Seed | Eating Disorder Support Service

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

helping people not the eating disorder

Advice Line (01482) 718130


Ideal Self vs Authentic Self

5th January 2015

‘Authenticity’ of who I am has long been important to me. And yet I have often had an 'ideal self'. Sometimes parts of this might have matched who I authentically am, and sometimes not. In the following poem, a lot of my thought was around my physical body and what was 'authentic' to me and what was 'ideal' as in my desire for the 'ideal ballet body'. It extended beyond the physical, of course, and the paradox and conflict was despite my 'ideal, I had a drive towards simply desiring to be my authentic self. I now realise the highest 'ideal' is my 'authentic' self, whether including the 'ideal ballet body' or not! If this means I am not permitted into a desired dance company, then I would have choices to consider, and decision to make.

Ideal Self vs Authentic Self

Just wanting to be me,
yet wanting to be others.
Searching for myself -
Sometimes a long, tedious journey;
Yet sometimes an eye-opening revelation.
Trying to create a character -
Observing and loving the traits of others, and planning their likeness.
Careful self-monitoring.
Wanting to be like them;
Yet journeying simply to be myself.

Leighah Darcy 1994/5

Seed xx