At the start of each New Year, we all have 365 opportunities to create the life of our dreams, to write a new story for our lives, to change our direction and live life to the fullest.
Your age, location, gender, religious affiliation or sexual orientation does not matter, all that matters is that you are presented with the opportunities to choose another, better path for your life.
Over the last few years, doing my own thing, living a life that many only dream of has shown me that life is indeed made up of choices and the repercussions of those choices.
Make no mistake, it’s not easy and presents one with challenges and obstacles every day, but the power of being able to choose without interference or outside influences, makes for a very satisfying experience. No amount of money, status or material things can equal that satisfaction.
But as with everything else, it needs to start somewhere – YOU need to draw a line in the sand and work from that point forwards.
It’s about discovering the real you and what you want out of life.
It’s about experiencing everything that life has to offer – the ups and the downs and enjoying the ride.
It’s about not caring what society dictates or accepts as the norm for you – you are unique and thus your life is entitled to be lived your way.
When I sat down to write this blogpost to kick off 2019, I realised that I had written 3 different blogposts in 2016 that actually cover the steps to discovering who you are quite perfectly.
I have included them into this blogpost to show you what is possible if you only take action, if you become laser-focused on being your authentic self and become who you really are – this will free you to become everything you can be.
It all starts with this question.
Who are you really?
Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the mirror and looking at your reflection and wondering who this person actually is?
Be truthful – I believe that’s almost all of us at one stage or another. There is nothing wrong in asking the question, in fact, it’s something that will allow you to re-evaluate your life, your dreams and your goals.
We are human and will question ourselves many times, buts it’s the actions we take that will determine the outcome.
In asking ourselves this question, it sets in motion a person-to-person unique process that may be empowering or demotivating, depending on your perspective.
I am here to tell you that you can make this work to your best advantage by breaking the questions down into various sections/scenarios.
Who are you personally?
When asking yourself this question – go deep down and really be honest with yourself.
This is not for public presentation but for your own use and discussion with yourself.
Do this in whatever manner you are most comfortable with; record an audio, write it down, record a video, or just have a good conversation with yourself.
Meditate /reflect on your responses and find out which of the answers you are not happy with and decide what you can do to improve or change who you are in that respect.
Always remember, to be powerful in who you are – you need to be able to love and appreciate yourself.
Who are you in the eyes of your family?
The easiest way to determine this is to ask.
Go to a trusted family member first and ask them to describe who they believe you are in their eyes and make a note of it for further reflection.
Now the difficult one – go to a family member that you are not so close with and ask them the same question.
It is always amazing to see the different responses that you are going to get when doing this exercise.
Finally, if you have a spouse/significant other and have children, ask them.
Take all these responses once again and note them down so that you can reflect on them later.
Who are you in the eyes of the world?
This is probably the most uncomfortable question of them all.
It’s never easy asking this of strangers or people that you work or do business with.
The key here is in the way that you ask the question.
It’s great to work this into a general conversation and subtly lead them into giving you an answer.
Alternatively if you are a public figure, get your staff or publicist to ask this question or your followers or audience.
You could even run a public opinion poll/survey and get the feedback.
It’s all about you tying down the essence of how other people see you and how you are impacting the world.
Finally you bring all these answers together and determine in which areas you need to apply yourself more, or where you need to change and improve, so that you can love yourself more and really step into your power.
Choose to be awesome today.
The next step is about looking at what you can and need to change.
Becoming the New YOU by challenging the status quo
Had an awesome chat with a Millennial not so long ago and was again blown away by how similar yet how different the various generation groups are and how we get dictated to by that label.
This revolves very much around the labels we apply to not only to people but the generations that they were born into. Baby Boomers are like this – Generation X behave like that etc, etc.
How much of an influence does this have on our behaviour and life?
How much do we allow it to influence our behaviour and our lives?
This applies to everything in our lives; how we dress, what our homes look like, what music we listen to, how we should behave – the list is endless.
My question is “Should this apply to me? Should I allow myself to be dictated to by others and what society believes should be my role in the world?”
