For years I’ve made myself smaller than I am. Growing up in Belgium as a brown girl in a white environment where subtly it was made clear that I better don’t put myself out there too much.
I tried to fit in as much as possible, so I wouldn’t be teased, called upon, or targeted. The perfect little brown girl who was behaving ‘white’ enough. Yup, that was me. But not really me. I suppressed a part of myself to be accepted. I made myself smaller, and that’s not who I really was.
In my 20s, in my search for love, I always admired the men I fell for while making myself smaller. I put them on a pedestal and let them treat me in a way that wasn’t respectful or okay (which I can see now but couldn’t at the time).
Looking back at it, I wasn’t feeling worthy enough.
I was scared to set my boundaries.
So what I unconsciously did was let them cross my boundaries, because at least they would like me or I wouldn’t lose them (that’s what I thought but the opposite is true!). I can’t count the number of times I twisted and turned my text messages so that it would be written in a way that I thought would be cool or liked by them. Totally losing myself in the process, because at the bottom line I didn’t love myself enough - I didn’t feel worthy enough.
I’ve made myself smaller by pleasing other people.
By being scared they wouldn’t like me anymore if I would authentically be myself. This fear of not being loved, of having a conflict or tension. This fear, by the way, also exists strongly on social media now. I am sure some of you know that fear, too.
Scared to say what you want to say or share what you believe, out of fear what others will think.
A lot of us hold ourselves back all the time! How would it feel to be truly and authentically yourself? No self censoring? No fear to share, say or do what you want? No fear of expressing yourself in the way you want?
Not making yourself smaller but being the wonderful, unique person that you are in all your strength✨✨
How would that feel?
This text was Ama's newsletter on January 9th, 2023. Do you want to receive inspiration in your mailbox?