The Courage to be the Real YOU!
Being yourself is the only thing you really have to "do" with your life
Of all the people who have ever lived or will ever live there is only one you. You are a unique and amazing being with special gifts and understanding of the world that only you can perceive and express. You may think that there are many things for you to do in this lifetime but the only thing you ever really have to do is simply be the greatest expression of who you really are. This is your only job.
So why is it so hard just to be yourself?From the time we are very young we are given messages that tell us that we have to act in certain ways to be accepted, rewarded and even loved. Unfortunately, when we act certain ways in order to get our needs met, it means that we must deny or sacrifice who we really in order to become who someone else wants us to be. Once those special parts of us are buried or forgotten, they are very hard to rediscover. Being yourself should be the simplest thing in the whole world but for most people it tends to be the most challenging.
Maybe it is so challenging to be our real selves because it means taking huge emotional risks. When we fear vulnerability, rejection or unworthiness, we hide our real selves and try to be someone else in order to move towards the illusion of safety. But the truth is every time you act in ways to avoid vulnerability or rejection by others, you reject yourself. Even if someone does accept you, you will never really feel their acceptance because it is not the real you they are accepting. Only when you are your real self can you truly feel what others have to offer you in terms of love and connection. Not every body will love you, or even like you, but if you love and like yourself, you'll be amazed at the beautiful quality of meaningful relationships that you will create.
If we have grown accustomed to protecting ourselves from rejection or feeling unworthy, it becomes very difficult to let down our guards and just be ourselves. Many people describe it as suddenly running naked through the streets exposing all their flaws and faults - with no place to hide. That sure doesn't sound appealing. And it certainly doesn't feel safe. But the real risk is not in exposing your naked self - the real risk is continuing to hide yourself and never claiming the life that exists especially for you just by being yourself.
Do you ever feel like "something" is missing - but you don't know what?
Regardless of a person's success in life, most people feel that "something is missing". What those same people don't realize is that the "something" they are missing is actually just being who they really are. When we deny who we really are and try to be someone else in order to protect ourselves or get our emotional needs met, an empty feeling is created inside that cannot be filled with anything other than just accepting and being who we really are.
Many people try to fill this emptiness with food, relationships, material possessions or addictive substances only to feel emptier when the distraction wares off. No matter how hard you try to fill this empty space in the end the only answer to fulfillment is simply being yourself. You are the answer you have been looking for.
What amazing things might happen if you just let down your guard and decided to be yourself? Can you imagine the emotional freedom that comes from being yourself? What's required to be your real self?
- Re-evaluating your life - When you finally decide that the cost of not being yourself is too much to pay, the first step to take is a non-judgmental look at your current life. Notice all the ways that it does fit you and all the ways that it is out of alignment with who you are. It's important to approach this evaluation with curiosity and surrender judgment. Judgment will lock you into what is "wrong" while a sense of curiosity will begin to loosen your past reality and allow you to start thinking about what is possible. A willingness to be honest with yourself is required in all areas of your life in order to determine where you are out of alignment with your real self.
- Unconditional Self-Acceptance - Offering yourself unconditional self acceptance, creates an energy in your life that extends out beyond your current reality and allows you to be yourself in everything you do. When we judge ourselves, it actually becomes more difficult to change because we are afraid of our own self-criticism if we fail to meet our expectations. Unconditional self acceptance does not mean that you don't change - in fact, just the opposite. Self Acceptance allows you to look within, uncover your own truth and then take that truth and manifest it in your life in ways that support your greatest and most extraordinary self. Unconditional self acceptance is an essential key to give you the freedom to be yourself.
- Vulnerability - Being vulnerable means that you stop hiding who you really are in order to feel emotionally safe. Vulnerability creates the space for you to be the same on the outside as you are on the inside. When you allow yourself to be truly vulnerable without apology or excuse, you discover an intrinsic strength that rises up from within and that strength is real and indestructible - you realize that the safest thing to do is just be yourself.
