They say as we grow up we create two versions of ourselves, the private and public self. The private is the person we are behind closed doors or with a select few people. Whereas the public is who we are to the rest of the world.
The public self is constantly changing to fit in with the current trends or norms to avoid standing out. Cause we all know the nail that sticks out gets the hammer.
However, I believe this duality causes a strain on our ability to be the best version of ourselves or the most authentic.
What If They don’t like me?
In my experience, the public self feels like a mask seeking approval more than anything else. One that allows us to avoid real rejection. Since our public self can change every time rejection occurs vs the private that can’t.
Now I know some of you might be thinking, well, I can change my core being or at least enough for the right person or people. I challenge you to ask yourself why should you. Change of this magnitude should only happen if it aids in personal growth instead of pleasing someone.
That said, the want or need to be accepted or liked is deteriorating. It requires so much energy. Especially as more situations arise that “require” the public self to be more dominant.
Yet, what happens when we stop allowing dominance to happen? We forget about wanting to be accepted and replace that with just being who we want to be. Because it doesn’t kill us if some people don’t like us, it doesn’t change our self-worth, it surely does not take anything away from our lives. Instead, new relationships form, friendships become stronger, life becomes a lot easier.
I know after reading all of this, you are wondering how do we achieve this. The truth is it happens when we realize that nobody cares about our actions or physical appearance as much as we think they do. Nobody is constantly analyzing, logging and resharing our lives because they are too busy dealing with theirs.
Let these thoughts be the building blocks of feeling more confident and loving towards ourselves. Allow them to liberate the anxiety or need for a public self. It’s not easy, it won’t happen overnight, but as we think less about being the centre of the universe or the public eye, the more we can think about being a better person. The person we know we can be without fear of judgement, fitting in or approvals. Through this, we can actively drop the public self and private self. There will be no need for duality.