BY: SOPHIA KAANKUKA
Uncage Yourself talks about freeing oneself in order to live one’s authentic life and be one’s best self.
The Chapter One or the Part one talks about not Following the Crowd. It reads:
“Following the crowd will make you settle for what you think is good enough. As long as everybody does it, you should be alright. You don’t have to stress yourself out by thinking of ways you can improve because you’ve already accepted that you are normal because you are doing whatever the majority is doing.”
Part Two talks about “THE CAGE WE’RE TRAPPED IN”:
It talks about how people are in cages on their own volition and how they can break free from those cages by their free will and how there is always a way out.
Part Three highlights ” BEING OKAY WITH PAINTING ONE’S OWN BANNER”:
It talks about not feeling guilty for living a life true to you. That you’re okay with painting your own banner and lifting it without any iota of shame, guilt or regret.
Part Four emphasizes “FOLLOWING ONE’S OWN PATH:”
There is a profound freedom in following your own path that resonates for you. Everyone has an opinion, I’ve come to that realization rather quickly. However, one of the simplest yet profound truths is, ” What other people think of you really isn’t any of your business. It’s best to not let other people’s opinions prevent you from being the authentic version of yourself.”
Part Five highlights “LIVING UP TO PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS IS NOT LIBERATING AT ALL” :
It writes “The worst thing to live on in life is people’s acceptance. One of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned over the years is the sustainable way is to live off people’s acceptance. Don’t ever lose yourself in a bid to find someone else’s acceptance, we don’t find ourselves.” “Don’t let the expectations of others get in the way of being true to who you are.”
Seeking validation from others invalidates you. Living for the approval of others is a destructive road you don’t want to go down. You are not here to get the acceptance of others. At all. As Author and Speaker Myles Munroe once said, “Most people don’t know who they are so they die as someone else. ” The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Until you live a life that is truly yours, until you live a life that is beyond people’s expectations, you have not truly lived. Many people live a longer part of their lives trying to be someone else in order to win someone else’s attention and acceptance. For all the time you work hard to be someone else so that others can accept you, they are all wasted years.
Part Six explains “DISAPPOINTING OTHERS IN ORDER TO LIVE AN AUTHENTIC LIFE IS ABSOLUTELY FINE:”
It reads: “You shouldn’t try to be someone else to gain people’s acceptance. The fear of losing friends, disappointing people or not fitting in is bigger than the fear of being someone you aren’t. Many times, we are too scared to be ourselves because that might mean risking your friendship with people. What we should actually fear is living out whole life as someone else. There is one thing you must never apologize for in life—being yourself. As an individual, I have come to the realization and have made peace with the fact that I will disappoint people with the choices I make, I am still making and the life I am living and I have accepted that and will continue to do that in a bid to live my best life. I have agreed that not everyone will agree with what I want I won’t sacrifice my needs to satisfy others, please them or be in their good books and you shouldn’t do the same as well.
Part Seven highlights ” LIVING UP TO OUR OWN EXPECTATIONS IS THE BEST WAY TO LIVE:
” “Freedom is our right and we deserve to be freed from cages that hinder us from experiencing yourself and reaching progression.”
Part Eight talks about how to free ourselves from cages and break free from cages. It reads: “CHANGE EVERYTHING.”
The first way to free ourselves and live a free life is to change everything. As we grow up, people around us tell us to do things in a certain way or live a certain way. But that does not mean that that is the only way things can be done. In fact, it is what they are doing that they tell others to do. They feel like their pattern of life should be followed by everyone. They feel like other people’s approach to life should match their approach to life. You have to realize that you have the power to change everything in your life.
Part Nine highlights “DIFFERENTIATION” Differentiation is the ability of a person to recognize that they are sometimes different from others.
It is a person’s ability to be confident and comfortable with oneself, even if they differ from their loved ones. A person with strong self-differentiation is able to set appropriate personal boundaries without feeling guilt or shame. A person with poor self-differentiation goes running to accommodate others, often at the expense of their own happiness, comfort or time.
“Just because others reject you doesn’t make you wrong. Even if the majority of the world rejects you, there’s still no ‘evidence’ that there is something wrong with you. You are different, yes. But that doesn’t make you bad, wrong, defective in any way. Your life is harder than most, yes. You will be misunderstood and sidelined, but that does not make your values and the way you are inferior in any way.
“For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
This remark by Ralph Waldo Emerson makes it clear that the forces of conformity were quite strong when he lived nearly 200 years ago. However, he would likely be surprised at the extent to which the whipping of nonconformists has now been made possible with the emergence of social media and other mass communication technologies. No longer is conformity primarily enforced by members of one’s community, but rather through online social networks people from all over the world can ostracize, shame, and ridicule those who fail to hold beliefs or display behaviors which are considered socially acceptable.
