To be True to Yourself - Feeling the Joy to be Alive



 

 
 

Chapter 5 - True to Yourself

→ Chapter 6:  survivors

 ← the power of words

        


If your Soul wrote a sign in the sky, what would it say?
If your Soul spoke to you on the radio, what would you hear? If your Soul knocked on your door, what would you see?

 CREATE A LIFE THAT TICKLES YOUR SOUL AND MAKES YOUR HEART SING ITS OWN SONG.

Remain true to yourself. If you know your own heart, you will have always a friend who does not lie. 


The wings of courage and enthusiasm enable one to fly forward. While moving forward we sometimes find ourselves in a position where there seems to be no progress. We don't seem to understand the reason for this and we find success eluding us.We try different methods for success but if we look within we find that either we have no courage or no enthusiasm, which prevents us from giving our best to the task. We need to have both the wings of courage and enthusiasm in order to succeed. If there is no courage we give up trying. On the other hand, if there is no enthusiasm we get tired and tiredness never lets us work towards success.

We hold misconceptions of our abilities to express ourselves every day. Thinking we should wait until life’s components give us perfection in love, health, money, job, etc., we delay our greatest fulfillment – that of self-expression. When we learn that no matter how distorted our external world may be, or our perceived role in that world, the true fuel of our being lies deep within us. Dare to learn a different method of taking in and releasing your life force, and free yourself from limitation. Project your essence to the world and live your harmony!

        

If all of life is a stage, our performance depends on our ability to read the music of our hearts. To keep in tune with ourselves and with others, it’s important we hear and hit the right notes at the proper time so we are interpreted and understood by others. In addition, when we speak our truth accurately, we glide through life honestly and authentically. Coinciding with life’s major and minor experiences, we note harmony achieved through the rhythmic cadence of purpose. In taking in and letting go of life with our essence, we realize the basic sounds of our soul resides within us, and the composition of our Spirit is indeed life’s most beautiful instrument.

 But for those of us who have found it a challenge to truly accept, let alone celebrate, ourselves, the issue invariably started in childhood. Some combination of events, and our interpretation of and efforts to cope with those events, caused us to lose sight of the fundamental difference between ourselves and someone else. In fact, we may even treat ourselves worse than we treat our friends, neighbours, partners.

It is the child in you that needs to hear this message about his or her innate beauty and value. As a child you may have restricted your sense of yourself, and for very good reasons. But whatever happened to you in the past, you can use your imagination to envision more freedom, more joy, and a deeper, truer sense of yourself.


      


The Authentic Self can easily be identified through the feeling body. When you feel feelings of groundedness, freedom, honesty, self-expression, uniqueness, peacefulness, creativity and gratitude it is likely you are in your authentic self. If you feel feelings of despair, isolation, loneliness, hopelessness, boredom, anguish, loss of self-expression or sense of self it is likely you are operating from your conditioned self.

The journey to authentic living requires self-reflection to determine what truly is important to you as a unique human being. It is through our individual diversity we can tease forth a collective genius creating a conscious collective of happy humans.

Take notice, is your daily lifestyle is one where you feel suppressed, oppressed or depressed? Look at these feelings as helpful signposts of where you need to make changes in your life. If going to work depresses you, then it is a clear signal that change is needed. 

Start a conversation with yourself to examine your life and commitment to being authentic. Here are just a few ideas to open the door to your conversation. “Am I being authentic in every area of my life? Do I speak the truth to those around me? Do I know how I am feeling at all times or am I numb and shut down? What brings me happiness? How do I like to contribute to others and myself? Do I have community that supports me? Am I supportive in the community?”

The greatest conscious awareness is achieved first by individuals. It will take the majority of people time to catch up. You were born for this time. Be authentically awesome!


       


A meaningful life is born in the soul, grown in the mind, and lived from the heart.      


Carl Jung, the famous psychotherapist once said. “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.” That is where you will find your real Truth – who and what you are. It is in your heart and in your soul.

