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Peeling Back the Layers: The Art of Deconditioning and Living Authentically

Have you ever felt like you were living someone else’s idea of who you should be? If you can relate, you are not alone. Up until the last five years, that was my reality. It left me feeling unfulfilled, anxious, and alone. As a recklessly compliant people pleaser, I had completely lost my sense of identity and had to begin a journey back to self-discovery.

The truth is that all of us have been conditioned in some way. The longer it takes us to question our conditioning, the more authenticity we lose and the less content we become. Beginning the process of deconditioning is vital to our overall health and well-being. Along my journey, I encountered several helpful tools in my search for and embrace of self.

Question Everything

When was the last time you questioned your beliefs? Many of us are clutching to beliefs and ideas about ourselves and the world that were deposited by parents and authority figures since childhood. Whether these conventional ways of thinking are helpful or hurtful usually goes unchecked. Too often, we hold onto self-deprecating and self-limiting beliefs. The Four Agreements was an eye-opening resource for me in this regard. The message that we are allowed to choose what to hold onto and what to release was so simple yet so profound. Starting this process has such a low barrier to entry; all it takes is a moment as you’re going about your day to begin questioning why you do things or what you’re thinking and determining if it’s something you want to move forward with.

Embrace Your Inner Child

One of my deepest regrets has been being so serious as I was growing up. I let go of so many hobbies as an adolescent and teenager, completely engulfed in schoolwork and projects. By the time I entered the adult world, I realized how much joy I had missed out on all those years. I read The Artist’s Way shortly after I graduated from college, and it helped me get my spark back. Too often we abandon our inner child under the guise of responsibility. But feeding your inner joy and being a responsible adult are mutually exclusive. I would encourage you to begin discovering or rediscovering things you like to do and making it a priority in your everyday life.

Get In Tune with Yourself

One of the ways that I approached my journey of self-discovery was by learning everything I could about myself through different systems and methodologies. This included tapping into my body (how I was feeling at each moment) and branching out into new activities as well as exploring systems like numerology, astrology, and Human Design. Each system gave me a new perspective into why I am who I am and new ideas for experimenting with my reality. The system you choose to use may be different, but whatever you choose to explore will give you more ideas to play off of. Take what resonates, and leave the rest.

Deconditioning and living authentically is a powerful journey toward self-discovery and personal freedom. It's about peeling away the layers of societal expectations to reveal the unique, beautiful, and authentic person that you are. By embracing authenticity, you can lead a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life, one that aligns with your true values and passions. Remember, the path to authenticity may be challenging at times, but the rewards of living in alignment with your true self are immeasurable.

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