Do you ever feel as if you are lacking a really important quality? Like courage, strength, boldness or self-confidence?
You will hear people say things all the time such as, ‘Oh my God, I could never learn to do that’, ‘I’m not brave enough’, ‘I just like to watch’ or ‘I’m too chicken!’
If you have ever felt weak in a certain area of your life, you are not alone. Most people have what are often called ‘hang-ups’ about one thing or another. I think they have been termed that because if we don’t work through our issue, we could very well get hung up on that thing for a lifetime, rather like a kite getting stuck in a tree branch.
To get un-stuck, you have to be willing to look deeply at the parts of yourself that have been stuck out in the dark.
One astounding thing I noticed when I was working with owning my various sub-personalities was that my very best traits were actually connected to parts of my character that I’d labeled as ‘bad’. Most of my strength, power, confidence, courage, boldness, honesty, creativity and compassion were wrapped up in parts of myself that had been beaten, punished, blamed, yelled at, criticized, scolded and shamed as ‘wrong’, ‘bad’ or ‘unacceptable’. By identifying and claiming all of my parts, I was able to fully own my strengths, and to begin to act with more self-confidence and authenticity.
For instance, for many years I had a hang-up about public speaking. The idea of speaking, out loud, in front of a large audience was enough to make me break out into a cold sweat. I would feel faint, dizzy, even nauseous, just imagining standing in front of a microphone. When I thought about this, I felt like I lacked strength, confidence, vocal projection and courage to face an audience. When I went deeper into exploring my personality, I realized why I felt so much fear. My main personality was a meek little ‘good girl’ who’d been indoctrinated to believe that raising her voice was not Ok. I had taken my vocal projection – along with my strength, courage and confidence – and pushed it away when I’d been judged as ‘bad’ for yelling.
Born the second-youngest of five powerful children, I’d learned early on that sometimes I needed to scream to get attention, and that the louder I yelled, the more attention I’d receive. That tactic may have worked for me as a cute toddler, but by the time I was in elementary school, I’d been punished enough times for yelling that I’d seriously compartmentalized the part of myself who was confident enough to project her voice to be heard.
Here I was as an adult, terrified of speaking up above a normal conversational tone, and if I did once in awhile raise my voice, I’d feel horribly bad and guilty about it for weeks. It took labeling a part of myself as ‘The Yeller’, noting all of her traits, feelings, behaviors and motivations before I was able to begin to see that I did, in fact, have the strength, confidence, vocal projection and courage to raise my voice in front of a large crowd. By updating my irrational beliefs related to volume being ‘bad’ and clearing my self-judgments, I was able to get that part of myself untangled and free myself up to move forward. I can now speak fearlessly in front of large audiences.
Take a look at your biggest ‘hang-up’. What is the quality, or qualities, that you feel you are lacking? Once you label the quality, see if you can identify any disowned part of yourself that may be hanging onto that trait.
When I integrated my ‘Yeller’ aspect, I did not lose any of her strengths, although I no longer feel the need to yell at people; instead, I have powerful projection which I can utilize when speaking in front of large audiences. By bringing all of my hidden parts into the light, I was able to see that I actually had more strength, power, creativity and wisdom than I’d ever given myself credit for having. From that point on, I was able to begin to express these traits openly and freely, rather than having them attached to only a few unhealthy behaviors.
Know that you, too, can fully claim and cultivate the positive qualities that your disowned aspects represent as well as consciously grow in any areas you discern as weak. Say, “I am willing to look at my hang-ups and get un-stuck.”
Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom
Action Step ~ Identify an area of weakness where you feel lacking in any quality. Then find the part of your personality that holds that quality and claim it as yours.
Declaration: “I am willing to look at my hang-ups. If I feel lacking in a certain area, it is a good indication that a part of myself has that quality stuck in the dark. I am now claiming that I have all of the qualities I need to thrive.”