 Be and express who you truly are. There are several wonderful advantages to letting the world see your shine, your glow. The first is your health. You have inside you a tuning fork that vibrates to your true note. And when you are trying to sing someone else’s note, your body vibration is out of key and can find no ease, no peace or grace. Sing Your note, and Your body begins to vibrate in beautiful harmony with your true being. In order to contribute to life and provide value to others, you must first connect to the value that is within you. To connect with and appreciate that unique inner value, look past all the superficial things undertaken or acquired only to impress others, and focus on what is sincerely you.

 Sooner or later, people will realize what has gone wrong in their lives – because no matter how beautiful you pretend to be outside, inside you cannot hide the truth of your real self. In society, you might be respectable and you might portray a powerful image, but in your own eyes, you know your true image. And, when you come to know that all your life you acted as somebody else and kept on changing masks, then you will sink low in your own eyes, and resent missing all the joys you could have had by just being yourself


 

                     


Follow Your Own Inner Compass


Few things are more dissatisfying and unfulfilling as adapting your inner compass to others. 

We all have been blessed with an inner compass, our intuition, an ongoing, user-friendly, and trustworthy gift. Our inner compass is a powerful tool, which can be used daily for both big and small decisions and points us to our truth. We are spiritual beings able to pick up on the energy inside us and of that surrounds us easily and readily. We are very much like radio receivers. When you are being truly yourself, you know what to do and say. Everything within you points to that truth. Decisions become clear when you are living in true integrity, for your compass points the way.

An INTUITION, a VISION, a GUT FEELING or even a FEELING OF UNQUESTIONABLE KNOWING… those are all messages we receive from this inner compass on a daily basis. The problem, however, is that most times; we have a hard time hearing those messages. We have so many “pressing and urgent” other things on our minds that we fail to hear the whispers of this inner guidance.

It is through the second- guessing of yourself, through wondering what others want from you, that you become confused and lose your way.

The more honest you can be - with yourself and with others - about who you are and what you need to be fulfilled, the more likely you are to create a life that’s right for you. But excavating your truth may seem like a daunting task.


   


In the early stages of life we are often focused on pleasing others…parents, teachers, bosses, and spouses.  In an effort to get our needs met, we learn to play by other people’s rules. Many of us end up leading lives in which we are not really being true to ourselves. This may be we have been programmed from childhood to be the person our parents, teachers or society wants us to be. When we struggle to prove ourselves, achieve success, win approval, love and affection or achieve the perfection we think is expected of us we often loose ourselves in the process. This means that we behave the way other people want us to, rather then following our own path and unique spirit. We may become our own perfectionist, strict parent, work – alcoholic, approval seeker or slave driver. When this happens, it is likely that we become depressed, which will then weaken our immune system with the result that we become vulnerable to the onset of serious illnesses.

But as we mature, we become more competent, independent, and able to meet our own needs. We are then less motivated to do what others want us to do. We tire of keeping up appearances, and care much less about what other people think. We no longer want to chase someone else’s dream; we want to live our own dreams. In short, we come to grips with the idea of being our own person. Now we just want to live a life that feels right. We want to be free of inner turmoil and outer chaos. Instead of approval, we are more likely to seek a sense of inner peace…the kind that accompanies authentic living.

Sooner or later, people will realize what has gone wrong in their lives – because no matter how beautiful you pretend to be outside, inside you cannot hide the truth of your real self. In society, you might be respectable and you might portray a powerful image, but in your own eyes, you know your true image. And, when you come to know that all your life you acted as somebody else and kept on changing masks, then you will sink low in your own eyes, and resent missing all the joys you could have had by just being yourself


    


Are you making the right choices for you and being true to your conscious and sub-conscious self?

Are you making the right choices for where you see yourself 5, 10, 15 or 20 years down the road?

Are you making the right choices for a personal happiness plan that is in better alignment with who you really are within?

Are you making the choices that don’t leave you with regrets when closing in on the last chapter of your life?

    


TO BE TRUE TO YOURSELF TAKES COURAGE.


It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. Being true to yourself does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.

