“To be nobody but myself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else-means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting.” – E.E. Cummings
We all have periods in life when we question who we are and where we’re headed. We feel misplaced and aimless, and it takes a huge toll on our self-confidence. Maybe you’re going through a major life transition right now, or you recently experienced a loss of some sort. It’s easy to lose touch with our true self during uncertain times. In the process of masking our thoughts, feelings, dreams, and passions we lose touch with who we really are. We forget that we are much more than the personality we present to others. We forget that who we are at our core doesn’t have to change because circumstances change. This clarity and foundation are why it’s so inspiring to spend time with authentic people. They are comforting to be around. There are no games or hidden agendas. They aren’t judging themselves and they aren’t judging others. Sounds nice right? Well here are some ways you can start growing into a more authentic person as well.
Share your dreams
What are your hopes, dreams, passions, visions, goals for the future? What excites and inspires you? Sometimes we’re hesitant to share our big dreams with other people. We are afraid of what they will think and how they will respond. This is unfortunate because are never more authentic than when we’re in touch with our dreams, passions, and vision for life. We all have dreams and passions, but for some people they lay dormant and ignored. Don’t be afraid to share your dreams with other people and make these a part of who you are.
Be honest and vulnerable
“No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
Are you being honest with yourself and others? We often sugar coat who we are and the way we feel so we don’t have to deal with it. This is because some of the most powerful emotions and states of mind are very vulnerable. It can feel vulnerable to love. It takes courage to be completely honest and open with people. Be more vulnerable and honest for one day and see how it feels. Answer the question, “If someone really knew me, they would know….” Use your answer to this question to help you connect deeper with other people.
Let your emotions out
Some people struggle to express their emotions fully. I am one of these people. For me it helps to meditate and pray, but I have also found that if I let my emotions out in other ways I feel more congruent and whole. I love letting my emotions out through music. What can you do to let your emotions out in a healthy way? Scream, jump around, dance and sing? Negative emotions can fester over time. Find an outlet for your emotions instead of holding them in.
Learn to lean on others
Reaching out to others can be a great source of self-knowledge and personal growth. Unfortunately many people aren’t very open with how they feel and what is going on in their life. If you’re going through a difficult time try to open up instead of shutting down. Start reaching out to people who can help you grow, learn, and expand. Seek help when you need it, and bring people into your life that you can be completely yourself around.
Be responsible and live fully
It is important to take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions. We have responsibilities that require our practical decision making, but at the same time we are also responsible to live with passion and purpose. We will live more authentically when we acknowledge we always have a choice in every situation. Take responsibility for your life and make things happen. If today was the last day of your life, what would you say and do differently?
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C.G. Jung
We all know the world would be extremely boring if everyone was the same. So why do we worry about what other people think of us? Start celebrating who you are! Celebrate your accomplishments, talents, unique traits, weakness, and perspective on life. Believe in who you are! Embrace who you are! Every experience offers us a chance to evolve and grow. Start getting to know yourself. What is your story? What is the relationship like with your thoughts and feelings? You true self with emerge as you start expressing your gifts and talents and tending to the deep and meaningful side of life.