Who are you really?
When we want to get to know others, what do we usually ask? That’s right. We ask them what they do. It’s so convenient to categorize people by their careers, hobbies and their roles in the lives of others. When people ask me to introduce myself, I usually review the same list. I’m a husband and father, a son and brother, a therapist, a speaker, a storyteller and a writer.
How about you? What do you do for a living? Great! (awkward silence) We still don’t really know each other, do we? That’s because what we “do” is rarely a complete, or even accurate, representation of who we “are.” I truly believe that who we are is much better than what we usually do, and we are much more powerful, loving and mentally sound when our lives more accurately represent who we really are.
3 Steps to Being Yourself
Here are three ways you can encourage the real you to more consistently determine the way you live:
1. Accept the person you are now. Acknowledge both your strengths and weaknesses. Give yourself some credit for the goodness of your life. Forgive yourself for the times when you have gotten off track. Honestly assess how you’re living every day. Is that the way you really want to go through life? Do the things you do accurately represent who you are? If so, keep walking that path in that way. If not, nurture the intention to change course, or to at least improve the way you move through life.
2. Catch a clear vision of the person you want to be. Think of yourself in terms of your values. What qualities do you see in yourself when you’re at your best? What do admire most in others? Write down a few words that represent the personal attributes you value most, things like kindness, humility, peace, courage or joy. Choose words that best describe who you really are, or the kind of person you can become, rather than what you do or what you have done.
3. Let go of the actions (things you do) that don’t reflect the best in you (who you are), and start doing more of the things that do. What you have done is not necessarily who you have to be, but living an authentic life doesn’t mean that you have to find a new job, write a novel or open a bed and breakfast (though a big change like that might be right for you). What you decide to do isn’t as important as how you decide to do it.
Before you file for divorce, buy a farm or join the circus, consider more authentic ways to do what you’re already doing. Choose to change the quality of your own actions before you start changing anything else. Decide right now to do the same old stuff in a whole new way. Let the way you live break free from the painful past and embrace the greatness you’re capable of. Now is the time to openly express the divine perfection that has been inside you all along.
This post is written as I begin a new chapter in my own life. I sincerely hope it helps you do the same.
Let me know how it goes for you.