What if who you think you are… is wrong?
Become who you REALLY are!
When you look in the mirror — past the makeup and scars — do you ever sense that there is more to you than what you see in your reflection? Yes? So who are you?
In my first TEDx talk I explained how our beliefs, and the stories we tell ourselves, make up our identity. And guess what, you can change the stories!
We are all being called to become the hero of our life stories. And in case you hadn’t noticed, you are the one holding the pen. We all hold our own pens.
I do know that this is a bit of a controversial statement, and it does get some people fired up. And yes, I know there are things outside of our control that influence our lives. Natural disasters, serious illness, or perhaps an accident that wasn’t our fault. But what I would really love is for more people to focus their attention on the things that they can control — such as getting to know themselves, what makes them tick, and how they want to show up in this world. Why we get ‘lost’
When asked “who are you”, most people reply with their age, ethnic background, the job or position they occupy in life such as student, mother, entrepreneur.
Why? Because we’ve all been programmed. The programming of your self-image and how you define yourself begins in early childhood. For the first 6 years of our lives our brains are in a hypnotic trance state so that we passively absorb, record and believe what is impressed upon us from the outside world.
Biologically speaking, this is a normal and necessary part of human development. But psychologically and spiritually speaking, this is how we get so lost from our point of origin — who we really are. From birth, the socialization process shapes our sense of identity. Little by little a social mask is formed and we behave according to rules set forth by our family or religion. We adopt the cultural, political and gender norms that are thrust upon us causing many of us to lose sight of and compromise our uniqueness.
Over time, we even dampen our innate tendencies and end up masquerading as a half-baked version of ourselves, forcing the assumed unacceptable parts of our personalities into the shadows, embracing the qualities of our peers or ideals of our parents — all in an attempt to fit in and be accepted.
Meanwhile, the real you — that glimmer you see reflected deep in your eyes — takes a back seat.
“Often we don’t even realize who we’re meant to be because we’re so busy trying to live out someone else’s ideas.” ~Oprah Winfrey
So what if who you thought you were is wrong?
What if by being your most authentic, perfectly imperfect self, you could change your life and health while having an extraordinary impact on the world? Greek philosopher, Aristotle, believed that we have a telos — a purpose end toward which we are pointed. This end is our true self, and the best life is spent trying to understand what that self is, and to become it. This is what needs to be taught to our young people today, who have the greatest potential for improving our world.
Becoming Who You Are
Your first key to becoming who you really are is to learn who you really are.
How do you do that?
By shifting your focus inward, questioning your thoughts and beliefs, and getting to know yourself, by yourself, without external influence. You can reconnect with the real you through inquiry, contemplation, yoga, meditation, and anything else that quietens your mind enough to get you there.
Re-discover your passions, and start pursuing them! Recover your belief in the inherent goodness of you. Uncover your dreams and share them with the world.
Some simple reminders
I want to leave you with these few thoughts…
You are more than your body. You are not your monkey mind, your anxieties or your fears. You are so much more than your past mistakes or your achievements. You are more than a present illness, and more than a number on a scale. You are an infinite being full of the potential to make a difference in this world — starting with yourself right now. Love who you really are. Accept yourself — flaws and all. Shine light on your shadow parts to heal them. Embrace your strengths and celebrate your uniqueness.
You are loveable just as you are.
Spreading the word
When I shared this message in my first TEDx talk, it was the first time I had delivered this message to such a large audience. And I was amazed at the response it got. I realised then how much the world needed to hear this.
I feel like I’ve always known that we all have to find who we really are, as life throws us off the track from a young age. But I guess I just thought that it was something that we all knew.
But that’s the funny thing when you share your message — and we all have our own unique piece of wisdom that others need to hear. It’s funny because to us, we feel that the message is obvious and everyone must know it. Or that everyone has already heard this message from someone else.
But they haven’t heard your take it on, your personal story. So if you have a message burning away inside of you, then I encourage you to be brave and speak up.
This October in London, I will be taking a brave group of souls through this exact process, teaching them to deliver their own unique message from the big stages. I am already so proud of them, and we haven’t even started yet! You can see more about the workshop HERE.
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on September 29, 2017.