Have you ever felt like you could not be yourself, or that you could not say what you really felt for concern of upsetting others or the social / familial norms?
I meet and talk with a lot of people for whom this is a very real and regular concern, and when you know a bit about how the brain works this will not come as a surprise.
We are hardwired in a part of our brain called the amygdala, to fear:
3. Public ridicule
As human beings we used to live a bit like pack animals – where trusting the movements on one of the pack could literally save our life; steering us away from danger.
As we evolved tribal and cultural norms became exceptionally powerful and we lived and died by them. Learning the ‘way things are done’ was of importance not just for us but for survival of the group.
Fast forward today and with a brain that has not evolved much in 100,000 years or so, we rub up against some problems. ( Some research shows that not being ourselves and acting out of character can increase the stress response and weaken the immune system. No real surprise there. )
Further, it seems that all of a sudden we want to and value the ability to speak up, speak out and challenge the norms.
There are times where honouring ourselves and our own inner voice is exceptionally important. From simple things like being able to say no to certain foods or drinks when we want, to larger things like a lady called Rosa Parks did on a bus in Alabama in December 1955…
Honouring ourselves and going ‘with our own grain’ can be simultaneously the most scary, challenging and exciting / liberating thing we do! And because it requires us to overcome this strong ‘wiring in our brain’, it takes a lot of courage and a lot of energy.
This is something that we are all striving towards and many people have suggestions on how to do this.
This is a part of what we are working towards with having your spine get the ‘Network Wave’ and or by experiencing SRI in Transform
Wherever you are on this spectrum: feeling like you can’t speak up or out, or feeling so strongly that you don’t stop speaking out ;o), I want you to know that are facing something fundamental about the human condition. We are wired to follow the herd, and yet at times we need to only follow ourselves.
I hope that this helps you to have compassion for yourself if this is a current challenge but that also you feel inspired that you can develop the courage to overcome this and that it is indeed a worthwhile pursuit.
To you and you going with your grain.