Being yourself is celebrating you, as an individual - learning to express yourself and be happy with who you are. For some people, it's learning to love yourself, for others, its not hiding who you are or changing things about you to fit in. How often do you not say or do something because you're worried about how it'll be perceived? For most of us, this happens more often then we'd like to admit.

Even though we may say we want to live in a way that is true to our deepest passions, beliefs, and desires; most of us don't and it's not that easy. Our parents, teachers, spouses, friends, co-workers, politicians, the media, and others have taught us, that it's more important to be liked and to fit in than it is to be who we truly are. In addition, many of us assume that who we are is not good enough and therefore we're constantly trying to fix ourselves, or to act like others who we think are better than us.

So many of us don’t ever look deeply enough to uncover the truth of who we really are, which is absolutely the antithesis of awful; but is awe full!


        


Sometimes we fall like blind sheep over the ledge and into the pit of cultural should do and should not do, of acceptable and unacceptable. So that what others think becomes genuinely unconscious factors in our choices. Whether it’s about which music is popular to listen to, which TV show to watch, or which clothes are in style, or something vastly more important, like which path to follow or who to love, we must be consciously aware of what influences play into our choices and decisions.  Living authentically means living true one’s own beliefs, opinions, and ideas, even if that means being unsupported. 


As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself. If you are being true to yourself and it isn't enough for the people around you, change the people around you.

 You need to act on your own. You have to show tremendous courage to make your own decisions. You might be condemned, you might be ridiculed, you might be threatened – but you should not ever give up to stand up for your own individuality.  Be a rebel and start your inner revolution before it is too late. This in it self will strengthen you and your immune system when you are ill. Your original self is the most beautiful, highest and eternal gift that has been given to you by your own existence. So don’t give up, and don’t compromise for something lesser and temporary.

Being yourself is celebrating you, as an individual - For some people, it's learning to love yourself, for others, its not hiding who you are or changing things about you to fit in. Being different is absolutely beautiful and it attracts people to you. Don’t stand in someone else’s shadow when it’s your sunlight that should lead the way,

As the famous 19th century Irish author and poet Oscar Wilde so brilliantly stated, "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken."


     


When you dare to be an original you are in essence daring to be "yourself" and everything that encompasses who you really are. To many of us, that can be a scary and daunting proposition.  

And why is that?

Because it means putting ourselves on the line. It means subjecting ourselves to scrutiny, judgment and possible ridicule. It means exposure and vulnerability. Certainly there is more comfort to be found in conformity, lying low, and blending in with the crowd. There is also boredom, complacency, and the prospect of never living to your potential.

It takes courage and self-confidence to dare to be an original - to reveal your uniqueness and to show that you're one of a kind. However, as with any frightening endeavor, the rewards of overcoming obstacles and prevailing far out weigh the consequences of not venturing forth. - Steve Jobs


       

Being true to yourself involves understanding one’s belief, values and self-love. Staying true to yourself means being you even when it feels as if you’re going against the grain and won’t fit in. You have to love yourself unconditionally. True love begins with yourself! Don’t say that you always have to please other people.    If you please others with cancer in your body, is that good? Or if you swallow the anger within you, is that good? Trying to satisfy all those demands of people around you, you will often your true self and authenticity, and often without consciously realising it. That is the first step on any path of discovery. See yourself for who you really are, faults and all, and just accept you as you are.

Without these, you will fall prey to what others want you to be like; and for some, they never will get to find out who they are. No one can be you, but you. However, everyone can be someone else. The common thing a lot of people do is copy others actions because it seems like the better route to fit in, but really, shouldn't you stand out? Whether it's your sense of style, or even your manner of speaking, if your preferred way of doing something strays from the mainstream, then be proud of it... unless it's destructive to yourself or others. Be a character, not a type. Even if it's not something you would normally do; that's what being yourself is all about. Those who are true to their selves do not have time to be copycats and follow after other people’s beliefs, while forgetting their own. Those who are true to their selves do not seek people’s approval on how to live their lives.