But this magnified ability this enforce conformity comes at a price as it is the nonconformists who bring forth the new ideas, creations, and ways of living which produce a vibrant society. Furthermore, many who have reflected on the human condition have suggested that too-much conformity deadens the human spirit and that a fulfilling life is one which sees the flowering of one’s uniqueness, not the mimicking of the crowd. Nonconformity is such an important ingredient in a life well-lived.
Just like any religion, the religion of one’s society becomes easier to believe in, the greater the number of people who worship it. And this is why the nonconformists are so feared by the masses, the unique individuals plant seeds of doubt into the minds of the conformists regarding the significance of their social roles, and thus the significance of their very existence. Therefore, the masses actively discourage the cultivation of one’s uniqueness, ridicule and ostracize nonconformists and try and pressure them back to conformity —something they must do given that their existential significance is on the line.
“Individuals who are highly differentiated appreciate the fact that the unknown and ambiguous are realistic parts of life, and they usually have a strong need to search for meaning beyond their everyday existence. In being involved in transcendental goals that go beyond the sphere of their personal and family life, they gain a sense of purpose and of valuing themselves that cannot be achieved by any other means. Searching for personal meaning in life and embracing transcendent goals enable people to realize their unique human potentialities, closely following their true destiny. They are able to preserve rather than distort or block out experience, while maintaining feeling contact with themselves, compassion for others, and a deep appreciation of the richness of life.
People with poorly differentiated self depend so heavily on the acceptance and approval of others that either they quickly adjust what they think, say and do to please others or they dogmatically proclaim what others should be like and pressure to conform. A person with poor self-differentiation has the following attitudes; struggling with a sense of who you are, being hyper-focused on pleasing others, being overly sensitive to criticism, agreeing with others just to appease them, difficulty making decisions without the direction of others, feeling very sensitive and reactive this being hurt by others and an excessive focus of how others think of you.
Differentiation in relationships:
Differentiation is a natural process in committed relationships that involves developing more of a self while growing closer to your partner. Men often sacrifice their relationship to hold onto their sense of self. Women often sacrifice their sense of self to stabilize their relationship. Differentiation is about having it both ways: having a strong sense of self and a stronger relationship. (An Interview with Dr. Schnarch)
Schnarch believes that learning how to be differentiated in romantic relationships leads the path to becoming more differentiated in the rest of your life. ” ‘It’s not that hard to be independent when you’re alone,’ Schnarch observes. ‘But pursuing your own goals and standing up for your own beliefs, your personal likes and dislikes, in the midst of a relationship is a far tougher feat. Once achieved in the context of a relationship, differentiation becomes possible outside as well. If you can stand your ground with your partner, who means so much to you, you can defend your turf at the office and maintain your principles when pressured.” In this way, making the decision to value differentiation in your relationship can have life-altering impacts.
Differentiation begins when a partner can mindfully acknowledge two distinct realities at the same time. They see their own reality as well as the reality of their spouse. And doing this means risking “safety” and managing the anxiety of exploring mutual areas of independence in marriage. Fear of rejection and abandonment often frustrate these early attempts towards independence in marriage. Often the notion of “I gotta be me” is a dire threat to the partner who prefers to say, “We gotta be we”. The therapeutic tasks that help partners in a relationship to differentiate will assist them in; self-reflecting and looking inward to identify their thoughts, feelings, wishes and desires that are independent and distinct from their partner, developing an increasing skill to express and congruently reveal more of who they are as individuals (without blaming or shaming or being shamed and blamed by their reluctant and uncooperative spouses, developing an awareness of their spouse as a separate and different person from themselves with their own wishes, needs and desires, increase their capacity to carefully listen and respond appropriately to their differences as a couple, while establishing clear and distinct boundaries and areas of independence in marriage and finally, create a safe and welcome environment in their relationship that helps to regulate anxiety while managing problems and supported desired changes.
Part Ten illustrates Finding one’s core values — It reads:
Your core values are the beliefs you hold about what is most important in your life. Although it’s possible that you’ll hold the same core values as somebody else, this is a deeply personal exercise. This isn’t about what your mom taught you, what your best friend says, or what you’ve read online. It’s about what you care about most. What is most important to you and for you.
Part Eleven highlights Recognizing Our Personal Power —
Owning your full power means you will fulfill everything with an incredible intensity that transforms into pure energy. This energy will have a vast attraction effect on your environment. When you are in your power,you own an authority that makes you the master of your life. Your personal power equips you with charisma, which attracts what you want.
Living in your power frees you from the laws of society and illusionary roles and morals. You will inhabit your own source and not be a follower. In your power, people can be afraid of you because you have a charisma that attracts others and encourages them to venture out from the boxes and laws of society.