Will the real me please stand up?
I have previously stated that we need to be authentic and true to ourselves, but who is the real you? Are you able to look at yourself in the mirror and recognise who you actually are and acknowledge that person as being the stunning individual that you are?
From many conversations and just observing many people around me in the last few months I have come to the realization that too many people are living lives that are dictated by what society deems the norm for them, their life partners, their careers, their families, the people they associate with and the generation group that they were born into, never who they really are …..
This is so sad, “Where is the real you?”
It’s about the Millennial that secretly listens to the musical giants of the 60’s and 70’s because it’s not cool for their generation to listen to music not created in their generation.
It’s about the Baby Boomer that wants to be wild and get a tattoo, hop onto a Harley and let the wind blow them away while cruising down the highway, not living like a straitlaced granny sitting on the veranda, knitting for the grandchildren……
It’s time for people to break the mould, in whatever manner they see fit and get in touch with their inner child and core of their being and reveal this to the world – no recriminations or questions asked !!
Do not let the real you be held ransom by the dictates of society and the misguided belief of others.
Being yourself can influence the world to be a better place
Yes – I can hear you……. “How in heavens name is that possible?” you ask.
Think about it like this – if you are constantly hiding and living the life that others dictate to you even subconsciously and with love, the real you could instead be making a major impact on the world, but it will never be revealed as you are hiding behind what others say should be the norm for you.
The abused mother that does not want to reveal to the world what is happening or happened to them – can help so many others in their battle with the same situation.
The introvert that lives in the shadow of their extrovert partner, but could impact the world with their unique way of dealing with situations and add value to others in the same situation.
The creative that hides their talent from their parents, as the parents want them to study medicine instead – thus their brilliance will never be revealed to the world.
The writer that works in a corporate job for 35 plus years and hates every second, but this is the place that society demands they remain to enable them to provide for their family and not depend on charity or government support.
Does any of this hit home or resonate with you?
Can you imagine what a far better world we will create if everybody lives and reveals their true person to the world?
Imagine what unique talents and gifts will never see the light of day as we are being dictated to by the world around us?
Take charge and challenge the status quo
Taking charge and living this new challenge will not be easy or comfortable and you run the risk of upsetting people and situations around you.
The question remains – “Will you live out your life with the music within you never being heard by others?”
Is this really living?
Do we not all have a responsibility to be the best we can be and take a productive place in the development of our society and life as a whole?
Will you allow your life to be dictated by others and live forever in the shadow of what might have been?
Many studies have been done with terminally ill people that have always said that their greatest regret in life was not doing the things they wanted to do and living their lives to the fullest.
Are you going to be one of those people?
Take action and discover the real you
Nobody expects you to change overnight, but you can take small steps each day to move yourself into the space you should be to reveal your inner brilliance to the world.
This process will take a lot of inner work and introspection to find the real you, but the revelation when it arrives will be like giving birth – within minutes of the real you being revealed, you will have forgotten about the pain of the process in getting to that moment …..
Here are some action steps/suggestions for moving forward:
- Keep a journal and write down your inner thoughts, desires and feelings – review frequently to see what keeps on appearing – these will be your hints.
- Take time to spend with yourself and discover what you really enjoy doing, no matter what others may think – whatever makes your heart race and puts a huge smile on your face is moving in the right direction.
- What do you really do well and others have commented on when you have revealed this to them.
Do this for a period of no less than 3 months … It has taken you years to hide the real you from the world, do not expect an instant revelation, but with concentrated effort it will have no choice but to re-appear!
We all owe it to the world at large to discover and acknowledge who we really are and reveal that unique individual.
Will it be worth it? Yes, most definitely, even if you only impact one person with your message, your talent, you passion or your gift, whatever it may be – then the world will be a better place for it.
Lastly, here was my experience of taking action and the results from taking that action. It’s a leap of faith, of belief in yourself, that inner YOU that wants to shine and share with the world – so go ahead and “Just Do It“
Startling Discoveries - Is this what I signed up for?
