Gentle Reminder: You’re Not Who You Think You Are

two flowers outside, one has blooming pink petals, the other is brown.

Do you ever feel like a walking contradiction?

Does it feel as though you hold conflicting beliefs about yourself simultaneously?

It’s not unusual to have paradoxes within us. The tension they create is often what brings us to therapy.

Clients frequently share with me what they think about themselves – “I’m greedy”, “I’m lazy”, “no one likes me”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m a failure”.

Sometimes when they’re in the middle of describing themselves negatively, they do something quite astonishing.

They stop and say:

“But I know I’m a good person”.

It’s happened so often I can’t count.

They never say I think I’m a good person. They always say I know I’m a good person. It’s usually said with such beautiful clarity. It’s as though they’ve checked in with themselves at a deeper level and found the truth. They may be baffled by it, they may dismiss it, but it’s there.

Sometimes this deeper level of knowing is clouded from our view because of the sheer volume and persistence of negative thoughts. It can take some time to clear a path to it, but it’s there if we’re willing to search for it and connect with it.

And it’s worth taking the time.

Negative thoughts are worthless to us – they diminish and limit us. In contrast, that sense of knowing is trustworthy and something on which to build our lasting and authentic self.

Trust it.

Trust yourself.

You’re not who you think you are. You’re who you know you are.

©️ Julie de Rohan 2019.


For more ideas about exploring self and identity, click here to read the post “Who Are You?”

23 thoughts on “Gentle Reminder: You’re Not Who You Think You Are

  1. Hi Julie, I just absolutely love this post. The difference between thinking and knowing can be astonishing. We can tend to prize thinking as it seems ‘logical’ but knowing yourself usually comes straight from the gut. As you say, it’s all about trusting ourselves. But how can something that helpful be so difficult??!!! I still have such a long way to go on this one. Great post, Lxxx

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    1. It’s not easy because the negative voice in our head attempts to dissuade us from the truth – and it can sound very authoritative so we feel it must be right, but it’s not so must be dismissed! Learning to trust our instincts, our gut, as you say, helps us to trust ourselves. I’m really glad you liked the post, Lol, thank you so much for your comment.

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  2. Thank you for sharing!.. stay positive and follow ones heart… 🙂

    “Confidence is knowing who you are and not changing it a bit because of someone’s version of reality is not your reality.” Shannon L. Alder

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  3. Beautiful. Right on, Julie. Those negative voices may always be there (some Buddhist practitioners refer to this as egocentric karmic conditioning) but there is an inner knowing that is beyond the mind chatter, that knows our true nature, our goodness.

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  4. A really interesting and thought-provoking one, Julie. I also think we can doubt ourselves a lot, so learning to trust ourselves is key in the process of building that ‘authentic self’. And you’re absolutely right, negative thoughts are not only worthless but damaging. Very well written!
    Caz xx

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