Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Courage to be You

It takes courage to be YOU. Too seldom are we ourselves and we become who others want us to be to fit in. We pass ourselves off as mirror images of those around us instead of being true to who we really are.
Inconsistency between the inside and the person we present to the world creates tremendous conflicts in our lives. The Oxford dictionary defines being authentic as being true to your own character. Have you ever found yourself laughing because everyone else did or agreed with an opinion that you didn’t share? Did you ever do something inconsistent with your true self just to please, get attention or get what you wanted? Of course we all have.We have all done and said things to fit in but that gives people the wrong impression of who we really are, and then along the way some of us actually lose who we are and become just another face in the crowd.

When you were born there was nothing you had to do to be loved. Back then you were unpretentious and spontaneous. You smiled when you felt like it and cried when you were upset. You had the courage to be you. Then the agenda changed. You were taught how to behave, what to say and what to want.

Conditioned by our environment we become products of our culture. Social influences tell us we are not slim enough, not rich enough, not with it enough and probably out of it altogether. We never quite cut it. Compelled to portray a better us, we hide our true self. When we are not real we cannot connect to our inner core or to others. What we do, including our interactions with others, becomes meaningless, because our true self doesn’t show up. This is important and here is why:

Your authentic self is your talents, values, traits and greatness combined. It is the best of you! It is like a sleeping giant buried under all the shoulds and shouldn’ts. All you need is the courage to be you. Think about this: when we meet people who are refreshingly authentic, we are drawn to them. They say and do the things we never would. They have the courage to be real and we instantly like them. They give us the straight goods and we always know where we stand. They don’t care what others think or do. They do their own thing in alignment with their authentic self. The have the courage to be themselves. We want to be in their presence because the interaction has meaning.
Here are some tips on becoming authentic:
  • Be courageous and bold
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say
  • Trust your instinct
  • Focus on the best in you
  • Speak up for yourself
  • Stand up for what you believe in
  • Always speak the truth
  • Don’t be a pleaser, you are able to say no
  • Don’t worry about what others think
  • Become who you want to be
If you are afraid of doing all of the above, feel the fear and do it anyway! To be authentic, just focus on your talents, strength, values and integrity. Building upon your best gives you authentic power. This power feeds your soul.
Nothing changes in your life until you use the best of you. Nothing changes in your relationships until you become better for each other. When you focus on the best of you, you can also see the good in others. Only when you use your best can you play your best cards in life. Living an authentic life means never having to regret anything. This is powerful! Then when we have taken the courage to be ourselves, we can stand up for what we believe in, we can stand for those who have less and take care of those who cant take care of themselves. When we do whats right for ourslves it opens a whole new world for ourselves and others around us. Find your passion, stand up for what you believe in and be true to yourself. Have the courage to be YOU.

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