“As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.” – Oprah Winfrey
I have been thinking about and working with authenticity a lot lately. As more and more people were asking me, “What do you do?” I used to struggle with that question. I do a lot of things and I didn’t have a clear, cut-and-dry answer. Now that I have become comfortable telling people who I help people find their inner power and live their lives by being authentic, in every aspect of their lives.
When your actions, goals, words, or beliefs are not in alignment with your values, you are not being authentic. This is true for everyone including myself. When I look back at goals that I haven’t reached or projects that I avoid or procrastinate on, they have almost always been not in alignment with my values. If I try to accomplish something and it is not in alignment with my authentic self, it will be very difficult, very draining to my energy and to my emotions. I often find procrastination is my first red flag, telling me that I am trying to do something that is not right for me. The next red flag is often when I miss the mark. What I mean by that is that I keep going through the motions, trying to accomplish a goal (for example), and no matter how hard I try (for years sometimes), I just can’t reach the goal. I plan again, I create new strategies, I say it again, I go to another seminar and still to no avail, I can not reach the goal. This has happened a few times over and over again in my life and careers. Now looking back at it, these goals were never in alignment with my values or my authentic self.
Using Your Authentic Self as Your GPS:
Once I sat down and identified my values and became clear on who I am, what makes me tick, and what makes me unique, it started to become clear that my problem was that I wasn’t being true to myself. I was trying to be something I wasn’t. I was trying to do things that were not right for me to do. I was trying to use other people’s words and beliefs as my own. People do this all the time. Someone doesn’t create the business they want to create because someone else told them it won’t be profitable. Someone uses the same marketing plan and marketing strategy of someone else because it worked for the competition. Someone sets a goal, for someone else. My ex-lover (and good friend) once quit smoking “for me” only to start back up again a few years later. When you set goals, strategies, and visions for anything in your life, they need to be yours. Done your way, with your owns rules and criteria. If you do this, reaching the goal will be easier, more fulfilling and more energizing. When find yourself stuck, procrastinating or just lost, look into yourself, your values system and beliefs and check to see if something is not in alignment. If you value honesty but you are doing something that requires you to lie, this will never feel empowering or right.
When designing your life/lifestyle, your vision, and your goals the first step is the discover or get re-acquainted with your authentic self. You need to design every aspect of your life (relationships, career, goals, where you live, etc.) with your values, your rules, and your strategies in mind. Your “design” needs to be yours, through and through. When I released projects, careers, and rules that were not right for me, things started to shift. I was no longer anxious when doing presentations, becoming more confident. I was naturally drawn to the “correct” profession for me, suddenly realizing I had been coaching all my life, I had just never been conscious of it. I was trying so hard to do, be, and have all of these other things and most of them were not right for me. By re-directing my focus, energy and passion to the right things for me, I started feeling less stress, less anxiety and had less failed attempts at my goals. Being authentic and true to yourself, you will bring clarity and peace to your life.