Growing the Courage to Be Who You Are
Credit: Model and Makeup: Vivienne Vermuth. Photo Used with Permission by Dee Hill Photography. http://www.DeeHillPhotography.com
We live in a world that values conformity. Everything, from the books you read to the clothes you wear to the zip code you live in, has roots in what your friends & peers are or aren’t doing. There’s nothing wrong in having the same tastes as your friends, but what happens when those similarities start to eclipse your true being?
Growing the courage to be who you are is having the moxie to do the inner work that determines your dreams, your passions, your values, and your fire. The power of your personality lies in how boldly and brightly you express your unique gifts. And we all know that you can’t fully express those gifts until you know what they are, right?
So being who you are, who you really are, starts with conscious self-knowledge. You have to dive deep for the diamonds and pearls that form the hidden treasure of your soul, and you have to keep diving until you hit solid gold.
This means you have to get the noise of your social conditioning out of the way, and that’s where the courage comes in.
Are you brave enough to carve your own path?
Are you bold enough to elevate the voice of your intuition over the voice of your conformity and fear?
These are the questions that determine how fully alive you are and feel, and how thrilling your days are.
Now that we know that self-knowledge is the name of the game, here’re 4 steps to applying it so we can live richer, fuller lives:
Keep a daily journal.
It’s important that you have a sacred space to be your truest, fullest self without shrinking or holding anything back. You need to feel safe enough to explore your deepest dreams, desires, and visions, and to know that it’s OK to say exactly what you think and feel. You don’t have to worry about condemnation or judgment because everything is for your eyes only, unless you choose to share it with a trusted somebody else.
Journaling every day gets you in the habit of clearing your thoughts and drilling down to what’s most important to you. You cannot dance the music of your Soul if you don’t give yourself the chance to hear and feel the melody. You must show up often enough to open your deepest spaces and soften into the knowledge of who you are. Living your dreams into being only happens when you know what said dreams are. Ante up.
Journaling also sharpens your thinking process and your connection to your intuition. Writing from a higher state of consciousness, like right after prayer or meditation, plugs you into the grid of Universal power and energy, so you never have to worry about running out of things to say. If you’re fretting over content, you’re missing the point of the exercise.
Pray and/or meditate daily.
Depending on your chosen faith, you have some sort of channel to a Higher Power. Whether you see yourself as religious, spiritual, or somewhere in between, you need to tap into a force greater than yourself while you’re on your self-discovery voyage. There’s always more to know, so you’re never done learning, and you need to recognize the potency of tapping into the Divine on a daily basis. Why? Because the conscious mind is NOT where your greatest hopes and dreams lie, and you need the spiritual component of the Divine to unlock those hopes and dreams, and the gifts that let you achieve them.
When you pray, you ask for your Higher Power’s wisdom and grace to infuse your being and direct your path. You trust that your intuition taps into this wisdom and grace, and you’re aware enough to listen and act on what you hear. Doing this every day connects you to the Universal force that only wants the best for you.
When you meditate, you clear + quiet your mind so you can mine the deep recesses of your inner wisdom. If your mind is constantly full of noise, how can you know who you are and what you want? How can you know the best path for your growth & evolution if the waters of your perception are clouded & muddy?
Stillness has a calming effect on your brain and your body, and it also enhances your well-being. Making time for it every day keeps you from feeling scattered, burnt out, and unsure who you really are.
Start or join a sisterhood circle.
As women, we thrive in community with each other. When you gather with other women, you open up the space to get the loving support, cheerleading, and wisdom you need to keep you going. Whether it’s a weekly brunch with your closest girlfriends or a monthly meet-up with your mastermind group, be sure you make the time to nourish and be nourished with your sisters. It’s important to start or join a group that adds to your growth, not one that detracts from it.
Commit to constant personal development.
Knowing who you are means having the courage to face your light and your dark. Even the shadow aspects of ourselves have something to teach us if we stay open to the lessons, but we have to know how to accept them.
Read the books and blogs that expand your worldview and teach you to see things differently. Take the workshops and programs that teach specific tools and practices to develop the aspects of yourself you wish to strengthen or explore. Play the podcasts, talks, and videos that walk you through the dreams you have and ways to live them into being.
Personal development is how you stay on top of deepening your self-knowledge and acting on what you discover so you’re constantly growing and evolving. When you develop yourself, you give yourself the time, space, and freedom to inch closer and closer to the life calling to you.
At the end of the day, the courage to be who you are is the courage to personalize your experience on the planet to meet your needs and deepest desires. The work you do, the food you eat, and the way you live all depend on your perception of yourself and what you can accomplish. When you commit to being your fullest self, you light up your life with the joy, love, and power of living in tune with your true nature.
Have you found the courage to be who you are? Tell your story in the comments below.