The art of becoming yourself, or rather unbecoming all the things you thought you needed to be has been one of the most liberating experiences. All my life I struggled with the idea that I need to fit into a specific box to be accepted. Being a people pleaser made the idea of disappointing others soul-crushing. Also, the very idea of being seen by others terrified me to my core.
Then, life changed. For me, it was the death of my dad that woke me up and forced to see how trying to please others was hurting me. Dimming light and beliefs were only leaving me resentful and anxious.
It is a scary thing to begin to step into who you truly are. Especially in our world that wants you to be self only if it fits into a specific box. Otherwise, you’ll be too loud or too quiet.
These are some of the things that I found were most helpful as I began my journey with self-acceptance. Understanding that I was living my life for me and no one else was a powerful realization. Obviously with this mindset I choose to move through the world doing the least harm to others as possible.
This sounds easy but it can feel very uncomfortable. The biggest tricks I have learned when it comes to embracing myself is listening to my intuition. That gut feeling either brings excitement (mixed with anxiety) or dread and heaviness. If something doesn’t align with my values, beliefs or goals then I have to step back from it. Sometimes that means quitting something you thought you wanted. Just be aware of the energy behind your decision. Is it fear-based? Or is it simply something that you don’t love.
I truly believe that everything that is meant for us will come into our lives. This also means the heavier stuff. Those moments when we feel like everything is falling apart can be your biggest teacher. The most growth has happened during the darkest times in my life. While they weren’t easy I have had enough space away from them to see the lessons and growth. Trust has enabled me to keep going even when life felt hard.
Make space for stillness
This is so important for us. Our world is on all the time. It’s so easy to get sucked into a phone or computer and spend hours disconnecting from the world. While sometimes necessary, it’s also important to be comfortable with yourself. Our intuition and thoughts often appear when we are in the present moment. Those are the times we often feel the most joy and ease because there is no to-dos or people needing us. Next time you find yourself reaching for your phone maybe try getting outside for a walk or pick up a creative project you’ve been meaning to try.
Get clear on your life vision
What do you want from life? Maybe you don’t know the answer yet, but you know what you don’t want. When you are thinking about your life it’s all parts from spiritual, love, relationships, career, money. Once can understand what you really want your life to look like it’s easier to create goals to head towards it. If this feels too overwhelming just pick one or two areas to focus on first.
Be willing to shift
I have tried a lot of things when it comes to work, school, activities. Often times I’ve quit which was something that I’d feel embarrassed about. Now I realize that I need to try things out for a bit before I know it’s a good fit for me. I don’t thrive in places that I don’t align with and love.
Try things that scare you
Pushing your window of tolerance isn’t always comfortable. It can feel scary to try new things but only for the first couple of times. The more you get into this practice the easier it becomes. You realize the short amount of fear is worth the experience and growth.
Small things add up
For me, my morning routine has been so helpful in getting clear about where I am stuck or what is working well in my life. I spent 10-15 minutes doing a guided meditation, and then journal for 10 minutes. You can add in anything else that fits well with your life. For me, meditation allows setting the day up in an aligned state that feels really good.
Gratitude is huge
Being grateful isn’t always easy but it makes such a difference. It doesn’t mean that you are always happy about difficult situations. What it does help with is seeing the small tiny pieces of good that come out of those moments. Spending 5-10 minutes being thankful at the end of the day has been so helpful and shifting my mindset to focus on the good.
What your thought patterns
Throughout this journey, I have been a lot more conscious of my thoughts and stories that I am creating. If something starts with a “should,” usually it isn’t something that I truly want. I’m constantly asking myself if doing it will bring me closer to the life I want or not. It’s especially important when calling out my behavior that is keeping me stuck or undermining my success.
Be okay with being uncomfortable
It’s not always the most comfortable experience when you are unlearning and starting to step into your true self. It is okay if you feel scared about this new way of being. Remember it will be worth it and the confidence that comes with it is amazing.
Embracing our true self is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. When we live life on our own terms it inspires others to do the same. I truly believe that life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. It’s time to stop apologizing for what you want and go after it.