- Soul-Worth - When you base your self-worth on your possessions, accomplishments or how you think others see you, your worth is transient and depends on things you can't control. This type of worth brings fear and anxiety with it because it is dependent on something external. How can you be your real self if your self-worth is dependent on external things? On the contrary, if you base your worth on your highest self, then it doesn't matter who approves of you or what you acquire or accomplish. Your worth is guaranteed and unconditional. You have worth just for being - this is soul-worth. When worth is guaranteed, you suddenly have a lot more freedom to discover yourself and be who you really are.
- Re-aligning current relationships - When you make the choice to be the real you, it means that you will likely disrupt the dynamics in all your relationships where you have not been your real self. Some of your relationships will begin to shift to support you while others will naturally fall away. Yes, there will be relationships that end but the ones that remain and the new ones that will arrive will be more satisfying than you ever imagined. It is only by being who we really are that we can connect with others. The most essential piece of any connection is the real us.
- Speaking your truth - Once you start telling yourself the truth, the next step is sharing that truth with others. Even when we don't speak, we are still communicating something. It's time to stop being afraid of the consequences. The greatest consequence is to sacrifice the beautiful gift of our lives because we are too afraid to stand in our truth. Now is the time to start speaking your truth - especially in those areas that you were silent before. What truth do you need to start saying to the people in your life? And, yes, you can speak the truth from a space of love.
- Stop caring what others think - Every time you alter your behavior because you worry about what others think, you are not being your real self. The truth is that you can't please everybody no matter how much you monitor your behavior. So why not just please yourself. In order to be your real self, you must stop caring about what others think. Caring about what others think is different than caring about others. You can still care about others and give up caring about what they think about you. As long as it matters what others think about you, you will never be free to be yourself. You are the only one imprisoning you. When you stop caring about what other people think about you, you also give them permission to be themselves as well.
- Take chances and make changes - If you haven't been your complete self, you've based your life and relationships around a false image. Taking chances and making changes means that you start recreating your life around your most authentic self-image. Being your real self means taking chances and making choices that support you regardless of whether others approve or not. It means that sometimes you go against the grain and do what is right for you simply because it feels right. The people in your life might negatively react but it is your life we are talking about and your life is more important than any reaction you will get from anyone else. When you make changes that support the real you, a new freedom emerges that will carry you forth to an amazing new life.
- Boundaries - Boundaries allow you to be more of who you really are. It allows others to understand what is acceptable and not acceptable to you and what they can expect from you. When you say "no" and mean it, it frees up time and energy to say "yes" to those things that you really want to do because they are an expression of who you really are. What boundaries do you need in order to be your real self? Keep in mind that some of the most important boundaries are the boundaries that you will set with yourself.
At first you may not be able to discern between the real you and the false you because you have grown accustomed to acting in ways that support the false you. Being the real you requires an almost daily analysis of what supports you and what doesn't. It's like using an internal navigational device to set and re-set courses over and over again - until you finally know your destination and you are committed to arriving. As your path becomes clear and the real you naturally emerges over time, your choices will seamlessly align with who you really are. You will know that you are choosing your life from the real you because it resonates deep within. Until then an act of faith is required. Fortunately, there is a guiding intuitive force helping you uncover who you really are.
When we make a commitment to being ourselves, magic begins to happen and our lives begin to take on an effortless flow that brings us fulfillment in every moment.
When you master "being yourself", your life becomes the life you have been dreaming about from the time you were very young. You see, even our youthful dreams revolved around the act of being who we really are. We carry those dreams with us into adulthood but they often seem to grow further away because what is required in order to attain your dreams is the courage to be the real you. Your dreams are nothing without you and it is impossible to attain them without bringing your whole real self to the table. Whatever it is that you want in life requires the courage to be your real self.
Initially, it is not easy to be your real self. When you first begin to reclaim your identity and choose to be yourself, you will discover that many things in your life really don't fit and you need to begin to release and say no to all those things (and people) who don't support your most authentic self. This might mean changing courses, re-negotiating relationships or even ending some. It might take an entire overhaul of your life - or at least the life you were pretending to live. It might be a challenging path at first but if you really want a life that is full of joy, bliss and fulfillment, there is no other choice. No matter how young or how old you are your dreams are still waiting for you.
With Grace and gratitude