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Who were you, before the world decided who you are?

Pippa aged 6 reading a book, with a serious look of concentration on her face and a Puffin book lover badge pinned onto her dress
Pippa, aged 6, reading intently with a serious expression of concentration

I love this question as it encourages you to strip back all the layers of expectation and conditioning we get cloaked in as we grow up: by our parents and caregivers, siblings, friends, elders, schools, work, colleagues, society... the list goes on.

I think about my young self - I'm about 6 in this photo - and try to remember what her dreams were. Look at the intense expression of concentration on my face, totally absorbed in the book I'm reading, my Puffin book lover badge proudly pinned onto my dress! I'd just been to their office in London for a children's book event... I wonder what she would have thought to discover that she would go on to work for DK Books, the sister publisher of Penguin/Puffin.

I want to tell her to believe in herself and hold onto those dreams but that would be a long lesson to learn.

Showing curiosity in yourself and spending time working out your personal beliefs and values lie at the heard of successful therapy.

Not being able to show your authentic self is the most likely reason you are reading this. Feeling stuck, lost, not sure what your purpose is, not sure who you are - these usually stem from having had to adapt who you were as a very young child to fit in, to cope with a difficult family dynamic, or to stay safe. It served you then but now something feels wrong and you may not be able to put your finger on exactly what that is.

Stripping back all the years of conditioning and asking yourself that question - who were you before the world decided who you are? - can be the first step in making the connection back to your authentic self, which is the start of every healing process.

If you want to find out more about finding your voice and connecting to your authentic self, you can book a free 15-20 minute phone call with Pippa.

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