    


Being true to yourself, is loving who you are and everything about you, even when others try to pinpoint flaws. If you are going to live the life you want to live, you will definitely come across people who will have an opinion on what you should do, how you should live and who you should be. That will never go away. However, if you love yourself unconditionally, then you’re the president of your own fan club. So don’t change your fierceness because someone else doesn’t like it. Often, people criticize others when they feel inadequate about themselves. You can be who you want to be but you have to be willing to drown out the opinionated voices of others and stay true to yourself. You have to shed that anxiety and fear of not being accepted or not being appreciated for your own greatness in order to be true to yourself.


                When you love yourself,

         you will know how to love others.


Moreover, there will be many things you will not compromise. Your self-esteem and self-respect for yourself will be very high. When you are true to yourself, you will be able to stand by what you believe, even when some are totally against your belief. You will hold yourself to a higher standard and expect the best for yourself and those around you. Remember you are the one that have to live your life no one can live it for you. Refuse to allow others to cause you to be wish washy, stand on what you believe. As it is important to not let family members decide, it is also important not to let society and the media push you in a certain direction, especially when it comes to your physical appearance. Don't let yourself caught up in a habit of constantly changing who you are or how you act just to fit in. Don't feel you have to prove your worth to the world. Do not take action or pretend to be someone else for the sake of gaining acceptance.

Trying to satisfy all those demands of people around you, you will often lose your true self and authenticity, and often without consciously realising it.


      


When you respect yourself, others will respect you.       They will sense that you are strong and capable of standing up for yourself and your beliefs. When you are true to yourself, you allow your individuality and uniqueness to shine through. You respect the opinions    of others but do not conform to stereotypes or their expectations of you. Being true to yourself does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you     or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.

Stand for what you believe. Don't allow others to talk you into doing something that you don't like to do or want to do. Don't allow others to put you down. Speak up, in a calm, firm voice and state your opinion. Don't listen to the negative comments from others. We seem to pick up on negative comments and use these to mold our behavior. Study the "Self Fulfilling Prophecy," which is "we will pick up from others and become what they want us to be." Stay away from negative people and people who put you down. Surround yourself with people who are supportive and value what you value.

Stop caring about how people perceive you. The fact is, it really doesn't matter. Understand that the less you care what people think of you, the more they may like you. Why? Because no matter how much pressure there seems to be to become "normal", people like novelty.

It's impossible to be yourself when you're caught up in wondering, "Do they think I'm funny? Does she think I'm fat? Do they think I'm stupid?" To be yourself, you've got to let go of these concerns and just let your behavior flow, with only your consideration of others as a filter - not their consideration of you. Besides, if you change yourself for one person or group, another person or group may not like you, and you could go around in a vicious cycle trying to please people; it's totally pointless in the end, and it leaves you exhausted.

However, if someone you trust and respect critiques aspects of who you are, feel free to judge (honestly) whether or not it is accurate instead of accepting or dismissing the critique unconditionally. What have you got to hide? We're all imperfect, growing, learning human beings. If you feel ashamed or insecure about any aspect of yourself - and you feel that you have to hide those parts of you, whether physically or emotionally - then you have to come to terms with that and learn to convert your so - called flaws into individualistic quirks. Be honest with yourself, but don't beat yourself up; apply this philosophy to others, as well.

When you are not being true to yourselves, you feel fragmented and lose confidence and trust in yourselves. It can lead to stress as your own needs remain unsatisfied. In the long-term your health and fitness suffers, and you become increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied.

     

Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who spent several years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 12 weeks of their lives. She recorded their dying epiphanies, which gathered so much attention that she put her observations into a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

Ware writes of the phenomenal clarity of vision that people gain at the end of their lives, and how we might learn from their wisdom. "When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently," she says, "common themes surfaced again and again."


1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.


2. I wish I didn't work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.


3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.


4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.


It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.


5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.


When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

 

        


When you are true to yourself you feel satisfied and happy. You are brimming with energy, confidence and motivation and you believe in yourself; in short you feel good about yourself. You have faith in yourself and respect the person within you. You will meet different people throughout the day at your workplace, at home or while traveling, they will all make snap judgements about you and form different opinions. However, whatever they think and whatever they say cannot change you, you are still yourself. 


