Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘spirituality’

Determining Your Authentic Self

Have you ever felt that you are not being appreciated or that you are doing all the giving or supporting in a work or personal relationship? If you answered yes to this question let’s look a bit deeper into it. Could it be that you are so interested in getting others to accept or appreciate you that you have not allowed your authentic self to show? Is the fear of people really knowing you blocking you from showing the world what you truly stand for? If so, let me assure you that being authentic draws people to you – not ever away. People can feel truth.

Being authentic starts by first determining what is most important to you in life. As unique individuals we each have specific values that we hold most dear – those things that are truly nonnegotiable to us. Think about them as your personal mission statement. Values such as love, accomplishment, fairness, compassion, confidence, courage, health, freedom, family, harmony, integrity, kindness, optimism, patience, service, trust, orderliness, peace, spirituality, and gratitude are just a few from a long list of values to consider. Each one speaks volumes. Once you determine your own priority of values navigating through life becomes so much easier. In essence, you become more confident and decision making becomes easier because you are more at peace in your own skin.

A helpful way to determine your authentic self is to choose five values that you find most important. You know, the ones that seem to radiate energy back to you as you consider them. The list of words above can be a starting point to consider. The list is long for a purpose. The process is important. Evaluating each word forces you to take the time to consider what it truly means to you. Determining your top five forces you to prioritize as you remind yourself of who you are in your heart. Once you have taken the time to determine your own nonnegotiable values life becomes easier. When you encounter decisions, challenges or obstacles (the should I or shouldn’t I) in life you have a measuring stick to help steer you on a course of action reflects the real you.

Growing more confident as an individual means that you allow your unique identity to be known by others. But…’what if they won’t like me or accept me for who I am’ you may wonder. It’s true not everyone may like you. Just as you do not necessarily like everyone you encounter. It’s simply a cold, hard immutable fact of life. There are bits and pieces in everyone’s personality that leaves something to be desired. It’s called being human. These little quirks in others can be overlook but the values behind them cannot. A person’s values determine not only who they are but what they will do in a pinch. That’s important to know. Likewise, if we try to morph ourselves into something we do not truly value in order to fit in or be accepted it just doesn’t work. We project insincerity or insecurity that is easily felt by others.

Determining the values you hold dear helps you project with confidence who you really are at your core. Just as truth has no versions – your authentic self has no versions either. Any future role in life will never define you because deep down you know what you stand for – no pretenses necessary. Taking the time to determine your authentic self is critical to self esteem. The process alone will help you begin to truly love yourself for all the strengths you possess and there are many! Give it a try and take the time to decide on your top five values … you’ll be glad you did!

Have a great few days!

Divine Virtues (Part 2 of 2)

In my last blog I talked about a speaker, Robert Schwartz, and his topic of life virtures, at a recent international conference I attended.  I listed the first 14 virtues on Wednesday and will complete the set today with the remaining 13 (and my interpretation of the definitions as needed).   After you have all 27 virtues I will explain an exercise he gave us that was quite enlightening in the search for our own, individual life plan or purpose.

15.  Sharing

16.  Reverence for Life (honoring the life energy in all living things)

17.  Cooperation

18.  Harmony

19.  Balance

20.  Open-heartedness (drop the armor from around your heart from previous hurts)

21.  Humility

22.  Spirituality

23.  Forgiveness

24.  Gentleness

25.  Self Control

26.  Perseverance

27.  Coming Into a Greater Knowing of Your Strength and Power (you may feel powerless or unworthy of what you really desire)

Write all 27 life virtues along the left hand side of a page of paper.  Then think about the greatest life challenges you have had and list them in chronological order from birth/childhood forward (illness, loss of siblings, moving from place to place, separations, divorces, deaths, basically anything that has been quite difficult to overcome).  Make a list of these (maybe 10-15) on a  separate sheet of paper.  Now, for each difficult challenge in your life using a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest) think about EACH virtue of the 27. For instance, if one of your life challenges has been loss, rate  on a scale of 1-10 the difficulty encountered in loss in reference to faith, trust, acceptance, compassion, etc. for all 27 virtues.  This will take at least 30 minutes to complete as you really consider the challenges, rankings and divine virtues.  You might want to work on it a little and set it aside to let the ideas sort of incubate in your mind.  Ultimately, you will come up with 2-5 divine virtues that surface in your life that you have built big life challenges around to help you learn them. This can be a very humbling and enlightening experience if you take the time needed to go deep into your mind and pull out the ones that still seem to be a challenge, an irritant in your life.

One the next blog I will talk about the importance of recognizing your life challenges and accompanying divine virtues for you life. Have a great few days!