I have spoken many times about the importance of being true to yourself… to being truly authentic in all that you say and do. And it seems simple enough advice at first brush. But one important thing…. one important “step” if you will, in being yourself, is to actually know yourself.
And knowing who you really are can be a lot more complicated than it first appears to be.
It was for me anyway.
I don’t know if that is just part of the normal “identity crisis” that we adopted types go through, or if it is indicative of the human experience in general. But figuring out who I am is an ongoing process for me.
Part of the problem, I believe, is that we take on SO much from others, that is not truly our own, but that we claim as ours in order to fit in. It has been estimated that up to 80% of the opinions and ideas that we randomly spout out each day, don’t even belong to us. But have in fact just been espoused by us because it seems to fit the “norm” and therefore helps us to conform.
When I worked out in the corporate world, I used to pride myself on my chameleon like abilities to be able to blend in to whatever situation or company I found myself in the middle of…. and it’s still a handy tool…. however as I get more and more acquainted with the real Tracie, I am finding that harder and harder to do. Or should I say, less and less appealing to do. As we learn to love and accept the “real us”.. deception in any form becomes more and more distasteful.
So how do we know thyself? It took me a VERY long time to figure that out. You would think it should be easy, but not having any frame of reference to begin from, I found it an immensely difficult task. I went through a myriad of personas looking for the one that fit. Until I finally realised that the real Tracie did appear each day, in little glimpses, waiting for recognition, longing for validation. Not by the outside world…. no…. that seemed less and less important, the more I accepted her for who she was. It’s funny how internal validation seems to negate the need for outside approval… or maybe I am just getting older.
But I digress. The real you, is not that hard to find. It’s the person you are when no one else is watching. It’s the person whose company you actual enjoy because there is no effort involved… no pretence, no masquerade. It can be a difficult person to connect with unless you give yourself the gift of solitude. For this person won’t likely appear in the presence of others… not at first anyway.
But given enough time and enough nurture… this person… this genuine human being… will reach a point when hiding is no longer an option, where fear is no longer necessary. When lying and deception become tiresome. When fitting it becomes obsolete.
And that my friends, is when you know for sure… you truly have arrived.
Welcome to world. Now go out an be awesomely authentic.