"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." ~Coco Chanel
Just be your true self. I'm sure you've heard that phrase a million times. But what does that phrase "be your true self" really mean and why is it so important? And why is it hard for many people to be their true authentic self all the time?
To me, be yourself means to be the powerful, unique, individual, and brave YOU that the world needs to see. We all have a part of ourselves we keep hidden for one reason or another that is waiting to break free and be seen. We all have a story or a part of us that needs to be told and shared with the world. But why is it so hard for us to be our authentic true self?
I think we hide because of fear: fear of rejection, embarrassment, criticism or judgment, in some form or another. We all seek approval and validation whether it's from our parents and family members or from people we encounter or interact with in our daily lives. So instead of letting the world see our true authentic souls, we choose to stay cloaked in our safe little space where only we know the truth of who we are. Underneath all the layers of expectation, guilt, anxiety, and fear lie are true authentic self.
Over the years, those layers for me were: doctor, lawyer, English teacher. I became a lawyer because I would never have gotten into medical school. Even though I wanted to be a pediatrician my whole life, I failed Organic Chemistry and Calculus, so I switched from Psychology/Pre-Med to English/Pre-Law. When I graduated from law school, I failed the Bar Exam, more than once. At that time in my life, I was in my mid 20's and too embarrassed to tell anyone I had failed the Bar. It was always by just a few points, but to me I was a failure, and I was ashamed of who I was; so for years, I would not reveal the whole truth of my academic failures.
I was not being my true authentic self which was a person who, yes, had failed many times, but more importantly, I was a person who was persevering and resilient. But, I was more worried about what other people thought of me or that I would be deemed not smart or intelligent. I hid a lot about myself for many years. I didn't just hide my academic failures, but my love relationship, health, and job failures as well.
I have definitely had a pattern of not revealing my authentic self and speaking my truth. I never wanted anyone to think of me as less than. But, it's not what other people think of us that matters. It's what YOU think of YOU that matters! We are all good enough. We are ALL enough just as we are. I obviously lacked the self-confidence, self-worth, and self-compassion in my younger days to realize that failing Calculus in college or failing the bar or leaving teaching because I couldn't physically and mentally do it anymore isn't anything to be ashamed of. Failures don't make us look bad. Failures help us find our success, our truth, and our real purpose in life.
All of my failures were just detours taking me towards the road of an authentic and true me. The road that I am on now and am proud to be on. I am a writer and my purpose is to shine my light to help and inspire others.
My goal is to use my writing to speak my truth. To show the world who I really am- the heartbeat of my soul. If it means I can help or inspire someone to pursue their dream or do something they've never done before, then wow that would be amazing! But even if my truth just resonates with someone who needs to hear it at the right time, then I'll know my talents are being used for a higher purpose and greater good.
Once you decide on who your true authentic self is, only then can you begin to speak your truth. And once you speak and live your truth, you will align with your soul's purpose and begin to manifest your goals, dreams, and desires more quickly. You will be able to share your gifts and talents with the world which will bring you joy and happiness. And that is the beauty of life!
For you, it might mean speaking your truth about a part of your identity, or not being happy in a career, relationship or city you are living in. Whatever it is inside of you that you are not revealing to the world because you fear shame, guilt, or judgment, you need to release that critic inside of yourself and find the voice within you that is cheering you on. You need to believe in yourself, trust yourself, and know yourself, so that you can move forward in life and get you closer to your dreams.
It's only when you speak, live, and embody your truth, are you fully free, and able to align with your soul's purpose in life and share your gifts and talents with the world.
It’s time to step out of your comfort zone, be brave, and show the world the real YOU!
Don't wait! Share your brave story with me or comment below!