Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘authenticity’

Celebrate Your Authentic Self!

Those who have lived a long life and learned a great deal in the process have an important message for us… ‘live a life true to yourself and not simply one that others expect you to live’ – in other words to be your authentic self.

At a Commencement address at Stanford University Steve Jobs reiterated this thought when he said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice… have the courage to follow your heart and intuition …they somehow already know what you truly want to become…”

A famous line from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet says, ‘To thine own self be true…’

So there we have it, a few quotes from hundreds of different sources spanning in time from the 1600’s to the present yet with the same idea – to live authentically by knowing our own values, preferences and abilities and being strong enough to be our genuine self during our life’s journey.

Some people are afraid of being authentic or truly known because they worry that if others really knew them they might reject them. That’s possible for any of us but not likely. Besides those people who make it a habit of rejecting others are basically unhappy, stressed, uninspired and just stuck in their own life. Others do not listen to them because they are simply too exhausting to be around. So think about that for a moment…do you really need to care about being accepted by everyone? Ask yourself, what is the worst possible thing that could happen if someone rejected you… could you survive it? My guess is – absolutely! Why not relieve yourself of the pressure of trying to be perfect and just be who you were designed to be – your beautiful and unique – one of a kind self!

The Universe provides us the opportunity to learn our chosen life lessons. Could it be that one of those lessons is to learn to be true to ourselves? If so, how are you doing with that? Is it time to remove your mask and breathe deeply into your own truth? I assure you that you’ll be glad you did. After all, the Universal Energy doesn’t make mistakes and you are exactly who you are supposed to be – and that’s a wonderful thing!

The title of Mike Robbin’s book says it all… ‘Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Already Taken.’

Have a great few days!

Say what You Mean…

The lyrics from the Moody Blues, ‘Say what you mean and mean what you say…Think about the words you are using…Speak for yourself…Say what’s on your mind…’ Are incredibly powerful. I wonder how many of us do so without problems, worries or dramas. Being ourselves and saying what we means only happens when we feel strong in our own identity.

Studies have shown that being authentic is critical in relationships. Sometimes easier said then done right? Actually, for those of us who often choose to sit back and wait to see what others want to say or do, practicing authenticity is an important lesson to work on. The truth is that continually ‘giving in’ not only wears thin but can cause deep seated resentments that frequently surface given enough time.

We owe it to ourselves and the people we are around to speak up – ever so gently – and be heard. Think of it this way, unspoken expectations can dampen or potentially end any relationship. If we are concerned about being viewed as pushy or demanding maybe it’s time to consider how we are presenting our viewpoints. Often, rehearsing in our mind a way to speak our truth without anger, challenge or negative energy being in the mix goes a long way to enhanced communication. When we are upfront and open about our likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. it not only helps us but really helps those closest to us. We take the guess work out of relationships this way. After all, a healthy relationship cannot be built on a strategy of 20 questions!

Balance, the give and take in life, is the key. We want to be viewed as considerate, of course, but have we allowed it to become an art form in our behavior? Consider this … how many times have you ‘given in’ and ate a certain type of food, watched a particular genre of movie or even traveled to a specific location that you were never truly interested in? Reflecting back now, did you bring your best self to the situation?

Often, we think that letting others decide and take the lead will make them happy. ‘It’s no big deal,’ we tell ourself as we try to justify why we chose not to speak up and state our desire. But the truth is it can become a big deal if we start to make it a habit. We can’t make others happy by continually giving in. It’s not only an unrealistic goal but actually double backs and resurfaces – often with a bang not a whimper – at the most inopportune times.

How many of us have actually ‘negotiated’ with a spouse, partner or even friend in reference to what we need or want. Have we been self-confident enough to state our preferences or desires? When we respect ourselves enough to state our own wants or needs up front, others respect us much more in the long run. Solid relationships are built on respect.

Equality starts with a belief that everyone’s needs and desires (including our own) are equally important. The next step is then practicing this belief. Let’s decide right here and now that we are worth it and engage in decision making rather than merely observe it happening. Everyone will be better off in the long run!

Have a great few days!

The Importance of Self Love

Charlie Chaplin who was best known as a mime actor wrote a poem on self love. The whole topic of loving ourselves may, at first, be thought of as hedonistic. Yet, how can we ever truly love another if we have not first learned to love ourself? Often we are so busy on our quest to make others happy that we discount our own needs and desires and agree to do things that in our heart we really, really do not want to do. As a result we end up resenting the situation and over time even the person. Self love teaches us to be authentic and recognize our own feelings, needs and desires first. Basically, we allow ourself to say ‘yes’ AND ‘no’ without guilt. As we begin to practice self love we become happier and more self confident, authentic, and mature. We learn to back off and let others experience their own lessons in life. The help we offer is not to do something for them but to let them know that we have faith in their ability to overcome the issues that come up in their lives. After all, the more we rescue the more dependent others can become – and that hurts both parties.

In the poem Chaplin said, “As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at exactly the right moment. So I could be calm… As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

Is it time to practice self love? It’s worth considering!

Have a great few days!