Since the official South African launch of the book (From Fed up to Fabulous – Amazon, August 2016) that I co-wrote with 6 other authors from around the globe; it has been two weeks of discoveries, decisions and light bulb moments, second to none.
It’s been one of those periods in life where you question what you know, not only about yourself, but the world and the people around you.
Did you really miss so much? Were you so wrong in your thinking, or so right?
Bottom line – it has shown me exactly how important it is to push your limits and explore beyond what your belief has shown you to be true in the past.
So what am I really going on about?
The Importance of staying true to who you are
I have always been of the belief that once you have identified who you are as a person, nothing and no one should be able to change you.
This path of self discovery comes at a great price for some and for others; they have always fundamentally known who they are.
In my case having been married earlier than most of my generation, I only really discovered who I was after my divorce.
Even then it took 3 years before I had settled down into my individuality. Part of this process I believe is that you need to be left alone by outside forces to discover the inner you and reveal it to others.
Reaching a point of comfort with the “new” you is hard won and must be protected at all costs.
These past few weeks have again tested those boundaries and although I may have upset some of the people around me in the process I NEED to maintain my status quo.
I will never again be pushed, either with love or not, to be somebody I am not. What you see is what you get … I don’t play Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
So my message to you is – you have a right to be the person you are – if others don’t like it, it’s not your problem and they cannot expect of you to give up your identity to please them and the picture they have in their heads about who you are.
BE YOURSELF at all costs – you owe it to yourself.
Being in the limelight - Easy, is it?
Hell no – it’s not !!
But, I don’t mind being in the limelight – I just don’t like it. My persona is being the person in the background that nurtures, supports and protects.
I don’t have to be in the front of the pack showing the world who I am. I will do it, if it is required, but it’s not a comfortable space for me.
The launch of the book with all the media and attention around it, has cemented this concept for me. Some may say it’s because I am new to this and in part they are correct, but it’s really not part of my core wants or needs, to have this sort of attention focused on me and my life.
It may sound crazy to you, but it just makes perfect sense to me.
Again, the flipside of this coin is that I will go out of my “comfort” zone and take responsibility for whatever I am needed to do or be, because that is who I am – not because I have a need for the fame, the adoration or the limelight.
My message to you, dear reader is this – do what you love, decide what you are prepared to sacrifice to support that initiative and then live content with your choices.
Don’t live according to the rules and desires of others – their path and journey may be vastly different from yours – take each step in your own direction, knowing that it’s right for you.
Shape your actions around the new paradigm but stay true to you
Taking this newfound knowledge and finding the inner peace and acceptance of what you now need to do, is never easy.
For the sake of your own piece of mind and the harmony of the world around you, you need to find your equilibrium.
Don’t beat yourself up – it can happen overnight or in a few months, but you need to decide and choose what you are prepared to accept, do and become, to live with this new scenario.
It’s almost like a path of self discovery all over again, but for us to evolve and become true to who we are, its a dynamic process that will always be challenged with new people, new situations and new thinking.
Has it been worth it?
Honestly yes, but I don’t believe it’s over by a long chalk.
New things pop up each day as a result of what has happened. I am taking my time and working through each instance that happens that rocks the boat and finding an acceptable balance, outside of the wants, needs or desires of others.
Some people may say this is selfish, but think about this – how can you be the best you can be and contribute back into the world, if you don’t have the foundation and guidance of being the person you were meant to be?
So remain true to who you are at your core and reflect that outwards into the world.
So there you have it, a plan of sorts, a guideline and real life case study to help you along your way to discovering who you are and the real YOU.
This is your journey to becoming who you were meant to be without excuses.
Not who your spouse/significant other, your family, your work colleagues, your community or anybody else wants you to be – JUST YOU.
Once you know who that person is, then the journey continues in becoming better each day and contributing your magic to the world.
How you do this is entirely your choice but always remember that your knowledge, experience, skills, talents and passion have the capacity to change lives and make an impact, so take life by the horns and blow the world away.
You owe it to yourself and the whole world.
Here’s to living your greatness each day and I’ll see you on the flipside.