Becoming Who We Already Are

Who are you?

Leigh Maneri
Jul 9 · 3 min read

In our youth, we were all told, energetically, if not verbally, to fit in. To grow up and shape our selves, ideally within what our culture defines as “successful.”

For so long, I was chasing this enhanced self, knowing it would be out of reach for some time. I thought: perhaps in my early 30s I’ll be running shit at a company, married with kiddos and finally feel like that self is within reach. I placed my worth on the me of the future. The more people told me I was succeeding, the closer I felt. Until those moments when I stopped to really feel life. And in those moments, I felt so far. So scared. So needy. Always seeking more information, more love.

If anyone out there is feeling like this, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the concept that now guides my life:

We, as humans, cannot build a self. That job is already done.

You already are your best self and you are PERFECT.

Let me divulge a bit about how I arrived at this conclusion.

I spent my childhood, teenage years and young adulthood with a very open heart. Impressionable. Flexible. A real chameleon. After graduating from college, reading every professional development book that entered my consciousness, taking on a leadership role that was well beyond what I was prepared for, playing with dozens of new looks, I started to notice a pattern of seeking, and from this seeking, a delicate balance between “life is fun,” “what if I get cancer?” and “I am in a black hole of despair.”

Something had to give…

I had faith somewhere within me but I wasn’t finding the answers in religion. So I got brave and started looking within myself. I put down 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and picked up The Power of Now. I stopped partying and started meditating. I got quiet. Observed myself. Took every personality test. Stopped asking “what can I become?” and started asking “who am I?”

I, the proud chameleon, realized I hadn’t uncovered MY truth, MY desires, MY health, MY purpose.

I’d always thought my purpose was to build this better self. What could I possibly do without that goal?

The answer is … fucking EVERYTHING. Everything you need to live the life that is authentically you is already within you. Go write that book. Start that podcast. Build that business. You can breathe when you need to just breathe. You can skip town when you feel the urge to get away. You can fall in love. You can do anything. You can, and will, learn for the rest of your life, but because it is what you feel divinely called to do. Because you no longer have to fit the world.

Your goal, then, becomes tuning your life, like an instrument, to the melody of your already whole and beautiful soul.

It is in this rhythm that the right path finds you.

Looking back at old blogs and journaling, I now realize I was dancing around this knowing for my entire life. It wasn’t until I had the courage to dive into my shadows, ask questions, trust divine energy and explore the inexplicable that I was able to see my own perfectness.

My hope is that these words will guide just one person to that “oh shit” realization that has changed my life. To encourage you to look beneath all of the energy, pressure, advice and shaming that was once bestowed upon you, and has since been circulated by your own mind for years.

If you have an open heart like me, you’ve probably taken on a lot throughout your days, months and years that is not authentically you. And trust me when I say it’s work to peel back those layers. But from the moment you begin, you are creating your best, most healthy, most joyous, most anything-you-want-it-to-be life.

And you are so worthy of that.

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Read short and uplifting articles here to help you shift your thought, so you can see real change in your life and health.

Leigh Maneri

Written by

I write about self-actualization, career building and happiness. Currently director of ops & strategy for bad ass creatives @ Wicked+.

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Read short and uplifting articles here to help you shift your thought, so you can see real change in your life and health.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade