Red Hair, Don't Care!
Being True to you
As you may have noticed from the photos on my website, I’m not a natural redhead. But for a long time, I had always looked at people who had dyed their hair really red. But I always thought that I should be a grown up and those vivid colours are not suitable for me. When I was in the hairdressers having my usual cut and colour, someone was having their hair coloured bright red. I mused to my hairdresser, “I wish I could have my hair that colour”. “Why don’t you then?” she replied. I came out with all the usual reasons why I shouldn’t have it done. Her response “Nah! It won’t take long to do and it’s reversible if you don’t like it”. I was nearly convinced. Then when no one noticed I’d had my hair done, I decided I was going to be true to myself, go outside my comfort zone and get it done. Now I absolutely love it, and am pleased I found the courage to be true to myself. The response from people has been great, not the disapproving judgemental responses I’d built up in my mind. So, with that in mind here’s five things that can help you be true to yourself and become more self-aware.
Stop trying to please others.
Sounds simple right? So many of us seek validation from others to get
approval for our decisions and actions. Although it feels like you don’t have a choice, you do. Creating boundaries are an outward form of self-care. Once you have decided what you are able to do, communicate that with loving kindness to others. It will feel awkward and may be difficult at first to voice your true thoughts and feelings as you have been used to catering to others needs. But the people who love and respect you will appreciate your efforts to live your authentic life. Those that become angry or defensive are likely to be benefiting from your people-pleasing nature and may feel threatened by your newfound freedom. You may find you need to re-evaluate your support network.
Learn how to say no and discover your boundaries
Leading on from stop trying to please others is learning how to say no. Many people agree to things, even things they would rather not do, to avoid the uncomfortable feelings associated with saying no. We may say yes when we mean no but don’t want to be seen as being difficult or to disappoint a friend or family member. Saying no is one of the greatest forms of self-care. It means we can create space in our lives to recharge and rest and engage with activities that align with our current goals. And most importantly sets boundaries with people in our lives. Saying no allows us more control and navigation over our own lives. Ultimately, we only have power over ourselves.
Trust your intuition
That ‘gut instinct’ feeling you get when you feel there’s something not quite right about a situation or a person. It can be very difficult to follow your intuition, especially if you find yourself seeking validation from others. This often over rides your own gut instinct. Your intuition makes the right decision for you and no one else. No one knows you better than yourself and starting to trust your intuition is the beginning of knowing what is right for you.
Accept that everyone makes mistakes
I often hear people talking about wanting everything to be ‘perfect’ and then using so much energy trying to achieve something which is nearly impossible. Switch ‘perfect’ for ‘good enough’ and start to begin to accept the mistakes you make and see them as opportunities to learn from them. As often it is when we fail, we make the most progress forward. Let yourself off the ‘perfect’ hook.
People can avoid taking responsibility for themselves and their actions if they have self-limiting beliefs. They may believe they don’t deserve better. When we blame others for our actions, we outsource solution and responsibility, and this often diverts attention away from ourselves and also hands control over to someone or something else. Blaming creates pain, resentment and anger. Responsibility requires us to move from blaming external factors to empowering internal forces. Blame also moves us from responsibility towards victimhood and powerlessness. Taking responsibility allows to take action and be in charge of your own life.
Staying true to you can involve pushing yourself out of your comfort zone many times and each time you do that, your comfort zone get bigger, boundaries and gut instinct get stronger. Having the support of a counsellor can help to bring this into your awareness and look at more tools for your emotional toolbox.