Do you ever feel you're out of alignment and disconnected from your true self? That you don't know who the real you is any more? That instead of plain sailing, your day-to-day life has become disorientating, even a little numb and out of whack?
If this sounds familiar, don't worry. You're in good company.
So what does it mean to be your 'authentic self' and how can you set about being unabashedly true to yourself? I want to answer this with a question. When somebody asks you, "Who are you?" how do you respond? "I'm a marketing exec." "I'm a yoga teacher." "I'm a mum." "I'm a multi-passionate entrepreneur."
Often the answer we give is not about who we are, but what we do. We define and identify ourselves by what I call an 'outer label.' Or to put it another way as our 'fictional self' -- the person the world has told us to be.
But none of these are who you are. The authentic you is the you that can be found at your absolute core. Like peeling back the layers of an artichoke, you need to go deep inside to find the answers. To patiently work your way to the sweet spot. The succulent, delicious center and essence of who you really are. The part that is not defined by your job, function or role but by all the magnificent things that are uniquely yours and need expression. The quirky, the messy, the exuberant, the raw, the divine. The precious. The perfect. The imperfect.
This is the real you.
But here's the thing. The more you live on the surface of life and your identity, the less you're in touch with your intuition, spirituality and deeper self. I know this so well because it's the way I lived for many years. I suppressed my deepest desires. I looked for happiness in all the wrong places. I hid behind 'masks' to keep up a ruse of living a perfect life. In the end everything came crashing down and I literally felt as though there was a hole in my soul.
How To Reconnect With Your Authentic Self: An Exercise
Living from a place of authenticity involves you being rooted in your most heartfelt values, beliefs and truth and living a life that's a genuine reflection of them. It's about being utterly honest with yourself and congruent through your thoughts, words and actions. (P.S. Walking this path is not comfortable, and honestly at times it can be excruciating to let go of old patterns that we've held onto so tightly).
However, every moment you make a choice to align with the truth of who you are, you're making steps towards your authentic self. That's how you blossom, expand and emerge into a whole new being. It's how you transform your life. To begin your inner journey, follow these steps:
1. Get clear about your core values and beliefs. If you're not sure what they are, try hiring a professionally qualified Life Coach or NLP Coach. They'll help guide you through a process to identity them.
2. Try this exercise! Imagine you have a giant light bulb directly above your head and that, when you are doing the things that give you most joy and juice in life, it lights up! Big time! Then ask yourself these three questions: Who Am I? What do I most desire? What makes me feel most connected to my authentic self? Excavate how you want to feel in your skin, heart, body, your relationships and career.
3. Next ask yourself: What makes my light bulb radiant and shine? What turns it on? Make a list of what makes you feel most alive and inspired as well as motivated to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. What are the things that spontaneously bring a smile to your face; that fill you up and ignite your spark? On the flip side, what diminishes its light?
4. Once you have got the answers to these questions, start spending time working on yourself by prioritizing things that you love the most. Go get yourself a copy of Danielle LaPorte's gorgeous. life-changing book The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul.
5. Every day, do a little more of what you really want to be doing and a little less of what you don't want, until your ideal becomes what's real!
Enjoy the journey and sending you, the real you, so much love.