Does Your Inside Match Your Outside?

Does Your Inside Match Your Outside?

For many years I put on a great show for the people in my life. Who I was at the moment depended on who was in front of me at that time. I was a chameleon.

To be honest with you, there wasn’t much that I liked about myself. So I was certain that if you knew the “real me”, you wouldn’t like me either. My need for acceptance and love would kick in and I became whoever you needed me to be. Actually, whoever I thought you’d like.

It was mentally exhausting, and being that way encouraged an extremely unhealthy lifestyle. I desperately sought to achieve happiness, but the end result was usually misery. On the outside I was smiling, however on the inside I wasn’t happy at all. I was a walking contradiction.

Have you ever experienced this, or something similar to this?

Have you ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin, or behaved in a way that was out of character for you in order to seek the approval, acceptance, even love of others? If so, this article can be very useful to you.

First of all, this has nothing to do with the people in your life, and everything to do with you. This is incredible news, since the only person you can change in this world is you. A very good starting point for change, in this area of your life, is to do a personal inventory of your character. Here’s a list of character defects and assets that may be helpful. Be open-minded and completely honest with yourself while making this list. Close-mindedness and dishonesty will only hinder the process of change.

After identifying what you believe is your true character, the second step is to decide what it is exactly you would like to change about it. Be specific. And remember, change is limitless. The possibilities are endless. You can do anything you choose to do.

And last, but certainly not least, the final step is to take action. Your character won’t simply correct itself. You must be open to suggestion, willing to do the footwork, and practice. Any persistent practice will undoubtedly create habit. The goal is to be in the habit of quality character.

What does “quality character” look like to you? This will be something that you individualize. What type of person would you like to be? Choose to be that person. Don’t become discouraged when you fall short. You’re human, we all fall short and make mistakes from time to time. Some more frequently than others.

The point is to learn from your mistakes in order to do better next time, if even just a little bit. Holding yourself accountable is a constructive tool. However, being too critical, or hard on yourself can be counterproductive. Self criticism can very easily become a web of negativity. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in that web.

Once you have achieved a quality of character that you are comfortable with, you will ultimately feel comfortable with sharing every aspect of your character with others. You will attain a strong sense of pride, and grow to love the person that you are, as well as the person that you are becoming. The quality of your relationships will begin to improve and you will be comfortable in your own skin. You can achieve inner peace and true happiness by applying these positive tools of change to your life. I know this to be true because I did it. I am a walking example of this truth.

You too can have your “inside” match your “outside”. There will be a smile on your face. But more importantly, you will be smiling from within.

Photo by tash:)

Jennifer Kellish

Jennifer Kellish is the creator/author of Change Your Attitude = Change Your Life. Her site is a daily meditation for positive lifestyle change. The site focus is positive thinking and the ability of choice. She has conquered many mountains in her own life. By sharing her personal experience and strength, she hopes to encourage and inspire others to achieve inner peace and true happiness. Her goal is to help others utilize positive thinking in a world that can seem overwhelming at times, and achieve balance in a society that teaches us to multitask.

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18 Comments

  1. Jennifer
    You’re spot on with needing to match inside and outside. It’s no easy task as we live in a very superficial world and are bombarded with messages to be this or that. So it won’t be easy being authentic and true to youself but as you say it’s a choice we have to make. I guess the first step is realizing, the second making that choice.

    Reply
    • Peter,

      In many circumstances, the realization seems to come much easier, than actually making the choice. What comes along with making the choice, is ACTION. That, is truly the part of change, I believe, that we struggle with. Upon taking action, we are well on our way.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Sincerely,
      Jennifer

      Reply
  2. This is a great post. Because it’s not only true it’s very enlightening. It helps all of us who have struggled with low self esteem to know that none of us are alone in this area. We all go though the personal growth process. Some of us early in life and some of us later in life. It really doesn’t matter when or how as long as you know that every mistake and triumph is for your personal growth benefit.

    Reply
    • Michelle,

      I agree with you one hundred percent. It is extremely helpful to realize our struggles are not unique to us alone, in any area. It can give us the courage we all need to change, and as you so beautifully put, experience the personal growth process.

      A very important part of loving yourself, is recognizing your struggles, and making a conscious decision to do something about it. As we conquer these inner battles with self, our self esteem continues to rise.

      It touches my heart that you found my post enlightening. You are truly kind.

      Thank you,
      Jennifer

      Reply
  3. Jennifer – I like the way you said this. It really IS IMPORTANT that we look inward and take responsibility for where we are because this means we can also take action and change.
    Change and possibilities are endless – I agree!

