Staying True to You – Part 1

How faithful are you to yourself? What level of trust do you have with YOU? Do you hold yourself accountable for following through on your plans, ideas, and goals? Or do you let yourself change your mind if you feel pressured or if something (or someone) “better” or “more fun” comes along? 

How do you stay true to who you are and what you want to achieve?

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

The last Keep It Simple Blog provided some tips on Learning to Say No to people and to activities in your life to ensure you have time for yourself and for the things you want to do. Hopefully, during the last two weeks, you’ve been able to carve out a little extra time for YOU and the things you love. Now that you are starting to say no more often, how do you DO YOU and BE YOU with all your extra time?

Doing you and being you is about staying true to your SELF; not the self you show to people you don’t trust, or to those you want to please, but your REAL SELF. You know, the one who hides out most of the time when you’re working, socializing, or running errands out in the “real world”. Typically, your true self is who you are when you shut the door to your house after you get home. So, how do you allow that self to shine throughout the day rather than tucking it away? Unfortunately, it’s difficult to do unless you know clearly who you are, what you want, and you’re willing to accept what you can change, as well as what you have no control over. Knowing these things and actually taking action on them are very different. So, it’s crucial that you and your SELF start a relationship.

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else."

– Judy Garland

My belief is that the relationship you have with yourself determines your life trajectory in ALL things – your relationships, your job, what you put in your body, what you do or don’t with/to your body, what you say yes and no to, who you have in your life and who you leave out of it, what kind of shoes you buy, and which restaurant you choose to go to on your birthday. Really, the list could go on. Because everything you do is driven by your emotions. EVERYTHING. Every decision, choice, hang up, criticism, celebration, kitchen paint color, outfit, vehicle you drive – EVERYTHING – is based on how you feel, when you feel it, how deeply you feel it, and how you manage it. 

So, how do you feel, and why do you feel that way? To find out, you must look at the relationship you have with yourself. Within this relationship you might find empowerment or disempowerment, confidence or shyness, trust or distrust, courage or fear, balance or imbalance, strength or weakness, among a multitude of other qualities, characteristics, and skills. The amazing part of this is that you get to choose what is there and what is not. You get to decide what to let go of, what to hang on to, what you like or don’t like, what or who to enjoy or not – it’s ALL up to YOU. Isn’t that the greatest?!

“You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?"

– Dr. Seuss

In another Keep It Simple blog, Getting to Know You, self-awareness was the main topic of conversation. Hopefully, you’ve been thinking about and trying to tune in to yourself since then because self-awareness is the first step to developing this self-relationship to create more “stay-true-to-you” capacity. Growing and developing this rapport with SELF is like going on a date with someone you knew a long time ago, but then lost touch with, and now you’re looking to reconnect. What are some questions you would ask this “lost connection” to get to know them again? Sure, you would small talk a bit and jaunt down memory lane to haul up some super fun memories of times you had together, but that won’t tell you who they are now, right? There would have to be some deeper, more meaningful questions to ask (if you want to discover if this re-connection is worth pursuing or if you’re both wandering around in two completely different worlds) to be sure that you understand what kind of a person they are and what they truly want in their life, right?

So – ready to get started on developing a lasting relationship with yourself so you can stay true to you? First of all, keep saying no to activities and people that aren’t aligned with your goals, values, and beliefs. Next, find a place in which you will have the time and space to reflect – preferably without interruption (i.e. a quiet room, park, beach, forest, library, coffee shop, etc.). Then, using a journal, a voice recorder, or a big ass piece of paper, ask yourself these initial key questions:

1. What do I love about myself? What feelings do I have that tell me this is true for me?

2. What are some things I would change about myself? What feelings do I have that tell me this is true for me?

3. What initial clues do the answers from the first two questions give me about the quality of the relationship I have with myself?

4.  What could I let go of to strengthen the relationship with my SELF?

5. What could I add to strengthen the relationship with my SELF?

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”

– Dolly Parton

Learning to stay to true to who you are is a process and a journey. It won’t happen overnight – nothing worthwhile ever does. But when you commit to developing a strong understanding of your SELF, you will begin to create a deep, compassionate, caring relationship with your true self – making it much easier to say no when you need to, and feeling empowered and limitless when you do.

Your stay-true-to-you journey will continue in Part 2 – be sure to come on back now, ya hear! And if you found this post to be worthy, be sure to share it with someone you love. 

Until next time…

Keep It Simple,

Michelle H.

Simple Action Time!

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