Be who you are

by | 16 Sep, 2018

Be Yourself

It sounds so simple “just be who you are”. But it may not be just that simple. From an early age we learn to fit into a system. And if you are a good student, like I was, it might take some time and effort to unlearn what you have been taught. To free yourself from things and beliefs that don’t reflect your personal values, your personality, that don’t contribute to your happiness. What is it like to be you?

1) Know yourself

The ancient Greeks already knew it. When you came to visit the oracle in Delphi for some words of wisdom, you could read it clearly above the entrance of the temple:

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

“know yourself”

Self-knowledge is the basis of a good life. It is the working field of philosophers, therapists and psychologists and I believe it is the very foundation of creating a happy life.

You can start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are my qualities, what am I naturally good at?
  • What are my skills, what have I learned in life so far?
  • What do I like to do, what things and activities make me happy?
  • Why do I do what I do? What is my bigger vision or mission in life?
  • What are my key values, my principles? How can I be more true to these values?
  • How can I serve others by doing what I am good at and like to do?
Taking the time to reflect on these questions and writing the answers down is a big first step to living an authentic life.

“Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are”

~ Brene Brown

2) Make time for you

To be true to yourself and make related life choices may take some effort. I like to compare self development to peeling an onion. It is a process of peeling the layers, stripping them off layer by layer to get to the core. Getting rid of false beliefs, teaching, practices and examples that don’t reflect the real you in order to get to the core, your authentic self.

In some stages of this process of self-development it helps to get some support by a therapist, psychologist or a coach. In other stages it may help to expand your knowledge, in the form of books, workshops or online information.

But I consider the most important part to consciously create time for you to (re)connect with yourself and listen to your own inner voice. Good activities can be writing in a diary, walking in nature, having a regular meditation practice, traveling alone or dedicating yourself to a creative project.

It is by being alone that you can meet yourself and make friends with the person you see in the mirror every day.

3) Don’t compare yourself to others

I have a little saying on my wall “Everyone is unique, and so are you”. It helps me. It is so easy to compare yourself to others but it can put you down and prevent you from staying true to yourself. Others may be more successful, happy, accomplished, healthy, loved, popular, or whatever you may envy (aspire!) in another person.

In general, we tend to compare our own inside to someone else’s outside. It is not fair to you and certainly not fair to them. When you discover that you find the opinions of others (feedback, praise, criticism) more important than your own validation it might be a good moment to have look at your own self-worth. A healthy sense of self-worth will give you the freedom to do what truly matters to you.

You are the director of your life, so it is your thoughts that count, your feelings, your aspirations. Focus on them, focus on yourself. And you will see, the happier you are about your own choices, the more authentically you lead your life, the less you will be preoccupied with other peoples opinions.

“What others think of me
is none of my business.”

4) Live your truth

The foundation of living an authentic life is to be who you are and to act accordingly. Make choices that feel good to you, even when they don’t always make sense to the persons around you (or even to yourself 😉 To be true to who you are is a win-win situation for every one involved. It doesn’t just increases your own happiness and sense of self-respect, but also builds trust. People like to hang out with trustworthy people, whether it’s in a personal or business environment.

A couple of years ago I browsed the internet in search of a definition of authenticity. I came across this description of Lance Secretan, a child actor who now gives leaderships trainings in the corporate world:

Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently.

To align yourself in all aspects is very powerful. Speak and act in alignment with who you truly are, what you feel and what you find important. It is something you can practise every day and it will lead to change.

We are all pieces of the puzzle. Make yours beautiful.

Final words and exercises

Authenticity is something you can practise every day. The more true you are to yourself, the more true the world will be to you.

Start exploring who you are and make a list of all the things you are good at, everything you like to do and all that you truly find important in life. Take time to reconnect with yourself and reflect. Start being more true to yourself in all that you do and say. And of course – last but not least – never compare yourself to others. You don’t know what their journey is about.

The most qualified person to live your life is you.

About the author of this blog post

Hi my name is Mirjam Overbeek, a Dutch Authenticity Coach living on Tenerife. 

I love helping women to reconnect with themselves and their dreams, stop living up to expectations of others and have the courage to pave their own unique path. I believe it makes the world a better place when we follow our heart. I offer 1-on-1 coaching via Skype & Zoom and retreats on Tenerife. 

Want to see what I can do for you? Schedule a free Clarity Call with me. It will give you instant clarity in the area of your life where you feel stuck right now.

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