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Be You

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It Starts With Self-Love

We all love ourselves, right? Or at least we should in my opinion. Being authentic to who you are as a person and your purpose in life is so critical to your overall happiness and success. What mark do you want to leave on this beautiful world? Because we all have a footprint to leave behind when we are gone. That is why we were created.

But with all the distractions of today’s world, the pressures of modern society (in addition to social media), it is becoming increasingly more difficult to be true to yourself and stand in your own integrity. Integrity to me is: living your values; and also doing what you say when you say you’re going to do it.

And I don’t mean this in an arrogant way either. Humility is a much needed quality. Staying humble and kind is equally important. So when I say to love yourself, it’s just as proportionately important to also balance this self-love and self-pride with staying humble and grounded.

Guideposts To Live By:

So with the challenges of our current society and the growing pressure of constantly feeling we need to do more and have more to keep up, how do you still be you? Authenticity to your true self and purpose in life is best achieved by living out the following guideposts:

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

So there is only one you on this earth. Just one. The human being is incredibly complex and, well, complicated. So trying to compare yourself to other human beings as a benchmark for your own success and life journey is not productive. It will end up making you feel worse and driving you a little bat crazy. Plus you will ultimately not get any further on your unique journey toward your life goals with this type of practice.

So with that being said, why in the heck are we collectively doing this so often? There is only one you, and you are not the same as any other single person on this entire planet with an estimated population of over 7.3 billion people! Therefore you can’t compare yourself to anyone else.

So be you by not trying to compare or mold yourself to other people. This does you no good and ends up drawing negative feelings and characteristics out that absolutely don’t serve you in a positive way.

Listen & Learn From Others

Keeping in mind the first guidepost forewarning us not to compare ourselves to others, it is still important to learn from others by keeping an open mind and listening. This consists of truly listening (not just nodding your head with glazed eyes waiting for your opportunity to respond, LOL).

People may think it is not noticed when they are truly not listening or engaging with someone with an open mind, but that is absolutely false. It is completely noticed and comes across as fake and inauthentic. When we are speaking to someone who is not actively listening with an open mind, we can all clearly see this and don’t appreciate it in the least.

So take the time to actually listen and learn from others. Not only will you become more knowledgeable, but you will also develop more meaningful relationships as an added bonus.

Also be open-minded and listen without prejudgement. We all have natural biases from our own experiences and backgrounds, but it’s important to be aware of this natural condition of filtering information through our own unique lenses like we talked about in the blog and podcast Perception. Awareness of these biases will help you recognize when you are being judgmental and closed-minded in a conversation.

If you feel yourself making a decision on a matter before actually listening to another person’s perspective, switch your mindset. Approach conversations with the following mentality to help overcome these natural biases: I’m going to listen before I make a choice; and view my interactions with others as learning opportunities which can enhance my perspective and help me grow.

Stand Up For Your Beliefs

Although we are all better off listening to others with an open mind before making a choice, it is also highly important that you ultimately make up your own mind on different topics and situations. So even though you want to receive all the information you can through listening to others in addition to independent research, you then must make the final decision on what you believe.

It is also important to stand by your beliefs even when others may disagree. Doing so is honoring being you. Standing for your beliefs and values is living in your integrity. You can’t go through life being a wallflower who doesn’t speak up for what you believe, especially when it comes to your own life and value system.

Are some people not going to like you for this? Absolutely. Especially the people who believe they are always right about everything to ever exist (we all know them)! But honestly, you can’t live your life according to whether other people will like you all the time.

The good news is that other people living in their own authenticity will typically understand and respect differing opinions. And if you are dealing with people who are closed-minded, judgmental and don’t respect your beliefs, then I quite frankly wouldn’t worry about their opinion anyway.

Just remember to be respectful when standing up for your beliefs. And also be respectful of other people’s different beliefs if you want the same courtesy in return. It goes both ways. And it is perfectly fine to agree to disagree on issues. There is absolutely nothing wrong with respectfully disagreeing.

Just be sure to choose your battles. You don’t need to speak out for your beliefs on every single issue or topic that comes up on a daily basis. It is not always appropriate to fight for your beliefs on trivial matters, so choose when it is appropriate for you to speak up and when to just let it go.

Listen To Your Inner Knowledge System

The last guidepost requires listening to your inner guidance system, or your intuition. We are all born with an inner knowing of what is best for us. We then must follow our intuition even when it is hard and goes against the grain. This can be quite difficult when your intuition opposes others’ expectations or impacts your personal material matters in life.

We’ve all heard of successful people who do things like drop out of medical school to become an artist or musician, even though this can feel quite risky when it comes to material matters such as finances. In addition, sometimes we need to battle against others’ expectations in order to follow our own path in life.

This is not easy, because it can feel uncertain and risky. However this is where the inner knowledge system becomes the key to your happiness and success in life. In the example above, being a doctor with a good salary doesn’t mean much if you dread going to work everyday and are absolutely miserable with your career because it is not right for you.

We all have our unique callings in life. In order to understand yours, you will need to take the time to listen and then follow your intuition. It’s not going to be easy, but this is where having faith and trust come into play. You know what is best for you. Period. So trust it and act on it.

If you are struggling with figuring out what your calling is, take time in stillness without distraction. Remove distractions and be in the present moment. Do this however it works for you, whether it be going for a walk in nature or using a guided meditation app on your phone.

It’s extremely difficult to listen to your intuition when you constantly have noise, distractions and busyness around you. So take at least 10 minutes a day to really just be in the present moment and listen. Don’t think about the past or the future. Just be present. Even though this can feel out of your comfort zone for some people, try it anyway. It will make a world of difference when it comes to following your inner guidance system.

Let’s Learn From Steve

Steve Jobs (who dropped out of college only to later become the CEO and Co-founder of a little known company called Apple…yeah that guy) said the following:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma- which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

What do you say we all listen and learn from Steve?

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