Be Curious About Yourself
I’ve been having a very introspective year, learning a lot about myself, and hopefully in sharing a little bit about it you feel more capable of understanding yourself.
Who we are today is very much a product of who we’ve been. Over time we grow develop certain beliefs and stories that dictate a lot of our lives. Even though we don’t choose these stories and likely never did, they run the show behind the scenes. It’s only when you start to ask questions about why you are a certain way, and what caused you to be who you are, that you can rewrite these stories and weaken disempowering beliefs.
Here’s a personal example of how this has been true in my life. Even though I was an elite athlete for many years, I always refused the idea of taking supplements. No vitamins, no protein shakes, I even steered away from coffee. My reasoning for this was because I don’t want to be dependent on anything, I wanted to be in control of my energy and health without relying on these other resources.
But logically, I know the value of taking supplements, and if I want to get stronger there are things I can do to support muscle growth. So I got curious. If my belief was actually preventing me from improving my performance, I wanted to understand why it’s there in the first place so I can overcome it.
The summary of my introspection is - I realized I was projecting independence. Subconsciously I have a strong dependence on others and a fear of not being able to take care of myself. In order to accommodate for that I overcompensated and engaged in behaviors on the opposite side of the spectrum as an avoidance mechanism.
Again getting curious, I determined a root cause. I grew up in a household that was very comfortable, cheerful and loving. I’m so grateful for my childhood. But it was so loving and caring that any time something kind of went wrong, I could walk up to my parents, my brother, or a babysitter and they’d fix it for me. They didn’t want me to be upset and were doing what they thought was best for me. But this meant that anytime I encountered an obstacle I’d lean on others to help me and didn’t develop the confidence or skills to take care of myself. This left an imprint on me and contributes to my subconscious dependence on others.
There’s nothing wrong with what I discovered. It’s who I am, and that’s exactly how I’m supposed to be. But questioning the beliefs we integrated in our past, and questioning if they serve us today is an incredibly valuable practice. The first step to transforming that belief is through awareness, and the best way to gain that awareness is to be curious about yourself.
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