“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E. Cummings
Often, due to an intense desire to fit in, we play a role we feel others expect of us. Our decisions can be shaped by the anticipated approval (or disapproval) of our family, friends and co-workers. We may lie, or hide our true opinions in order to please others or simply to fit into a group dynamic. This behavior is often led by the misguided idea that we will be happy if we conform to the majority. The reality is actually the opposite. Our hearts and souls yearn to be true to ourselves. Freely expressing our true self releases anxiety and allows joy and happiness to find its way into our hearts and daily lives.
The challenge is how to become who you really are? Begin by listening to your inner voice, by being true to yourself, by just being you. How do you do that? Following are ten simple steps to help guide you on the path to “becoming who you really are.”
1. Express your Individual Qualities
Make it a habit to reveal your uniqueness by saying or doing something each day that is a true reflection of your inner thoughts, likes, values, or gifts… regardless of popular opinion. This could be a fashion choice, preferred outing, or speaking up for something or someone.
2. Start a Gratitude Journal
Begin each day by writing down three things you are grateful for. Feel free to fill your journal with doodles, quotes, or even photos clipped from magazines – use anything that helps personalize it and helps you connect with your deepest emotions.
3. Meditate Daily
Don’t let this one overwhelm you. Meditation is simply the practice of separating yourself from the stimulation (often over-stimulation) of the outside world, and letting your mind and body relax. Get comfortable in a place of solitude, clear your mind, and remain silent within the moment. Slowly become aware and in tune with your body.
4. Allow Yourself to Say “No”
Resist the urge to be a pleaser. Give yourself permission to politely decline invitations to events, social engagements, requests for favors that do not fit your schedule, personality or likes.
5. Do more of what Lights your Soul on Fire
What did you love to spend your time doing before life got full of commitments and responsibilities? Think back to your childhood, high school or college years. Re-connect with those passions. Find time in your schedule to do the things that bring you alive… be it painting, hiking, writing poetry, volunteering... figure it out and start doing more of it!!
6. Don’t Spread Yourself too Thin
Don’t compromise your true self, but resist the urge to pursue multiple passions. There is no pressure to select the “right one” when considering your true calling. Try something, if it doesn’t fit after a bit, or your excitement for it fizzles, it’s perfectly fine (and encouraged) to cast it off and try something new. The point is to make a choice and take action.
7. Choose your Relationships Wisely
Surround yourself with encouragers who believe in you and lift you up. Rid your life of negative people, nay-sayers, and those lacking vision for your true potential. By surrounding yourself with positive people you will create a cocoon of positive energy allowing you to keep your thoughts positive. Positive thoughts generate positive feelings and attract positive life experiences.
8. Write a List of Affirmations
Think of the attributes you would like to possess. Now, write them down as if you already possess those qualities. For example, “I am fulfilling my full creative potential.” “I am building positive uplifting relationships.” “I am happy, and healthy, and living my life to the fullest.” You can refine your affirmations over time as you hone in on your passions and goals for yourself. At the beginning of each day, look at yourself in the mirror and recite your affirmations. After some time, your words will begin to enter your subconscious and will play out in your daily actions… which in turn can change your life!
9. Support One Another
When you come across another person exploring their own self-expression, be an encourager. Share a positive word, smile, or gesture. For some it is scary to break from the norm. Your positive interaction may be instrumental in providing them the courage to continue to pursue their process of self-discovery.
10. Remind Yourself!
Print out the quote at the beginning of this post as a reminder to you to continue to challenge yourself to grow, evolve, and become who you really are!
•¨•.¸¸ Spread Peace and Love ¸¸.•¨•