“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” This was the most common theme that Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse from Australia, discovered during her time spent with her patients during their intimate discussions as they neared the end of their lives.
On the surface, it seems an odd idea that you could be anything other than who you really are. But did you know from the time we can talk we’re being programmed to “fit in”.
We find ourselves conforming to please the people we love, and who love us.
But sometimes that means that you have to suppress what you know is the real person inside.
And yet, your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you’ll ever have.
Without a healthy relationship with yourself, it’s practically impossible to have healthy relationships with anyone else.
How do I know this? Because I was one of those people who didn’t have a healthy relationship with myself. I was closed and defensive because I didn’t feel my best being so unhealthy and it was hard for me to accept myself and be true to myself. Pleasing others was my vice to feeling accepted and always wanting approval.
So, if you’re ready to get reacquainted with someone you haven’t seen in a while – yourself – start with these 4 ideas to help you rediscover the real you.
Quite The Noise In Your Head
You know those voices well, the ones that are constantly nagging you to do things for everybody else but yourself or telling yourself you’ll never be able to do “the thing” that you want to do or you’ll never reach your goals.
With all that noise going on, it will be impossible for you to hear anything above all the noise.
This MUST be the first step. How do you do that? By setting up systems, simplifying, and establishing enough extras in your life to allow you to operate from a position of abundance, instead of lack. In other words, start to focus on what you want vs. what you don’t have.
Practice Thinking About Yourself In Healthy Ways
In order to do that, you must first believe that you are valuable and that your Real Self has something to offer the world. Since you talk to yourself more than everyone else in your life combined –that’s a lot of talk!—it’s up to YOU to establish healthy communication in your thinking.
Consciously listen to how you talk to yourself; write down the unhealthy things you say; challenge them by asking yourself – is this true? Where is the evidence?; and replace them with facts.
Self-Talk: “I’ll never reach my health goals.” Challenge: “Of course, I will reach them. I am eating a little bit healthier now than when I was a month ago. I am eating more whole foods. I hit a little bump today and didn’t make the best choice. Next time I’ll know by noticing and naming how I felt after I hit that bump and remember how I felt and I’ll make a better choice.”
Listen To Your Heart
Sounds easy enough, but most of us don’t listen to our hearts and go only with our heads. Those two must reconnect to find your real self.
It’s easy to become accustomed to thinking about your feelings instead of really feeling them. Instead of asking yourself what you think about something, ask why it’s important and take the time to feel what you are really feeling.
Be Careful Not to Get Too Obsessed About Your Goals
What you’re really after is a feeling — respect, love, appreciation, sense of accomplishment, sense of confidence, and self-acceptance – as opposed to getting that new car, new dress, getting hung up on the scale, and focusing on numbers instead of looking at your non-scale victories.
Keep an open mind to the feelings and be willing to adjust the methods you use to achieve them.
Determine not just your goals, but how your goals satisfy who you really are.
The mask will come off and your real self will come shining through.
A person you can know and love – you! – is waiting for you to take the time to listen and understand and accept.
When you accept your Real Self again, you’ll make smarter choices, and those choices will stick because they fit who you are.