I’ve been writing lately on uncovering what you really want, ideas for what to do if you just don’t know what you want, how to handle it when things aren’t happening for you, and the value in surrendering to your deepest desires. Know what I think is really at the heart of all this stuff?
The desire to really be ourselves.
If we can truly be ourselves, we can pursue work that feels like home, instead of work that is only practical/safe, or that our parents wanted us to do.
If we can truly be ourselves, we can care for ourselves without guilt or apology.
If we can truly be ourselves, we can say both yes and no with clarity and a clear conscience.
If we can truly be ourselves, we can tell the truth to and be vulnerable with friends and loved ones without fear of judgment or rejection.
If we can truly be ourselves, we won’t feel the need to distract ourselves from our wild and precious lives.
If we can truly be ourselves, we won’t sweat the small stuff nearly as much (or the big stuff, for that matter).
If we can truly be ourselves, we will not only love, but truly like who we are — even when we screw up, big-time.
I’m not suggesting that being yourself means living without fear, or struggle, or bad days, or hard work. But man oh man, the life that’s possible when we get out of our own way!
Getting to this place takes time, depending on where you are in your individual journey. For some of us (::raises hand::) it can take decades of searching and stumbling around; talking with friends, loves, and trusted mentors. Reading self-help books, attending workshops and conferences and retreats. Therapy helps in some instances (it helped me through some serious rough patches like postpartum depression and grief). Coaching helps in others, like when you’re feeling stuck in the same patterns and can’t seem to break out of them, or like you keep having the same argument but with different people or are feeling stressed all the time but know deep down that there’s got to be a better way to live. I’m in coaching myself, in order to maintain my business and also to work on being the best self I can be so I can best serve my clients. It’s a good system. :)
It also takes commitment — to honoring yourself and your purpose here, even when it’s hard, even on days when you don’t wanna, even when people don’t agree with your choices.
I’ve written quite a bit about self-love in the past, because I deeply believe that it’s at the root of everything great that can come to us in our lives. It’s hard to build the life of our dreams if an inner voice is yammering on all day about how much we suck. Getting to the heart of who we are, gradually learning to remove the masks and self-imposed barriers to our individuality and authenticity, is some of the best work we can do in our lives, and it’s time that’s seldom wasted. Help is there if you want it, but you have to seek it out. Courage is there if you ask yourself, deep down, to muster it.
I’d love to hear from you about this: What would your life look like if you had the courage to be yourself?