Most of us will agree that today’s world is a busy and increasingly-noisy one. Unless you live in an environment devoid of gadgets and interaction with others; you will be bombarded with so many voices vying for your attention. From services to opinions, there are subtle and not-so-subtle messages shaping your thinking whether you realise it or not.
With so much activity, when was the last time you did a true self-appraisal of your life and choices?
I’m not referring to the quiet moments in any given day that you spend reviewing or planning your tasks. I mean a time to critically assess what you’re doing in every area of your life and whether you are being true to your values or not.
Whose life are you living? Mine, is probably your instinctive response.
Let’s examine that shall we? Do you have all the trappings of success and yet there is a disquiet within? You can present the perfect persona to the world but behind closed doors when you only have your thoughts for company, pretence flies out of the window.
You might be like most people who suppress discontent with distractions and entertainment. That can only go on for so long before you realise that you’re deeply unhappy or worse, living under so much pressure, the mask starts slipping.
My suggestion: it is time for you to live your truth. By this I mean live in a way that aligns with your personal values, beliefs and purpose.
You might have been on your current path for so long and you’re thinking that turning your life around is nigh on impossible. That is simply not true. Your commitment to change is determined by your desperation for it and your willingness to act.
There are many things to consider when it comes to authentic living. I will share a few. Do share some other ones in the comments so that we can all learn on the journey of living our truths. I will encourage you to read this post through the first time and then carve out quiet time to reflect on how to apply the principles to your life.
“Sometimes you have to shut out the noise to figure out where you are headed. Make no apologies for that.”
“Choose truth over deception, being real over wearing a mask.”
The first step towards living authentically is to know who you really are. When you are grounded in your identity, you learn to love and embrace every part of you. You are strengthened to make a stand for the kind of life that you want to live. When you’re asked to introduce yourself, you mention your name and sometimes what you do. Apart from the name that appears on your birth certificate, what other names have you been known as? What names have you called yourself?
The labels you put on yourself or others put on you go a long way to shaping how you see yourself. Invariably, this will impact your choices. For example, if you had a label of ‘not smart’ and you buy into it; you might settle for below what you are worth.
If you love what you do, be grateful for that but don’t wrap your identity around it. This is because roles and functions change but you are still the same, unique individual with value.
Once you have a better understanding of who you are, you can then work on the process to figure out what you want for every area of your life. There are so many suggestions out there of what your work and personal lives should look like. If you don’t define yours and implement, you will fit into a mould set by someone else.
It is good to have role models and mentors who inspire, but note that they are charting their own courses and you need to map out your own. Obtaining clarity is not a one-off; it’s a process that you have to revisit again and again. For example, the choices you will make ten years ago aren’t the ones you will make today unless stagnancy has set it. This is because you have grown and learnt more about your approach to life.
“Owning your mind and living your truth can be a solitary path sometimes, but it is absolutely worth it.” John Mark Green
Having read this far, how determined are you to live your truth? It is important for you to realise that making the choice to live authentically comes with a hefty price tag. This is the reason why a lot of people are not taking this route. Once you embrace your true identity in all its fullness and taken steps towards clarity; change is inevitable. The extent will be determined by how self-aware you are and how bold you are prepared to be. Change is disruptive and intrusive. That is why most people resist initially.
So where does that leave you? Are you prepared to risk the approval of others, standing alone if need be? Bucking the trend of conformity and living with masks is a bold move. You might lose friends and ruffle many feathers. That is par for the course. The initial discomfort will eventually give way to a new way of being where you allow yourself to express the best version of you. Greatness is not birthed in copying others but in daring to stand up for what you believe in and living in alignment with that truth.
It is definitely worth it. The unique expression of you has so much to bequeath humanity.
Now it is crunch time.
All of the above points and the work you have done on yourself will be of no use unless you take action. This is where most people stumble, myself included. I totally understand the fear and anxiety that go with the choice to tread a different path to the one you ae used to. Some might think you are crazy because they don’t see what they see or feel the fire burning within you. You have to put your money where your mouth is and step out even though you don’t know how things will turn out.
I remember how scary it was for me to leave my day job of 17 years. At the time, the working environment was not aligned with my values and I was dying inside. I got to the point where I had to peel off the ‘I’m okay’ mask. One year on, I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Has it been plain-sailing? Most definitely not. Have I questioned myself sometimes? Oh yes!
I have grown so much and accomplished things that I never would have had I stayed put. Most importantly, I wake up daily knowing that I am living as my most authentic self in spite of the challenges along the way. I am fulfilling my purpose and not just talking about it.
Over to you. I want to challenge you to take a small step towards living your truth.
It will be a rocky voyage of self-discovery, challenges and triumphs bigger than you can imagine.
You are definitely worth it. If you know someone who needs to read this, be kind and share.
Until the next time, be inspired to soar.
If your organisation requires an inspiring speaker for your event or as an individual, you want to live a life of fulfilment after trauma, I will love to help.
Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org