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Kat VonTesla

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How to let go of your old/past self

After doing a great deal of digging over the past five years or so, I've found countless books and articles on advice you'd give yourself in your childhood, teens years, 20's, etc. I've also found articles on how to plan for your future and how to visualize what you want as well as a sort of "plan of attack" in doing so. But there seem to be little to no resources out there for how to just be in your own skin, presently. I honestly don't have advice for my younger self. I had some good and bad times. And with my ego as a child/teen, I wouldn't have listened anyhow ;) I have some great plans for the future... but my problem has always been in comparing my current self/partner/job/physique/lifestyle to the one I had (nostalgic "had", not actual). I'm always trying to get back to who I am. But that "am" doesn't fit who I honestly AM now. I'd love to hear how others get in touch with reinventing their current self and how to acknowledge, honor and then let go of the old self without it feeling like some kind of a death.

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    Aug 16 2013: First off I would like to thank everyone for replying. I appreciate the advice and the perspective from a different set of eyes. I tend to get trapped in my own head a great deal :) After speaking with my sister and a few friends and getting that familiar look of "what the hell are you talking about?" followed by the usual and very well intended advice of just being yourself, I did more digging and more talking. I found that my perspective on all this is coming slightly left field than some. My trouble with being able to clear away the self-imposed mud so I can follow aforementioned advice, is that I have to have a starting point. I need to understand where I am now in perspective to who I have been up until this point. And the reason that is so difficult (well perhaps not the only reason but the one that struck me first and hardest) is that I have been performing since I was 4 years old. Because of this factor, I've never BEEN "myself". Whoever that is. I've been putting on a show my entire life. Hell I won't even listen to certain songs with the windows rolled down driving because of 'keeping up appearances'. The ridiculous part is that logically, I realize everyone else is living their own lives...not waiting for me to screw up ;) But this discovering myself is very new and very foreign because of those circumstances. Which makes this concept of letting go, breathing in, and just BEING incredibly challenging. I wanted to put the idea out there to gain some insight...and perhaps get out of my own head for a minute or two.
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      Aug 16 2013: Hi Kat,

      The picture you are portraying is much more clear now. It appears you are stuck with a self-image, a self-concept that forces you, compels you to portray a certain behavior associated with it, maintain a certain standard, etc. You live from expectations rather than spontaneous self expression. I can assume that most things you do are calculated, thought beforehand, weighed up, which is a struggle in itself. And I can also assume that you feel imprisoned by it, and guilty somehow if you don't live up to these expectations. If feel you let yourself down if not living up to the demands of the self image, and at the same time, you feel suffocated, watched over, like someone is looking over your shoulder, correct? You feel like spontaneously saying something, but you hold back, because it may not be :the right Thing to say", you may offend someone, etc. You may say "yes" when you really want to say "no." And I feel that there is a lot of resentment and passive aggressiveness inside you, and deep sadness at the loss of your freedom to be yourself, like a child, spontaneous, living in the "now-space" rather than the expected/anticipated. We also call this type of behavior "conditioned" and it is normally triggered by cues, and the reaction is from "should" rather than from a free "want:" and the "should" action is driven by guilt where the "want" action is driven by present desire and passion, full of life and joy.

      Honesty is your Tao of cure, Kat. Means, be true to your self: feelings, wants, not wants. Do not say yes when you mean no, and if you feel sad, feel the sadness and do no try and immediately feel happy, because it involves the formation of "reaction formation" or the creation of the opposite. The Genuine becomes the "Shadow" as it is repressed, and the Opposite becomes the Mask, that which you are stuck with, a form of pretense, that is robbing you of your Authentic Self. That which you refuse to manifest, you repress into the Shadow.

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