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Find the Freedom to Be You (Authentically You)

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”―Shannon L. Alder

Last week I wrote about how there is an epidemic of people pleasers and that many live that chameleon life for fear of conflict or judgment (and for far too long, might I add). From that blog post and in talking with others about the topic, I discovered that some people may not necessarily be “people pleasers”, but they still don’t live with self-integrity…you know not living in accordance with one's priorities, desires and values. That could be because they don’t truly know themselves or maybe don’t want to ruffle any feathers. Therefore, they feel it’s safer to live by societal expectations and beliefs rather than their true beliefs.

There’s also the trap of having an overly busy lifestyle that many people embark on with - little time to ask themselves “what do I really want?” or “what makes me happy?” I get it. I've spent my lifetime being a people pleaser, so when I broke the cycle I decided to dedicate the last 12 years to building a business that guides and supports individuals in living an authentic and fulfilling life.

But first, why does authenticity even matter? Well, it’s way easier being yourself than putting so much effort and energy into people pleasing for others.

The energy it requires to continuously analyze situations and people so you can respond “appropriately” is insane!!! When someone is authentic, we look at them and feel their honesty, confidence, and most likely wish we could do the same. Actually, don’t you feel great being around someone who is authentic? It gives you the permission to be authentic too - feeling the freedom to be you. There are so many benefits to being authentic – respect from others, greater trust, solid and meaningful relationships, you can self-actualize, and simply be at your best!

If you’re on the “becoming my authentic self” journey, read on to understand the four pillars to being your authentic self. Essentially a roadmap on how to achieve (and maintain) being authentic – i.e. NO MORE PEOPLE PLEASING, oh, and some questions to support you on this journey.

“As my awareness increases, my control over my own being increases.” – William Schutz

No.1 Self-Awareness

It all begins with self-awareness. If you’re realizing that you are not fully being authentic then it would be wise to increase your self-awareness as to why. Grab your journal book and reflect on any of the following questions.

  • Who are you having a difficult time being yourself with? Why do you think that is?

  • When do you catch yourself shrinking and almost disappearing? What is the reason for that?

  • When are you stressed out? Who are you with? Why is that?

  • Who do you have a hard time saying no to, but would like to? What are you afraid of? So what?

  • In what area of your life do you feel lacks authenticity? I.e. Where do you feel you might be living out of integrity?

Self-Awareness is key to any change. Avoid judging yourself or others when doing this self-reflective exercise. You are taking the time to simply observe yourself, your feelings and actions and getting out of autopilot! Awesome!!!

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."–Aristotle.

No.2 Self-Discovery

Self-Discovery is about figuring out who you are and what you desire out of your life. What your values are, and what’s most important to you right now. It’s about discovering your talents, what you love to do and simply being curious as to who you are so you can make decisions according to what’s most important to you.

Here are a few questions that could enhance your self-discovery.

  • When thinking about your personality traits, do you think you are funny, shy, intelligent, introverted, secretly flamboyant, predictable, giving, athletic, direct, methodical? How would you describe yourself?

  • Did you discover negative traits you might have? Like selfishness, blunt, lazy, compulsive, false, selfish, gullible, vindictive, naive, or moody? Do you always express those traits?

  • What do you love to do? What do you despise? What are your dreams and aspirations?

  • What are your biggest challenges lately and what are you doing about it?

  • What are 25 things that make you smile?

It’s all about discovering the good, the bad and the ugly, gaining insight about what works best for you and what helps you feel like you are living a fulfilling life. Again, no judgment. It is what it is. Discovering all that we have been, all that we are, and all that we can be, is your fuel to change what’s no longer working for you. Keep reading, it’s all going to make sense.

“What self-acceptance does is open up more possibilities of succeeding because you aren’t fighting yourself along the way.” – Shannon Ables

No.3 Self-Acceptance

Self-acceptance is about being able to see the truth behind what’s good, bad and ugly within yourself without judgment and fear, but rather with love, compassion and forgiveness. This is where true transformation begins. I believe that every human being contains all. Humans can be good, bad and ugly, and when we realize we did something that isn’t “good”, we might avoid all judgment. We have to see this life experience as an opportunity to simply observe ourselves, make amends (if needed) and to explore compassion and forgiveness towards ourselves.

Part of self-acceptance is also realizing that whatever you did in that moment (good or bad), is simply what you did in that moment, and what you were capable of doing in that moment. When you are able to see that truth, self-judgment disappears and self-love comes in! In the moment, you did the best you could. Instead of self-judgment, learn and move on.

Self-acceptance is also the gateway to accepting others and their life path. Honestly, this is where we can begin practicing “Christ Consciousness” on earth. Becoming a vessel of love, truth, and goodness on the planet and actively striving to attain it.

"No other love, no matter how genuine it is, can fulfill one’s heart better than unconditional self-love." —Edmond Mbiaka

No. 4 Self-Love

All of the above pillars are milestones to self-love, and self-love is the journey we are here to experience. When we have self-love, we can then love and accept others' differences, their path, their flaws (because we have them too) and all of this can lead to peace on earth. Sound dreamy? Yes, I know it does. However, I will encourage you to focus on just that and observe how your life changes. See who shows up in your life, see the opportunities that emerge naturally for you to live a happier and fulfilling life. Witness your relationships flourish, feel a decrease of stress and judgment, and feel free and light in your heart.

As the years go by, I notice the greater self-love I have, the better version of me shows up. I guess you could say, the authentic me shows up! I then become the model for others to be themselves. We have to stop the self-criticism and accept that as humans, we are not perfect. Actually, the ego will have a hard time with that, but your soul can love you no matter what. So let love rule your life. Love yourself, the good, the bad and the ugly, forgive the ignorance or the lack of courage you sometimes have or experience, because that is life my friends. Set yourself free - be you!

Need more of a guide to help you on your journey?! Start with aligning your values and your goals with my blueprint to a successful and authentic life. Download your FREE GUIDE here.


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