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JOURNEY TO AUTHENTICITY

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde.

 

Many of us go through life on autopilot. We follow a schedule, do what is expected, and “get through” life. Some go through life wanting to be like someone else. There are people who have qualities we should emulate, but each person has a lot to offer by being themselves.

 

 Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Who am I?”

 

There are obvious answers. I am a mom, dad, sibling, cousin, aunt, or uncle. I am an employer or employee. I am a teacher, a lawyer, a chef, etc…

 

When you think outside the box, you have molded around yourself. Who are you?

 

How does a person even try to figure out who they are? Well, start by exploring your passions, values, and beliefs.

 

For much of my life, I followed the crowd and did what was expected. I tried to be what everyone else wanted but did not know who I was or what I stood for.

 

The most important thing I am is a Christian. Everything else is secondary. I knew from high school that I was a Christian and wanted to live my life for Christ. At that time, I did not know how to make that life my own. I went to church, listened, and did what I was told. I did Bible Studies, saw movies deemed “appropriate,” and was a “good” girl. I was happy, but I was living someone else’s life. I believe God has a plan for me, and the church and its teachings are essential. I had to make Christ the center of my life, not the activities and rules others gave me. At this point in my life, I am a strong Christian, and Christ is the most important thing to me. That does not mean I don’t sin and behave in a manner that is not pleasing to the Lord.

 

The above paragraph encompasses my passion, values, and beliefs.

 

I love many things about my life. Through counseling, (Karen, Lois, Amber, and Linda were and are my counselors. I am thankful to each one of you for helping me grow through difficult times and become the woman I am today), trying new things (which I don’t like to do), and developing relationships with others as helped me gain perspective in life.

 

I like who I am today. I am a Christian. I am a leader in the community. I am a sister. I am a cousin. Down deep inside, I am a nice, kind, person who is a Christian.

 

Finding myself has been a long journey, and I always learn new things about myself.

 

Finding your authentic self is a deeply personal and ongoing process, but there are several steps you can take to facilitate this journey of self-discovery. Here's a guide to help you along the way:

 

1.     Reflect on Your Values and Beliefs - Identify what truly matters to you. Consider the principles, values, and beliefs that resonate deeply with you rather than those you've adopted from family, friends, or society.

2.     Explore Your Passions and Interests - Explore activities, hobbies, and subjects that light you up. Your passions can be a powerful indicator of what makes you unique.

3.     Practice Mindfulness and Self-Awareness: Engage in practices like meditation, journaling, or mindfulness to become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This can help you understand your true self on a deeper level.

4.     Seek Feedback and Perspectives - Sometimes, seeing ourselves through the eyes of others can offer valuable insights. Ask trusted friends or family members for their honest perceptions of you. This feedback, while taken with discernment, can highlight aspects of yourself you may not have recognized.

5.     Embrace Your Strengths and Weaknesses - Acknowledge and appreciate your strengths while accepting your weaknesses. Self-acceptance is a crucial part of finding your authentic self.

6.     Set Personal Goals - Define goals that align with your true self rather than goals set based on external expectations or societal norms. Make sure these goals resonate with your inner values and aspirations.

7.     Make Authentic Choices - Practice making decisions based on what feels right to you rather than trying to please others or adhere to what is considered "normal" or "expected."

8.     Prioritize Self-Exploration - Allow yourself the time and space for self-exploration. This might involve trying new experiences, traveling, reading widely, or engaging in conversations with a diverse range of people.

9.     Let Go of the Need for Approval - Work on detaching your sense of self-worth from the approval of others. Your value does not decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth.

10.  Seek Professional Guidance - Sometimes, finding your authentic self can be challenging, especially if you're dealing with past traumas or mental health issues. Don't hesitate to seek support from a therapist or counselor who can guide you through this process.

 

Remember, finding your authentic self is not about reaching a final destination where you suddenly have all the answers. It's about the journey of continual growth, learning, and evolving. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate this path.

 

I encourage you to embark on the journey to discover who you are!

 

Have a great week!  


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