Consider just for a moment that every bone in your body is inauthentic. I’m not saying that it is, but just consider it for a moment. Start from the idea that you’re not being yourself in every area of your life. Ask yourself, “Am I hiding here? Am I pretending things are one way, but really they’re another? Am I being real, or am I acting?”
The point of this exercise isn’t to condemn or make all sorts of judgments about yourself, but to set yourself free. So just put the chastisement aside, and get really clear about where you’re hiding and pretending and where you’re being real.
Go through your entire existence: your relationships, your work, your family, your health, your financial life, how you show up in groups of people and the world at large — all of it. A big clue that you’re caught up in the concern for looking good is if you’re burned out, stuck, deadened, resistant, or experiencing a loss of purpose or inner peace. That’s a signal that somewhere in there the real you is missing. When you feel that way, your energy flow is blocked in some way, and that leaves you drained.
Pretending is Toxic: It's the Energy of Disease
I’m not saying that it’s easy to call ourselves out like this. Believe me, I get it; we’ve put a lot of energy into covering up our insecurities or whatever other flaws we don’t want people to see. So why would we own up to things that would get us anything other than admiration?
It’s way more powerful to be conscious of yourself as a fraud, if you are, rather than hiding the fact that you’re not. Pretending is toxic, and it’s the energy of disease.
Do you want to create inner peace, freedom, and an empowered life that’s full of true joy and happiness? Then make it a practice to be real, shoot straight, and tell yourself the truth from a context of empowerment.
True Empowerment: Being Yourself with Everyone in Your Life
When I got to a point where I started to really see how I’d been treating my family and the people around me, it was as if a light switched on. I realized that up to that point I’d been living in a world of blame, fault, and resentment, and now I was able to clearly see the cost and impact that all of this had on my life.
A deep sadness ran through me . . . really deep. And also a kind of gladness, too, because I thought, Whoa, it’s a relief to see this now. The truth really did give me a new sense of freedom.
Out of the discovery that I wasn’t being real, I was free to be myself and fully commit to new practices and clear new pathways. It’s empowering to be in a place where you can be real with everyone in your life. Otherwise, you’re betraying yourself, which is a big hit to your vitality.
What's Fulfilling You? Discovering Your Genuine Qualities
The lighter side of this practice of examining every energetic bone in your body is that you’ll simultaneously realize all your genuine qualities. You get to look at some and say, “Oh, this one’s authentic, actually. This one . . . okay, I like that, it works. I like how I’m being in my [work, relationships, connections with people, and so on]. But this one over here . . . no, that’s not powerful and doesn’t serve me. That’s a place where I’m hiding and want to uncover my freedom and power.” Go through and see yourself clearly, and then, from that vantage point of clarity, you can see what’s fulfilling you and also the work you need to do.
Where are you hiding? Where do you pretend? What are you covering up? And, most important, at what cost?
Creating Fearless Connections: Being Yourself with Others
“I was always worried about people finding out that I wasn’t good enough,” shared Susan, a 45-year-old mother and workshop participant. “I was worried about having to cover everything up, and by doing that, I was keeping myself from having true connections with others. Here I was surrounded by people I loved, and who I knew loved me, but I felt so lonely all the time because I wasn’t really being myself when I was with them.”
I’ve heard countless students talk about an endless array of “flaws” that they’re afraid of exposing. They’re afraid of just being themselves, because they think others will judge or reject them. You may not think that your friends see or feel it when you’re hiding something, but at some level they do. People can sense everything, and whether consciously or not, on some level they know when they’re not getting the real you.
Sharing Truth and Transparency: Practice Speaking From the Heart
This is the practice I offer you to take on. Begin to tell the truth to yourself about where the energy is stuck and where you are hiding, pretending, and lying in your life, intimate relationships, work environment, and family or home life. It’s important that you do this without embarrassment and without invalidating yourself or anyone else. From this position of bravery and clarity, move into action to get the energy unstuck in those areas by restoring your genuine self with people.
What you want to get here is that this is a practice — a new way of being that you will embody with more and more mastery over time. If you have something to say, say it. If you feel tempted to lie or cover something up in the name of looking good or hiding, quickly remind yourself that inauthenticity never works. Never.
When you speak from the heart, you speak into the hearts of others. You relate to everyone else as if they have an open heart, even if theirs has been closed or bound up. The truth always stands up to anything, and we have to trust that. Transformed people are those who can be completely themselves, and they in turn create a transformed environment where truth and transparency can be shared and expressed freely.
*subtitles by InnerSelf
©2013 by Baron Baptiste. All Rights Reserved,
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Hay House Inc.
Book available in bookstores, online, and at www.HayHouse.com
Being of Power: The 9 Practices to Ignite an Empowered Life
by Baron Baptiste.
Being of Power is about transforming relationships. Not just with others, but with yourself, your experiences, your work, your purpose — how you relate to everything in your life. Here you will find the tools to enable you to break through the limiting views that have been keeping you stuck, frustrated, and unfulfilled; expand your viewpoint to see new possibilities; and come into your authentic self. The nine practices in this book are the stepping-stones on the path back to your essential authenticity, which is where your greatest power lies.
About the Author
For 20 years, Baron Baptiste has been a dynamic and influential teacher, trainer, leader, and catalyst in the arena of spiritual, physical, and life transformation. His work powerfully creates bridges from the wisdom of the East to the spiritually hungry West. He revolutionized the training methods of NFL players as a peak-performance specialist on the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff, and has also taught many Hollywood celebrities. He has appeared on thousands of radio and television programs, including the PBS special Transform Your Life with Baron Baptiste. Visit his website at http://www.baronbaptiste.com.