Never lose your self-respect and self-esteem, never let yourself down even in crisis situations and never lose interest in living.


If you stop trying to please other people by trying to meet their definitions of perfect, you take a lot of weight off your shoulders. The expectation of making something perfect is a big stress that constantly eats away at you, thus using up emotional energy that you could put to much better use. Do everything to the best standard that you can, so you are satisfied with your own work. Strive for your own definition of perfection (which may be totally the opposite of the general consensus).

I believe that everyone is good at something. Every single person has a unique gift or way of expressing himself or herself that will make a positive change on the life of at least one other person. We all have a gift to be able to influence people in some unique way, whether it be through words, music, painting, sport, construction, food or anything else you can think of really, the list is endless. Even if you are not the best in the world at something, if you are really passionate about it, your passion can be an inspiration and motivation for others.


     


You have the choice to break free from the expected perfection in our society. You have the choice to not just follow a system where other people tell you how to live and what you can and cannot do.

We hold misconceptions of our abilities to express ourselves every day. Thinking we should wait until life’s components give us perfection in love, health, money, job, etc., we delay our greatest fulfillment – that of self-expression. When we learn that no matter how distorted our external world may be, or our perceived role in that world, the true fuel of our being lies deep within us. Dare to learn a different method of taking in and releasing your life force, and free yourself from limitation. Project your essence to the world and live your harmony!


        


"I may not be Stunning, I may not be Size 10. I may not have a Perfect Skin. But I'm Happy and Appreciate Myself. I Don't need Make - Up to make Myself Beautiful. I'm already beautiful, through my Spirit, Personality and Soul"


Appreciate yourself


So often we forget to take a step back and acknowledge how far we have come, how many challenges we have overcome and the breakthroughs we have had. Don't be so busy trying to get ahead that you don't see how far you have traveled. Notice what you have worked through and your commitment to growth and healing. Doing so builds an inner and outer abundance over time. It will help you to see the glass, or life, half full rather than half empty. 

Appreciate and honor who you are, what you do, and the gifts and talents that you have. Celebrating yourself is not about being arrogant. It's an awareness of your own power and it's the key to self-confidence, fulfillment, and authenticity. For some people, it's learning to love themselves, for others, its not hiding who you are or changing things about you to fit in. Do not let others decide for you what you are destined to do. It will make finding yourself even harder since people are influencing who you think you are. If you would talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you'd have no friends left.

Look in the mirror. I know plenty of people who look at themselves in the mirror each morning and say things like, “You’re awesome!” or “You can do it!” before they start their day. I know this sounds relatively insane, but it helps and I speak from experience. If you can’t tell yourself that you’re good at something and actually believe it, why should you believe anyone else who says it?  Identify your strongest interest and ability.


Cultivate this 'special' skill/talent. This is something special that God has given you. This is what you are supposed to give back to the world. Invest money in this skill/talent. You won't be sorry. God will bless it.

If you keep trying to do something and it is not working, and everything is falling in, give it up. There are some things that weren't meant to be. Accept this and move on. You can learn to appreciate yourself and your life by not asking  "what can I get by with?" but "in my wildest dreams, what would I LOVE to see happen here?"  Not "how can I survive", but "if I had the unlimited imagination of Dr. Seuss, and if I were living the most wonderful possible life during my time     on this planet, what would it look like?"


        


            What does it mean for you to "be yourself"?

How do you do that as you go through your day, so it isn't just a greeting card platitude? You intent is essential. Cultivate a strong intent to treat yourself with kindness and love and dignity at all times. If you do that, all the wisdom, insight, and support you need for the journey will show up in your life. You can begin to live this intent by choosing to notice what you are feeling, moment by moment, and honoring that as part of the "you" that you are lucky to be.
 To live authentically you need not spend two weeks on a mountaintop in Tibet (although that might be terrific too). You simply have to make time on a regular basis for self-reflection. Tune in to who you are, what you want, and what is best for you next. The rest will unfold.

