“Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” – Henry David Thoreau
Integrity, Authenticity & Finding Your Authentic Self
For years we have talked ad nauseum about integrity. It seems to be a non-negotiable or a must have in any situation, corporate vision statement, or personal mission statement. Almost, as if including it, makes it real or true.
Integrity is about being who you are in every situation. In other words all the characteristics, roles, and parts of you are integrated into one – your one true self – your authentic self!
It seems to me like we spend an enormous amount of time talking about it, while few people actually take the actions to move closer to discovering their authentic self. They simply don’t change.
When folks do not change, one of the reasons is that they fail to see the cost of not changing. Most people will change, but just long enough to let the pain subside. The choice to not change parallels our inability to discover the path to our authentic selves. So we live misaligned with who we truly are.
Living Out of Alignment
When we fail to be in alignment with our authentic selves (who we are at our core) we experience a variety of symptoms. These symptoms can show up as boredom, burnout, depression, job hopping, relationship hopping, or simply being disengaged from life, work or both.
Our authentic selves are not the facades or the masks which we hide behind. It is not the person we attempt to convince others that we are, nor is it our egoic self.
Being your authentic self means letting go of trying to manage or control what other people think of you. It is simply being who you are at your core. The you, which for many folks, lies hidden under the layers of old limiting beliefs, self-imposed obstacles, fear, and the mistakes of the past.
Discovering our authentic selves can feel overwhelming and the path out may seem over-ridden by so many obstacles that we give up hope and succumb to living a ordinary, un-fulfilling, or desperate life.
The path to discovering your true, authentic-self begins, when you look inside and willingly take 100% responsibility for all of you – the good and the not-so-good, all the greatness and all the blemishes – the whole you – holes and all!
An Inside-Out Process
Interestingly, most of us attempt to seek our authentic selves outside of ourselves. Some of the ways we do this is through seeking perfection, in people-pleasing, or in selling ourselves out for money, approval, admiration or fleeting success.
We allow ourselves to be influenced by the media who tell us that we need the a new car, job, relationship, promotion, house, social media likes or followers so we can show the world that we have value…that we are somebody – that we are enough!
My experience as an executive coach has proven time and time again, that regardless of your title or position, deep down inside, all of us struggle with the question … am I enough?
Are You Enough?
When you truly believe you are enough – You :
- Stop caring what every one thinks about you.
- Stop trying to please everyone.
- Stop seeking everyone else’s approval.
- Stop posting those asinine challenges on Facebook that dare people to repost so you feel better about yourself or your religion.
- Tell some smug, insecure, client that you are done working with them!
- End a relationship that is so out’ve alignment with who you know yourself to be, because you don’t want to be alone.
- Trust that the world is a friendly place and that there truly is some form of intelligence, some higher power, being, or whatever you want to call it, who has things under control – and it’s not YOU!
- Breakthrough your fear that keeps you stuck – doing the seven things above or some other form of fear that keeps you from being who you really are!
Your Authentic Self
So where can you find your authentic self? Where can you start to look?
Here are 3 Places to Start:
- You can find it in your story and the compilation of stories that have helped define and shape your life. Those stories and those experiences are unique to you and only you. No one else can live, tell, or share, your story. Start there by journaling your wins, obstacles you have overcome, life experiences, and the lessons you have learned so far!
- Discover your unique DNA by uncovering your strengths. Follow this link and take the StrengthsFinder Profile. You can find it here: StrengthsFinder 2.0 at Amazon It will help you to start to answer the question about your unique blend of strengths and how you can leverage them in your life.
- Discover your path to being UN-ordinary by reading the copy of my latest book – Extraordinary Results for Life – you can buy an Autographed Copy Here at 20% off with this coupon (miningminds20)
The great news is that your story, your strengths, and your path of discovery, will all move you closer and closer to your true self.
Remember it is a journey with a path that will unwind throughout your life as you change, grow, and peel away the layers to reveal the authentic you!