Have you ever found yourself wearing many masks to portray different parts of yourself to different people? Did you ever find yourself altering your own behaviors to fit in? Pretty much everyone that I run into answers these questions with a yes. There is within each of us a desire to be part of the norm and also the desire to be liked. You find these qualities in most adolescents and, because of dysfunctional upbringings, many of us are not taught that it is OK to be our authentic selves even in adulthood so we continue in conformity. Often times we find ourselves being different selves to different people because we want to please them. This can cause one to feel drained because it is energy-consuming to keep up all of those many parts of us. When you are being blocked from operating as who you truly are, you can feel that you are psychically splintered and emotionally exhausted. But the good news is that there are ways to connect more with your real being and I will share a few ways that I know to help liberate that joyous & free spirit – your authentic self.
All of us learn to monitor the behavior of others to learn what acceptable societal behavior is. We currently live in a very “keep up with the Jones” world that says that one must do or say or work or live in a particular style or you have little value at all. We as a collective really do not congratulate originality unless it makes a fortune. From the moment that we are born, we are being programmed to fit into our particular societal norm and in some ways that’s good. There are certain laws of the land that must be agreed to by us all but after that, too much structure dulls the sense of individuality we are born with and should be celebrated for being authentic individuals. I see so much sadness in the faces of those around me, folks are lost because they have forgotten who they really are. So many people come to me to find their mission because they are feeling empty; they are not connected to their core…they have lost the authentic self they were born with. Let’s look at some ways that you can help to rebuild it by taking a few moments to practice the 3 steps below.
1) The first step to helping to reclaim one’s core being is to acknowledge that you’re feeling a lack of personal direction. ‘Seek and ye shall find” has always been one of my favorite Biblical quotes and means to me that what we wish to find starts to find us with the curiosity of a question. So take a moment and look within and ask “What is my purpose?”. Ask that question with an honest desire and you will soon begin feeling the stirring of your soul to answer and the journey to your self begins.
2) The second step is to tune into your truth. When you have a connection with another human being ask yourself if you are really being yourself or are you being who the other wants you to be. We often tense in the solar plexus when we are betraying ourselves. Something nags within that lets us know that we are or are not being authentic. Listen to yourself and pay attention to your feelings. That is the greatest clue to self-discovery. If you catch yourself being at all false to your true self, try a bit of honesty. Check in and see how it feels to be honest with you.
3) The third step for connecting with your authentic self, perhaps most important, is to give an outlet to your creativity. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to go out and repaint the Sistine Chapel or compose another Madame Butterfly, it could simply be listening or dancing to your favorite music or how you decorate your house or your wardrobe. The most important thing is to express yourself, which is true creativity. Try to do something fun along these lines once a week. Take an art or dance class too if you’re up to it. As with most of life, there isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. Simply follow your vibrant creative spirit and let your spirit shine.
It never amazes me how working with the above suggestions seems to flip a switch that allows us to begin a dialogue with our special purposes. By taking a few moments each day on one of the above ideas, I have seen so many folks awaken a drive within to express their authentic selves and find greater meaning in their lives. I personally know of the rewards of being me and I have no doubt that you will enjoy your own life’s vibrant expression.