If we move as fast as we can down a path that leads us away from our true desires, we end up backtracking anyway, or going around in circles searching for the place that feels like home. When we don’t take the time to tune in to what’s best for us next, we actually waste time with many false starts and journeys that might otherwise be avoided. An authentic life is built from the inside out…with attention to one’s inner wisdom.

 

  • What is driving or motivating you, e.g. in your relationships, home, work?
  • What roles do you play or which persona's to you project? 
  • What aspects of your nature is well expressed or under - expressed?
  • What are the best parts of your life that brings you fully alive?
  • What does your life meaning?
  • What do you like about yourself?
  • "What is important to me?"
  • If you had to hang out with yourself for a day, what is the most fun type of person you could be, while still being yourself?
  • What is the best version of you? 

 

       


Who’s Perfect?


No one is. Self-acceptance based on your own high (or limiting) standards. Be willing to rewrite the story you tell yourself based on what’s real, and what’s kind.

We are all indoctrinated to attain perfection. It starts in school where they teach us to get perfect grades or 100% for tests. Beauty magazines tell us to have blemish-free skin. The media tells us to have a spotlessly clean floor or house. In today’s society, perfection is the norm and anything less than that is just average.

Since perfection is pretty impossible to attain, “surprisingly” many of us never reach it. After all, which person is really perfect and who can do a job absolutely perfectly every single time?

This is a big contributor to the depression and limiting beliefs in many people’s lives all around the world. If the expectation is ‘perfection’ but you can’t reach it, then there must be something wrong with you. From a logical deduction it must mean that you are a failure. (I feel that this is true only if you believe it to be true).


 “I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”


There’s a difference between excellence and perfection. “Excellence involves enjoying what you’re doing, feeling good about what you’ve learned, and developing confidence. Perfection involves…always finding mistakes no matter how well you’re doing.”

The pursuit of excellence requires effort and focus. Yet, unlike perfectionism, it doesn’t demand a sacrifice of self-esteem because the focus is on the process of achievement rather than the outcome.

See inner critic:  Your Inner Critic


    

Perfectionism can drive one to heights of achievement…or to the depths of despair and inaction. Perfectionism demands that you and your work be flawless because anything else is unacceptable. It’s all black and white: either you’re perfect or you’re a failure. Perfectionism is a learned attitude that’s very different from working to achieve excellence.

Don’t let the self-limiting and false belief of “I am not talented…. hold you back from expressing yourself. Find something that you enjoy doing and focus your energy and attention on it. Remember that no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities. At some point in any of our lives, we may feel we lack something.

Identify your successes. Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel, then focus on your talents. Give yourself permission to take pride in them. Give yourself credit for your successes. Inferiority is a state of mind in which you've declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimized. Express yourself, whether it's through art, music, writing, dancing, gardening, cooking, etc.

When you're following your passion, not only will it have a therapeutic effect, but you'll feel unique and accomplished, all of which can help build your self confidence. Stop trying to be perfect and start being creative and artistic. Share your unique gift with the world.

Learn to separate the “who” from the “do.”  Understand that your self-worth isn’t always measured by perfect achievement. Sometimes a small thoughtful gift means more than the perfect one.

Appreciate the moment. Too often, we spend our time worrying about past things we can’t change or future things that will never happen.


       


Walking your own Path 


You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you ever need.

Have the courage and the heart, the centeredness, to follow your own path, to be who you are and love being who you are, no matter what. Shine out and show others who you are, so that people who are looking for someone exactly like you can find you. Do not allow setbacks or even major betrayals to dampen your shine and your being. In life’s journey you will encounter much, narrow paths blocked by avalanches, forks in the road shrouded in fog, deep valleys of darkness and bright sunny days in meadows of golden poppies. It is all a part of life. And as you walk your path, other people will join you for a time: a dear friend, a lover, a spouse, children and parents. And then they may go away.

