Buck The Trend And Be Yourself
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ― C.G. Jung
There is talk nowadays of the need to be authentic.
The media’s influence portrays a fictitious world that doesn’t meet our needs. We are inundated with information of news stories we can’t live without. We are no better being pulled by our external world and lose our identity along the way.
Awaken Your Authentic Self is about reconnecting you with your essential self. It is a move away from whom you should be espoused by popular culture. It invites you to reconnect with the deepest part of your being, which knows who you are and how you should live.
We are evolved from nature, which means we are encoded with the DNA to thrive. Yet, through cultural conditioning and paradigms, we lose our place to the pull of our external environment. We subscribe to ideologies and beliefs of who we should be because we want to be accepted and appreciated. This comes at a cost to our self-worth since we must give up an aspect of ourselves.
What does it mean to be authentic and how do we recognise authenticity in others? Each of us knows when someone is inauthentic and we label them as fake. If a person is dissimilar to us we consider them as phony because we don’t identify with them. It is important we recognise that when judging others, we avoid dealing with our own issues.
It takes a great courage to buck the trend to be yourself. I commend those who stand out with their declaration of personal power.
However, standing out has become a rite of passage where the clothes one wears, hair colour, body piercings and decorations. It may be viewed as a show of defiance instead of a proclamation of distinction.
I do not intend to cast aspersions over one’s external appearance, nor label or judge others. I invite you to adopt the same attitude. We’re doing the best we can given our level of awareness.
There are many who yearn to be noticed while others want nothing more than to uphold the status quo. They refuse to be acknowledged as different for fear of having the spotlight cast on them. They may be terrified to show their insecurities fearing judgement by others.
Entertaining The Same Thoughts
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” ― Brené Brown
Our pain and troubles may be attributed to straying from our life purpose; while succumbing to external influences. The young are inundated with a surplus of information, fuelled by technological advances that allow us to stay connected, via social media.
Our connections are nothing more than empty posters on an electronic billboard which remind us we belong. And yet, we have an inner longing for social acceptance. It is wired into your DNA to be a part of a tribe.
You have more power than you realise. More genius than you can imagine. More wisdom and knowledge than you can ever access. This is not a patronising statement to seduce you into a false belief. You have unlimited power although accessing that power is the basis to Awaken Your Authentic Self.
When you let go of the false belief you are lacking or inadequate; in that moment, you arouse your potential. Who you are today results from your beliefs, thoughts and ideas of the world. Unless you challenge popular opinion, you will be pulled by the masses.
One has only look to mainstream culture to see the effects the media and marketing hype have on our society. We are drawn into a fictitious way of life at the expense of our sanity and earned dollars.
We are conditioned to be like everyone else. We try to stand out by decorating our external shell, hoping to be noticed as different. Yet, we entertain the same thoughts and live the same lives as millions of other people while longing for a better way.
Contemplate this for a moment — when did you last entertain an ORIGINAL thought?
In his book Do the Work, author Steven Pressfield realised it wasn’t until he was thirty years old when he’d pondered an original thought. Every thought before that resulted from conditioned beliefs, attitudes and thoughts derived from society.
Consider the following points as ideal qualities to Awaken Your Authentic Self.
Complete acceptance of oneself entails acknowledgement of your wholeness with your imperfections, foibles and insecurities. You cannot disown unfavourable aspects of yourself and seek to highlight positive qualities. This might lead to narcissism.
This does not entail knowing your likes or dislikes. Rather, a call to discover the true essence of your spiritual self. Who is the real you? What are your true motivations? What kindles your soul? What are your passions?
Discard the False Self
Many people create a false sense of self — an image of who they think they are. The mind creates a false persona epitomised by the ego to keep it alive. Regrettably, life events (tragedy or loss) may disrupt this image and unexpectedly one faces re-examining their sense of self, since the illusory shadow is shattered.
Don’t Associate With Thoughts
I’ve written earlier about not identifying with your thoughts. Do not allow your thoughts to impress upon you the real self. Thoughts come and go, yet the essence of who you are is unchanging and authentic.