    I know that what is difficult for many people is they feel they are a slave to their feelings and emotions…”I have to be this way so that I am accepted and liked.”

    When this inner conflict is present, it’s so much harder for them to shift their thoughts…

    Reply
    • Wendy,

      You are absolutely right. Many people are fueled by emotion. An important factor in emotional health is identification. You must identify how you feel, in order to truly process that emotion. Ask yourself a few intimate questions, as to why, or how, it came to be that you feel that way. In doing this, you are SLOWING DOWN your thinking process, and being mindful of the situation in it’s entirety. You are able to shift your thoughts with ease, rather than being consumed by one thought, or idea.

      I am glad that you enjoyed the post. I truly enjoyed the feedback. Thank you so much.

      Sincerely, Jennifer

      Reply
  4. Jennifer, I love this post. That feeling of congruency – when your insides match your outside – is a great feeling. This is like going with the flow as opposed to swimming upstream.

    the way to get there is by making small changes every day that give you this feeling – even if it’s only for a short time.

    Well done, and thanks for sharing…..

    Reply
    • Kristen,

      That’s a perfect way to describe it (going with the flow).

      I agree with what you stated. Change is a process. It is continuing to do the next best thing, even when I fall short. I am not defined by any one decision, that I have made in my life. However each, and every one, of those decisions have brought me to where I am today. Those small changes, that may seem insignificant, are very significant. They are small steps in the right direction.

      You are more than welcome, and thank you.

      Sincerely, Jennifer

      Reply
  5. I love this quote:

    Fake people have an image to maintain.
    Real people just don’t give a sh!t.

    Sums it all up for me.

    jb

    Reply
    • John,

      I could not have written it better myself.

      Jennifer

      Reply
  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Self-acceptance is important as well. If we accept our weaknesses, then we can also accept the flaws of others. Self-acceptance means we’re free to be ourselves and we allow others to freely be themselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses about us. What makes us perfectly humans is our flaws. Our flaws and strengths are a make up of our personalities. We don’t have to blame circumstances or the other persons for us to have control over our destinies.

    Great Post!
    Eugene

    Reply
  7. Sometimes acceptance doesn’t help! Its not helping me. I’m still fucked up in life. Getting jealous, always changing myself, never satisfied.

    I’ve tried a lot of things but nothing really helps. In the end you can never change the person you are and that makes your life even more miserable.

    Reply
    • Dhisti,

      You say, ‘sometimes’ acceptance doesn’t help. If acceptance doesn’t help, ‘sometimes’, then you’re implying that OTHER times it has helped you. Dhisti, no one is perfect. You say, ‘getting jealous,’ I’m sure they’re others who get jealous of you. You say, ‘always changing myself,’ well change is the only thing that’s constant. If you are ‘never satisfied’, then probably your expectation is too high.

      “I’ve tried a lot of things.”

      You’re correct. If we just try, we won’t make a real effort. Trying implies some doubts in one’s ability. If we already have doubts in our abilities, we needn’t try at all. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      A self-fulfilling prophecy means we find any evidence to support idea that life is miserable, therefore we will behave miserably in all areas of our lives.

      However, if we see life as a learning experience and, understand and accept that we will always have challenges and know that since all of us have potentials, we can draw from them to help us through life.

      Reply
  8. I’ve found that it really does help to be true to myself and what I believe in. There used to be a time when I would agree with people on things about which I held different views just to seem agreeable. I realized that it was because I felt unable to express and defend my own views. When I figured it out, I was able to present and express who I really am and what I think. That’s certainly a lot better than trying to fit a particular mold.

    Reply
  9. What you are inside should also emancipate your actions. We owe it to ourselves being true and honest what we are and what we feel. I think life is simpler that way.

    Reply
  10. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for this amazing post, also some insightful comments too. I think Peter is right when he says you have to realise you are in denial and then consciously decide to change but the ego is very powerful, particularly if your experience in self therapy/development is limited. You only know what you know!!!!!

    If it was easy the world would be peaceful and perfect.

    Reply
  11. Learning to be completely honest with yourself requires a constant dialogue. So I find have to commit time everyday to check myself and have a chat about my actions, plans, motives and if I am lying to myself, addressing that. It still happens even when you are working on yourself and have been for years, why you must keep on top of your thoughts daily as they drive your actions and it is action that creates outcome, negative or positive.

    Reply

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