The more we know ourselves, the easier we can make intentional decisions about how we spend our days - and in the end our lives. As simple as it might sound there are often many subconscious patterns and motives that drive us, and from experience we can really step into our personal power if we start to uncover and become aware of these drivers.
Recently, I had a personal discovery as I walked across Spain following El Camino de Santiago (I plan on sharing much more about that experience soon). I met a handsome man, who was kind, and I was physically attracted to him, but when I felt into it our life values seemed so different, and to be honest I wasn’t interested in him. However I felt a side of me come up where I would automatically act in ways that would gain his approval. I saw a default mode in me, where I would mold myself to fit the interest(s) of the other person just to gain his desire, appreciation and approval. Once I realized that, I was actually horrified and kind of embarrassed. Yes, it does feel edgy to share this publicly, but as wise Brené Brown has uncovered; shame can only thrive when it’s kept hidden.
We all want to love and be loved. I like to think that I was much more fierce around guys in my young adult years, but things changed in my early 20’s especially in relation to experiencing the first big heartbreak. However, I don’t always believe it’s necessary to trace the roots of patterns and drivers, there’s so much we unconsciously pick up as we grow and mature as kids and young grown ups. Yes, it can be useful to journal or talk through these things, but the power, I find, lies in seeing it, bringing self-compassion and slowly implementing new behaviors that support us.
Now that I had seen this pattern so clearly in me, I started to observe it, but not act from it. I met many attractive men on the road, but I stopped acting in certain ways to get approval or make myself interesting. Instead I asked myself do I find this person fascinating and inspiring?
Once and for all I decided; I’m done molding myself into something I’m not in order to gain anyone’s approval – be it a potential friend or lover, male or female.
It felt very empowering.
The people I got to know along the road and spent time with where open, curious, and we shared respect, values, and delightful times.
I know this pattern will still come up as an automatic reaction, since it’s been my default mode of operating for years. However now that I’ve seen it, I have the power to change it. It will take patience, compassion, encouragement and support, but awareness is the crucial first step.
Maybe you’ve had a similar experience? I’d love to hear about a pattern that you’ve recently discovered, or if you feel like you need support to uncover unconscious drivers feel free to get in touch. That’s what I’m here for…