And through it all, the only constant is that you are you, that you have a core of truth within you and a path to walk, and if you allow your core of truth to tell you which fork in the road to take, if you allow that internal compass to tell you which mountain to climb, then you will do well indeed and have a fulfilling, interesting life. If you go chasing after others, trying to make things be other than how they naturally are, then you will find yourself suddenly awakening in a deep forest without knowing where to turn. You will find yourself lost and confused, because you have lost touch with your own personal truth. And when this happens, you must just sit down in the forest, become very still, and return to yourself. You must reach down and find yourself again before you continue walking, or else you will simply go around in circles, becoming more desperate and alone and lost.

You are everything you need to be, just as you are, right now. You are the center of your own life. You are the beacon that shines and shows the way. Be glad when others walk beside you, enjoy their company, connect as closely and deeply as you can, but always, always, shine your own light and walk your own path and allow them to do the same.



Once you start loving yourself the way you are, joy will shower you from everywhere. You will feel happier and blissful. Only then growth will blossom in your soul, and you will become the flower of your own self. A flower that radiates with its original fragrance that lives in freedom, and dies in utter satisfaction and glory… It is your Higher Self – that part of you that is love and light. It is that part of you that is guided by Divine Truth and Wisdom. Choose to shine out with all that you are, in all of your wonder, walking in deep faith like a lantern shining out for yourself and others. Choose to love and embrace this precious life and every blessing that it brings you, every moment. You are alive!

Go into your center and find your truth, there, underneath emotion, in a deep pool of peace and beingness. Then bring it up through your heart, to add love and compassion and to pick up courage. Let it float out into the world, your truth fully expressed in words, in a song, in a painting or a dance, in your work, in your loving relationships, in your laughter and in your smile. This is who I am, you sing, you say, you dance. I am here and I shine.

If you cannot see clearly where the path lies for you, do not be concerned. Sometimes it is revealed only step-by-step, moment-by-moment, like making your way through the forest in a fog. At other times, the sun shines brightly and a clearing opens for you to run across in clarity and joy. It does not matter if you find yourself in a dense forest in the fog or in that open clearing. And as you feel your way along through the mossy trees, it will tell you if you are heading the right direction. While on your eye-opening journey, you cannot imitate the conventional lives of other people. You might have to make some changes, and particularly some sacrifices, if you are to follow a path whose goal is different from the norm.  

After a time, with the turbulence in your mind quieted down, with the space around you open and inviting, life will have a chance to approach you. Fill yourself with courage and begin to turn the ideas and new approaches into physical reality in your life. Do the research, follow the opportunities, make the phone calls, and take the action that was hinted at in your quiet moments in the clearing. For everything that you do, every new contact you make, every idea or new approach that you follow up on, you will learn something. And the next day in the clearing, yet more ideas and approaches will come to you.

One day, you will realize that you are surrounded by interesting options; new ideas and new contacts feel very comfortable in your presence and are flowing toward you. Dig deep and find the courage to say what you believe, to live your life in full integrity, to be a walking, talking representation of your truest self. There is a price paid for each time that you suppress your truth because you are afraid someone else will not approve of it. Imagine if you were to live your life in full expression of your deepest truths and talents, letting your original self shine through. What a joy that would be! What freedom!


    


But perhaps the most important reason to be yourself is this: when you are truly yourself, expressing yourself fully in what you do and are, then the people who are looking for someone exactly like you can find you. You become a magnet, pulling toward you those that resonate with your truest and deepest heart and center.

 “Whatever you have forgotten, you can remember. Whatever you have buried you can unearth. If you are willing to look deep into your own nature, if you are willing to peel away the layers of not-self you have adopted in making your way through the tribulations of life, you will find that your true self is not as far removed as you think.” - Meredith Jordan

Becoming true to yourself takes you to the very heart of the question of what your life has been all about until now and whether this really expresses you". 


       


Dr. Seuss:

"If we didn't have birthdays, you wouldn't be you.
If you'd never been born, well then what would you do?
If you'd never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes."

"Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, "I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I'm not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am! That's a great thing to be!
If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!"


Be yourself and show the world you're proud of the way you are!


 


 Next page: Chapter 6 - Surviving Cancer

 

 

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