REDISCOVERING HOW TO BE YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
We are all creatures of habit, influenced by our past and present experiences. As a youngster, you may have been given messages, directly or indirectly, that made you feel somehow flawed. If this was the case, as an adult, you may have defined yourself with this baseline belief. As a result, feeling positive about oneself have tended to be fleeting and short lived.
On a deeper level, people who live this way are not really content with themselves. However, over the years, they lose site the true essence of who they are. For them, feeling more authentic would mean having a clear understanding and acceptance of their values and beliefs. However, for many, they settle to live life in the same old monotonous way. If positive change does take place, it is short lived.
Why does it seem like too much work to be more authentic in life? Is it that they believe there are too many things needing to be changed and they don’t know where to start? Is it because their goals are too lofty and thereby set themselves up for failure?
Whatever the reason, they usually end up settling for who they think they are, rather than who they truly are. This doesn’t mean that there is something innately wrong with them. It is just that they have been engaging in such behavior for so long, it becomes who they think they are. Regardless of whether or not the beliefs are true. their lives become reflections of who they think they are.
How does one get off this merry-go-round? The following are some of the ways.
- Make a conscious effort, when faced with a decision, to pay attention to your internal voice that makes you aware of a more authentic decision.
- Push through, no matter the resistance or fear, in following through on making the choices that are ultimately the healthiest.
- Examine the early childhood messages you received that reinforce inauthentic beliefs and consciously challenge those messages.
- Become aware of any discrepancies between actions and beliefs. Habitual inauthentic actions may be contrary to underlying beliefs.
- Assertively challenge any misguided behaviors or self concepts. Do this in spite of the pressures to be the same.
- Counteract the resistance to consistent follow thru by, whenever possible, being aware of your ultimate goal.
- Develop the courage to face feelings such as fear, anger, guilt and doubts that are mere attempts to cover up the true essence of who you are.
- We all have core values that we view as our ideal selves. To the extent that we attempt to be true to those core values, we move closer to being authentic.
- Be gentle with yourself as you go through the process of finding yourself. It takes quite a while to weed out those misguided beliefs abut yourself and replace them with authenticity.
- Visualize, whenever possible, the kind of person you want to be, instead of the person you think you are. Then create a positive alternative behavior.
- In all crossroads of your daily life, make decisions that will strengthened the likelihood of improving your life, resisting the pressures to stay the same.
- Know that it is less painful not to change in the short run but in the long run, it is much more debilitating.
- Resist the temptation to let other people, past or present, define who you are. You alone can take charge of yourself, by developing a sense of personal fulfillment thru daily accomplishments, small and large.
- Think about what the legacy you want to leave behind when you die. Striving to be more authentically yourself makes you capable of accomplishing great things, regardless of past setbacks in life.
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