Many people suffer from controlling addictions to things or people. Addictions extend to habitual thoughts which occupy valuable space in the mind and body. They deprive you of energy and disconnect you from your precious self. Let go of that which does not serve you — drop it like a hot piece of coal.
Stop Seeking Validation
Let go of the need to prove yourself to others. You do not need validation from others to prove your worthiness; even from loved ones. No one or nothing can offer you the authentication you long for, other than yourself. True validation comes from the core of your being.
Find Time For Silence
Find time to be alone every now and again, in nature. Exercising outdoors allows you to reconnect with yourself in a tranquil setting among nature. Being outdoors harmonises mind and body and energises the soul.
Connect With Your Heart And Mind
You get stuck in left brain logic, since you are taught to reason the world through logic alone. Experiments show that the heart’s electrical impulse is 40 to 60 times greater than the brain. The heart intuits things well before the brain has time to make sense of it.
Accept The Process Of Life
You needn’t change anything ‘out there’ since the root cause of your troubles is always contained within. As you tend to your inner landscape, your external reality harmonises with your inner world. As the Hermetic aphorism states, “As within, so without.”
Focus on Yourself First
Nurture your inner world through self-examination and introspection. When things go wrong in life, knowing you are peaceful and safe is reassuring. It is like a ship in stormy weather — nothing can destabilise it when it has a strong hull. It floats through troubled waters allowing the raging storm to take it where it needs to, knowing in due course it will find refuge in safe harbour.
Relationships Are Vital Lessons
What you loathe in others you disapprove in yourself. Therefore, at a deeper level your difficult relationships are a call to heal parts of yourself which you are at war with. Embrace the lesson by allowing painful memories to move through you without becoming invested in any harmful emotions.
Connect With Purpose
Your purpose may or may not be tied to your career. Your purpose is your life’s calling — your spiritual truth. It is the deeper question which we beckon of ourselves — why am I here on Earth? Why am I born during this period in time and what have I come here to become? You discover your purpose by ‘doing’ not by sitting around waiting for it to land in your lap.
Pursue that which fuels your soul and your purpose is realised. Purpose requires discipline, hard work, commitment and sacrifice. People who are ‘lost’ have disconnected with their purpose.
To allow our authentic self to emerge we must let go of programmed beliefs and thoughts that no longer sustain us. We spend the first half of life accumulating ideas only to let go of them in the latter stages. If we wish to live a rich and authentic life, we cannot be weighed down by thoughts which do not serve our highest purpose.
I am inviting you to cultivate and awaken the authentic person who lies deep within you and longs to be realised. This person has always existed, like Michelangelo carving the Carrara marble to reveal the statuesque David. Underneath the block of marble lies a sculpture waiting to be freed. The artist is the conduit to allow this form to appear.
I invite you to think of your life in the same terms. There is an authentic person waiting to be realised. Your duty is to give life to this individual.
Authenticity has a place to serve in our lives, to awaken us to the person we intend to be. It is a work in progress and may take our entire lives to merge into that person, yet worth the effort.
Imagine playing a character that does not represent who you are, yet someone from a screenplay? Consider getting up every day and to put on a mask to be someone you are not suited to be? For many, this is a familiar story. They reach a point in their lives, which coincides at middle age, where they realise this isn’t who they aspire to be. They might declare they never liked themselves and have been playing a role to appease others, or worse still, avoid confronting the essence of their true nature.
This is not how life should be.
We have a choice how we wish to live. Others might be unhappy with our life choices. Though, if we wish to live a fulfilling life it serves us to cultivate authenticity in our everyday life. Whilst I acknowledge this may sound simplistic as an analogy, it conveys the story of how authenticity emerges in nature.
Imagine for a moment a tree in a park pretending to be a rock. It doesn’t shed its leaves in season, nor does it grow roots into the ground and yet seems to be a tree, whilst still pretending to be a rock.
The tree withers and dies because it cannot sustain life trying to be something it is not. Closer to home, when we live according to the needs of others, something within us dies, because we have not given life to the authenticity within us. Like Michelangelo’s marble wanting to be freed to become a statue, we too must give birth to our own creation.
I want you to realise your authentic self that lies deep within you.