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by David N Johnson

June 2, 2022

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Are you who want to be? Has your life been moving in the direction you’ve wanted it to go or are you settling for your current station because you’re not unhappy?

Not being unhappy doesn’t mean that you’re happy. Happiness and unhappiness aren’t two sides of the same coin. So, I ask you again. Are you who you want to be? Are you your authentic self? Or, are you going through the motions of good enough?

This takes a real examination. It takes being honest with yourself. More than likely, your authentic self is buried underneath years of self-loathing and lies. Lies that you tell yourself to make it easier to cope with not being authentically you.

I know this is uncomfortable. Self-reflection can be hard. However, if you ever want to achieve true happiness and not just ambivalence towards your life then you must put in the work to understand two things:

  1. Who you really are, and
  2. Why you’re finding it difficult to be authentically you.

What Does Authenticity Mean?

Being your authentic self is essential for building meaningful relationships with both yourself and others. Being authentic means that your thoughts, words, and actions line up and match your core identity. It ensures that you’re seen, it shows that you matter.

Being authentic lights your path forward. It gives meaning to your life and allows you to live in harmony with yourself. When your external life matches your internal identity the whole world opens itself up to you.

Here are a few ways that you can become more authentically you:

#1 Set Boundaries

It’s your life. You’re the one living it. Learn to set boundaries that benefit your own well-being. That’s NOT to say that you can’t put some people ahead of yourself some of the time. Just don’t make it a habit.

If there is somebody who’s always taking advantage of your kindness then let them know that stops now. It’s time for you to speak up for yourself and allow the authentic you to take over.

Stress comes out of not living up to who you really are. Isn’t it time that you set boundaries so that you have room to grow into who you really want to be?

I think so.

#2 Remove Toxicity From Your Life

If they won’t accept your boundaries then it may be time to remove the toxicity from your life. You can’t expect a rose to grow in toxic soil, how can you expect to grow around toxic people.

#3 Pursue What Sets Your Soul on Fire

Stop putting your life on hold. I understand that you may have other obligations (like children) but that doesn’t mean you can’t pursue your passions.

You matter. How you feel matters. Do more of what sets your soul on fire. Stop allowing it to be put out by others. Show your light to the world and don’t be shy about it.

#4 Make The Right Decisions

You know what you want. Or rather, you used to know what you want. Get in touch with that again and start making decisions in your life that align with them, your values, and your beliefs.

Sometimes that means disappointing others. If they don’t like it, refer to #1 above and then, #2 if you have to.

It’s your time to shine.

#5 Speak Your Mind

Say what you feel and mean what you say. This goes well with setting boundaries. Don’t ignore that voice telling you to speak up, that’s you’re authentic self trying to get you to open up.

So, open up!

#6 Trust Your Instincts

Believe in yourself. Trust what your instincts are trying to tell you.

#7 Be Brutally Honest With Yourself

Be honest with yourself. If you’re moving down the wrong path be honest with your why. If you’re afraid to take your first step, be open with yourself and work to overcome it.

Don’t lie to yourself. Never settle for less than the dreams that keep you awake at night. Stop thinking about doing one thing and then putting it off because you don’t think that you’re up to it. True, you may be afraid but never lie to yourself about your why.

When You’re Clear The Path Will Be Revealed

When you’re clear to yourself about what matters, the path ahead will open up. Many times the road forward is hidden behind unclear wants. Shine your light forward by first figuring out what it is that you desire.

Believe me, you already know what it is. You’ve thought about it before. It used to burn hot in your belly but over the years you’ve buried it beneath excuses:

  • I don’t have what it takes.
  • I’ll have plenty of time later.
  • I don’t have the money.
  • I don’t know enough.
  • I can’t afford to fail.
  • My family will think I’m crazy.
  • I don’t have the time.
  • I don’t even know where to start!
  • My spouse’s dreams are more important.
  • I can do without.
  • I’m okay where I am.
  • This is good enough.
  • I don’t need that.

If any of those hurt to read, it’s because it hit close to home. Have you or are you currently making any of these excuses? If so. Stop.

It’s time that you become your authentic self. Stop hiding behind a brave facade. You don’t have to be a martyr so that somebody else can live their dreams. Come out of the shadow, take down that facade, and be you.

We need you!

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David N Johnson

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David N Johnson

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