Being Truly Yourself is Freedom {we are not jam jars}

“Truly believe from the bottom of your heart and you can make change happen…..
everyone of us must be the very best of ourselves”

– Caroline Casey

Self belief is one of the most powerful tools we can have, and its one of the characteristics most of us battle with.

At sometime in our lives, we ask ourselves who are we and what we want to be. So often we are limited by what we believe others think our destination is, or by the labels we place on ourselves. Judgment, preconception and assumption all come so naturally to us.

Evolutionarily, it makes sense that our behavior is governed by pattern. When faced with a situation similar to one we have experienced before we reference our past experience. This is a fine principle when it comes learning that fire is hot, but when it comes to what you can and cannot do, and what other people may or may not be thinking, this way of reacting is incredibly limiting.

There is freedom to being mindful, referencing only your present experience, without judgment, preconception or assumption. So much more is possible when we aren’t assuming the world is saying no.

That doesn’t mean that we wont make mistakes, but admitting failure, learning from those mistakes and asking for help when we need it, is a key aspect to being truly self confident. Understanding and appreciating your gifts and your limitations, harnessing all the pieces of all of you and believing in your own convictions, will give you the power to make whatever change and meet whatever challenge you want.

I made a choice four years ago to change the course of my career from neuroscientist to photographer. While science and art have always been passions of mine, I had set course as a career scientist early on. My photography business had been going for some time alongside, but to make such a change as to move to a full time career as a photographer, after attaining a science PhD and working through a couple of post doctoral fellowships, seemed impossible. I was defined as a ‘scientist’, how could I be anything else? This is what the world knew me as, what it expected of me.

If I put down these assumptions and judgments and asked myself who I was and what I wanted to be now, would the answer be different? As it turned out, despite feeling I had no confidence at all, I had enough self-belief to challenge my preconceptions and make the steps for change. I was not only surprised by my own capabilities but by the support and encouragement of those around me who knew me best – the very ones I worried I would be letting down. I do of course have a long way to go, but I embrace being a life long learner, and I can see the power of cultivating self-belief and what that enables me to achieve.

In this moving TED talk by Caroline Casey, she describes her own unique experience with these concepts. It’s well worth making a up of tea and listening to her story.

If you put aside the assumptions and judgements you make about yourself, do you find yourself with more possibilities?

Ria Mishaal
Ria Mishaal is an artist and photographer, exploring the capture of light and love in still images. She loves trees, authenticity, and working with her hands. She likes to be organised. She loves to get lost in stories, breathing fresh air and learning.

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