As a junior at Southern Methodist University, I was beginning my journey to find myself and discover who I really was. One day I was reading a book entitled, Stand for Something or You’ll Fall For Anything by Star Jones. While reading, I came across an intriguing quote from her that is etched in my mind and heart: “I am the only dictionary that defines me.”
This quote has become my life mantra and helped me to really understand the significance of being who I am and living an authentic life. Unfortunately we live in a society where it is increasingly challenging to live an authentic life. Instead of aspiring to be who we are divinely and uniquely created to be we get stuck trying to be like everyone else, thus conforming to a mold.
You can never be a great duplicate of anyone. You can only be YOU. Don’t let anyone make you change the core of who you are and make you doubt yourself. Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “No can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Break out of the mold and be you.
It is critically important to your overall health and wellness. Here are some keys to living an authentic life:
1. Rediscover What Makes You Happy.
When it comes to authentic living, there is one very important thing to remember; everyone was born knowing who and what they are and why they came here. You need only look to those things that made you completely, totally and blissfully happy as a child to take the first step in re-discovering your authentic self.
2. Practice Being Mindful
In order to start making changes and bring your life into alignment, you must first become acutely aware of what things are creating problems as well as what’s actually getting in your way. The best way to become aware of these issues is to start practicing the art of being mindful.
Being mindful is simply means paying attention and being aware of everything as it happens as well as understanding why it is that you have decided to experience this particular circumstance or event.
Only when you are aware of your actions and thoughts will you be able to make clear choice when it comes to what things, thoughts and even actions are valuable to you, and which are not. When you have determined which are not beneficial then you can get around to clearing your space.
3. Clear Your Space.
You must make room for something new to come into your life before getting rid of the unwanted and unnecessary things that are cluttering it up. This is incredibly vital when it comes to living authentically. Take inventory of your life; of everything and everyone in it (including core values, beliefs and ideas) and decide if they are worth keeping or if it is time to move on.
4. Take Ownership for Your Life.
It is easy to sit back and blame people who you feel are responsible for the negative things that have happened in your life. It is much more difficult to come to grips with the fact that you are the only one who is to blame for the life that you have created and decisions that you have made. Only when you understand this can you make those changes needed to create the life you feel that you should have.
5. Live Intentionally.
The last and most important key to creating an authentic life is in learning how to live intentionally. Oftentimes, we glide through our lives unaware of what is happening around us; of why it is that we are doing things, and while practicing mindfulness can help us to pinpoint those things that no longer serve us or that are no longer beneficial to us, only in choosing to live intentionally, purposefully and in full awareness bring things, events and people into our lives; only then can we create a truly authentic life.