How to Be the Authentic You Around Unconscious Friends + Family
Reframe What It Means to Stand In Your Authentic Truth
When you start down a transformative path towards living your life as your most authentic self, it can be challenging to lean into your new state of being around unconscious family members, friend groups, and even colleagues. While you are the embodiment of the caterpillar turned butterfly, it won’t always feel amazing or be met with awe. You may find yourself shrinking back into past behaviors or omitting your truth out of fear of judgment, criticism, or loss of connection with others.
While it is a common and uncomfortable experience, these moments are pivotal points for growth. Here is a way to reframe this experience from one of fear to growth:
Fear: I'm going to be different because this is out of the norm for me. I’m sharing beliefs I never have before.
Reframe: This is an opportunity for me to be the light in the room.
What I mean by being the light is to be the embodiment of transformation, higher perspective, love, potential, connectedness, or whatever it is that aligns with your authenticity.
There are ways to be your authentic self around unconscious family members and friends without leaving you feeling frustrated and fearful. In this post, I will be diving into the underlying motivation of this fear, what is fueling the lack of acceptance and judgement from others, and actions you can take when you stand in your truth and are met with contrast.
The Same Fear Expressed in Different Ways
While you experience fears of judgment, criticism, and losing connection, it is important to understand that those judging you also have the fear of losing connection. It is just expressed differently. When they have not experienced you standing in your truth, they are met with the unfamiliar; with shifts outside their paradigm. They fear losing connection with you because they do not know how to relate.
You both fear being different. It is just expressed in contrasting ways. The irony is that your shared fear of being different makes you the same.
By understanding that fear is common when leaning into your authentic self, you can recognize it quickly and address it before it takes over. I like to use the triple threat when it comes to fear - detach, disassociate, disempower:
- Detach - Recognize that fear is an emotion. It is not you.
- Dissociate - Become the observer. Look at the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that come up when fear arises.
- Disempower - Remember that fear is false evidence appearing real. It is not your truth. Really ask yourself in these moments, who am I being when I'm caving into fear, and is this my truth?
Awareness is incredibly impactful when dealing with fear because it allows you to disempower it pretty quickly. Keeping in mind that others are afraid just as you are allows you to actually relate to them rather than fear them, which is also powerful in dismantling fear.
Your Authenticity is Your Light
As I mentioned earlier, remember that your authenticity is your light. Don't be afraid to be the first to light up in the room. I will give you an example from my own life. Just the other day I was on a Zoom call with my family for my Dad's birthday. The conversation quickly turned to how awful 2020 was and fear around COVID and the years to come. This is a narrative that I don't subscribe to and saw it as an opportunity to be the light, to stand in my truth. I commented that this has actually been the best year of my life and that, although it has been a really intense one for the collective, great things have come out of it and will continue to. That is what breakthroughs look like. The crumbling of the old making way for the new. By sharing this, I was the embodiment of higher perspective, love, and potential, standing firmly in my truth in a loving way.
Here are some other ways being the light and standing in your authenticity might look:
- Soaring beyond limiting beliefs, stepping onto a new path entirely, and openly sharing your experience of what is possible with others
- Showing empathy as opposed to gossiping or extending compassion in place of judgment
- Shining a higher perspective on a circumstance
There are many different ways to express your authenticity. Ask yourself: How can I embody my light the next time I am around unconscious family members and friends?
You will come to find that the more you take off your mask and let your light shine, the more others resonate with you. You will be surprised at the conversations you have that you never thought would be possible, simply by being bold and lovingly taking off your mask. The more that you love and accept yourself, the more it will reflect in your outer world. When you do so, you allow others to rise to their most authentic selves as well.
Trade the Outcome for the Present Moment
Another really helpful thing to do when faced with this fear is to focus on the present moment, not on the outcome (also known as the future). Oftentimes we get so caught up in the anxiety of the outcome. We create stories, assume the worst, and set the expectation for contrast from others before anything has happened. However, there are really only three outcomes when you stand in your truth:
- You expand in tandem with your friends and family. This is of course the best-case scenario and the one you are always hoping for in your closest relationships.
- Your friends and family love and accept your growth and transformation. Although they are not on the same page or wavelength, there is room for you to be who you are and them to be who they are because the relationship is rooted in love and respect. This is another really great outcome.
- The relationship falls away or there is a loving detachment and distance that is placed there.
It is the monkey mind that really wants to prepare for these outcomes in an effort to protect you from the fear and discomfort. It leaves you thinking, “I won't be able to handle it if I'm not accepted, if I don't have this support, or if I lose this connection.” It is really a feeling of lack that's driving it. Don’t place your focus on the outcome because it will only create more frenetic energy that will drive you to cave into the fear.
In truth, you already have all the tools you need to handle anything. Let the outcome unfold as it will, and you will find that the tools come naturally to you. Be vigilant about catching the mind when it's too focused on the outcome and bring yourself back into the present moment. It will allow the anxiety to dissipate.
It’s Not About Meeting Them Where They’re At
When you are met with judgment and criticism from others, send love. You may be thinking, “But I’ve tried all of these things and I am still met with contrast. You don’t know my mother, you don’t know my family.” Let me clarify. When you are met with their fear, you still can stay rooted in your authenticity and reflect love and support back. You don't have to meet them where they are at. Even though they want you to step into fear with them, you don't have to. The choice is always yours.
Some of these types of relationships will gradually fall away and others will be family members that you are unable to sever ties with completely. For those relationships, you can lovingly detach and create some space. It helps to keep in mind that we are all on different journeys, learning different things at different times, with our own fears to work through. By creating space and sending love to this family member, you allow them the time and space to work through their fears. Love is stronger than any fear and illuminates any darkness. This is also something you can do with your own fear. By detaching from it and moving to the role of observer, you can send love to your fear. We have a video on how to do this, which you can find on our YouTube channel here.
Set an Intention. When you feel the fear of being your authentic self rise, set an intention to send love to that part of yourself. For example, if you fear not being accepted, say, “I send love to the part of myself that is fearing a lack of acceptance.” It is so much more effective than you would think.
Have trust in the process and your path. Know that relationships that fall away aren't meant to be on your new path. The loving distance you create with another will actually lead to growth and expansion for that person as well. A lot of fear and anxiety comes from distrust in the unknown. But I encourage you to trust in the unfolding and allow the divine to surprise you. Be the light in the room.