GOOD MORNING MONDAY – AFFIRMATIVE THOUGHTS FOR A GREAT WEEK
Good Morning. It is Monday! Where did this past weekend bring you on your life’s journey? Did you have time to do something that gave you joy? I hope so. I know that you, like all of us, have many responsibilities and commitments, but it is important that each day you do one small thing that increases your joy? No matter how challenging your day may be, it is important to do one thing that makes you smile and increases your “joy factor”. What will that one thing be for you today?
Let’s continue this week to grapple with authenticity. We live in a world where we are bombarded with messages from family, friends, Corporate America, media, etc., about what it means to be accepted, happy and successful. How will you stop that madness, slow down, reflect and listen to YOU so that YOU DO NOT MISS YOUR LIFE?
In writing this, I am reminded of a story that was shared in David Whyte’s book, “The Heart Aroused.” He was working with a group of business professionals and they were sharing thoughts about their presence in their lives.One woman in the group shared the following, “Ten years ago I turned my face for a moment; and that became my life.” POWERFUL! Stop and think about what she wrote. Each of us, like her, can get caught up in that same “rat race”; doing, doing, doing, achieving goals we think that are important to make us “worthy” and living up to everyone else’s expectations; and we lose ourselves in the process.
It is time YOU get YOURSELF back! You are here to live your life, to run your race, to share your gifts and experiences. But, if you are afraid to be who you really are; not only do you miss out, those around you miss out too! Each of us is desperate for more realness and authenticity in our self and in our life. You want to be authentic, but it is difficult to understand what authenticity really is. Today, “authenticity” has almost become a “fad”. So, rather than searching within, people are trying to understand what “authentic” means to others.
Being authentic is about following your path and not comparing yourself to others for approval. It is about staying true to what you believe; not about your image. It is about being brave enough to express your genuine feelings and opinions. It is about being courageous enough to say, “No!” This is a battle that each of us fight daily; “how do I maintain authenticity in a fake world?”. This quote by E.E. Cummings is reflective of this dilemma:
“To be nobody – but yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, making you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and NEVER stop fighting.”
How do you begin the journey to discover YOU? It is a journey; none of us will be perfect at it because we are human beings and at our very nature, are imperfect. Following are some thoughts to spark actions that help you continue to excavate for YOU:
Increase Self Awareness – Know YOU. Spend time with yourself in silence. Recognize what your inner voice is telling you. Write your personal definition of authenticity. Reflect on who you are and who you want to become; also, what/who you do not want to be. Authenticity is not something you have; but a GOAL. It is something you pursue. It requires courage and clarity.
Recognize the masks you wear. Know that you are human. Being authentic is not easy. Reflect each day on the mask you are wearing and why.Wearing a mask may not always be negative. You may need it at the time to adapt to a situation. Don’t confuse the mask with who you are. Don’t let it take over your identity.
Embrace vulnerability. You are a work in progress. You are not flawless. You may make mistakes. Authenticity is not about being perfect; it is about being true to yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You are always learning, adjusting and making changes. Laugh at your flaws and you will stop worrying about someone else making fun of you.
Don’t filter; be present. We live in a world of distractions. The point of power is always in the present moment. When you are not present, it is as unauthentic as hiding your own feelings. Explore the unfiltered version of yourself. Overcome self-doubt and unleash who you really are.
Accept feedback as a gift. Embrace feedback you receive. When you are genuine, you encourage others to be genuine. People are mirrors and can reflect your own blind spots. Listen to what others tell. See how they act in your presence; it can help you reflect on and uncover your authentic self.
This work is a journey. It is the journey of YOUR lifetime. It is a discovery process. Experiment. If you try something and it doesn’t work out the way you hoped; then try something else. There will be bumps in the road of life. Give yourself permission to not be perfect. Do not limit yourself by being someone else. Embrace your uniqueness. Embrace your journey. Embrace your story. Enjoy your trip!
Have a GREAT day and a GREAT week.