do we get back to our authentic selves?
Makes sense right? Ok, so how do we actually do that? Here’s 3 things that will get you on your way:
1. Trust your gut.
How many times have you had a hunch about something and not followed it then wanted to kick yourself afterwards because your hunch was right? Probably more times than you can remember.
Imagine how empowering it would feel if you actually followed that gut guidance. How that might it impact your confidence and ability to trust yourself in making healthy choices.
⇒ Here’s a simple way to detect your gut intuition: Your gut instinct is very visceral. It speaks to you in “hunches.” Or you’ll have a “sense” about something that you can’t otherwise explain.
Your gut guidance DOESN’T speak to you in your head. So if you notice yourself up in your head, then chances are you have just gone back into an incongruent pattern and disconnected with your core truth.
2. Honor your feelings.
Let’s face it, it’s not always fun to sit with uncomfortable emotions. I used to think emotions were messy, unprofessional and weak. I took great pride in being able to stuff them and not let them get in the way of my day. (But I was at the time also binging on brownies at night so I clearly had lots to learn about feeling feelings).
Whether you avoid emotions or stuff them or ignore them all together, if you truly want to be authentic and free from addictions, then learning how to be with them is key.
⇒ A quick tip to help you is to let the feelings be there without trying to fix them or analyze them. Just stay in the feeling, without creating any story about why they are there. Let yourself feel it fully, and usually within a couple minutes (if you stay in the sensation of the feeling vs. the story about the feeling), the emotion will move on and out.
Remember, emotions are e-motions [energy + motion] so they want to move through you.
3. Speak your truth.
Even if you consider yourself pretty authentic already, often times we withhold, omit or straight out lie in order to avoid disappointment, conflict or rejection from others.
Or sometimes we don’t speak up because we don’t know if what we have to say is valuable or if anyone actually cares.
All of these reasons and more can have us buttoning up, holding back or speaking in half truths.
The problem with that is that even partial authenticity will still create an internal sense of discomfort and uneasiness that will eventually drive us to seek some ease and comfort which can take us back to addictions.
⇒ So if you’re set on being free, then here’s an important tip to help you speak up more authentically: Own what is yours.
Before speaking up to someone else, consider: What do I need to take responsibility for?
Taking responsibility for what is yours (your story, projections, fears, attachments) and NOT taking responsibility for what isn’t yours (their story), will allow you to honor your truth in a conversation while also honoring the other person you’re speaking with.
OK, LOTS to chew on this week. I want to know what of the things we talked about today felt the most relevant for where you’re at. Please hit reply and let me know, and in the meantime, sending you so much love.❤️
In dedication of all of you,