We begin to see who we really are when we find out
who we want to be,
what we are meant to do and
For most of us and I certainly include myself in this, we move through life in a bit of haze, doing things we have always done, acting in ways we have always acted or is expected of us.
We are all amazing individuals, messy, confused and sometimes irrational but amazing all the same.
These are the things that make us unique, make us truly individual and waiting to shine.
A big part of who we are today is made up of where we have come from, our upbringing, the values that have been placed on us by our parents, teachers, peers and by ourselves. We are shaped to be what someone else believes we should be (which for the most part that is done with the very best of intentions) and so we follow.
We have no idea what is around the corner tomorrow, or the days that follow, we can’t change the past or create tomorrow. What we can do is use the knowledge we have gained and the lessons learned.
Live for today, live in and for the present.
What we do today, how we act, interact and respond may impact what happens tomorrow but many other elements completely outside our influence will ultimately determine the path we take.
To be sure that we can make the greatest impact on our own lives and other’s lives as well and have a lasting impact on the world then we should take a closer look at who we are, where we have come from and where we want to go.
Here are a few things you can do today, InJustOneDay to start the ball rolling.
Accept who we are
When we realise that everything that has gone before, good, bad or indifferent, has brought us to where we are today, then we start to realise that we can use those experiences to our advantage. What we do today gives us a say in what happens tomorrow and the next day and the next.
By accepting who we are, owning up to ourselves for any mistakes we have made, accepting that they are done and realising that we can make a change then we will be in a strong place to move forward.
Take a long look in the mirror
This is a difficult one, I know. I rarely look at myself closely in the mirror, I look superficially to do my hair or make-up or check on my clothes but really look at myself, no that doesn’t happen often.
When you do take the time to do it, you may surprise yourself with what is reflected back.
This is the you that others see, the physical you. Does that reflect who you really are? If it does, great, I congratulate you but I would imagine that for the vast majority of us the person in our head is not the person looking back at us.
For most people that we come into contact during the day, they will fall into maybe 4 categories.
Family, friends, colleagues and strangers.
- With family most of us should feel that we can show our true selves, warts and all. We should be able to really relax in their company, dress as we like, react truthfully and interact confidently.
- With friends we should be able to do the same but some friends are closer than others, some we have known longer than others so we may interact differently.
- With colleagues, we will generally portray a more professional, studied look; there may be more to lose here so we need to tread more carefully.
- With strangers, first impressions may count depending upon the purpose of the interaction. If you are unlikely to ever meet the person again, you may care less about what impression you give (but still respect who they are and the conversation you are having) than if it is someone you are meeting for the first time that may impact your life going forward.
How we see ourselves affects how others view us, don’t hide behind a persona or a mask, be honest with yourself.
The true you is the best version of you and that is who everyone wants to see, including you!
What can you do today that will bring the person people see closer to the person you see and hear and listen to?
Look around you
Take a close look around you. What do you see? And yes I do mean your physical environment. Take a snapshot of what your room looks like, your desk, your kitchen wherever it is.
Does this reflect who you are or who you want to be?
Do you create the environment you want or what you think others want to see?
Our homes are the place where we can really be ourselves, that can reflect who we really are, they have memories, they carry evidence of our journeys and of our thoughts.
It should be that way, our home should be a place that we don’t have to explain away to other people. If we can’t be ourselves in our own home then where?
If it isn’t a true reflection of who you are then why not? Ask yourself why and what you can do to make it so. You will find that you relax more in an environment that is suited to you and your needs.
What can you do today to reflect who you really are?
Write it down
All the things you have considered and thought about above, write them down.
The act of writing it down, will not only crystallise your thoughts but will also make them real.
How often do we think things about our lives, about ourselves or others but the thought is gone in a moment because we get distracted by something else.
I do this every day and every night. When I started this process, the way I did this is to get a blank journal, find somewhere quiet and free from distractions (which is why I recommend pen and paper for this and not a computer or tablet or mobile phone; this needs your total focus).
Then just write everything that comes into your head for the next 10 minutes, without stopping, without thinking too carefully about what it is you are writing. Then after the 10 minutes, put the book down and go away, get a drink or go for a walk, anything for 15 minutes. Then go back to your book, look at what you have written and start to think more carefully about this, put them into categories, from there you can start to find patterns emerging and start to look for answers.
We will cover more of this in a later post, it merits its own space.
This is a journey
One thing I will say is that this process is not easy, in fact it is really difficult.
You will have to ask yourself (and perhaps of those around you) some difficult questions. You may find that you can’t do it all in one sitting (although I would encourage you to do it if you possibly can, it will have the greatest impact).
This is a necessary journey but a fulfilling one and one that should be repeated regularly, say once every few months, whatever timeframe suits you and your life best.
Once you have mastered how to do it, you will do it more often and more quickly as it comes more easily to you.
Just before I finish I want to say a couple of things.
The first is that not everyone can complete this exercise on their own; that for some you may need some help to do that, and that is completely fine. In fact if you can find the courage to speak up and say that you need some help then you have made a major step and you should be very, very proud of yourself. Asking is often the most difficult thing to do but once done, you may be surprised about how much help there is at hand.
The second is that for some this is a difficult, very painful and troubling path; you may have experiences that are not easy to revisit but where you are now is a testament to your strength and survival and I have huge admiration for you.
I will be expanding on this in later articles and resources but in the meantime, I would love to hear how you get on, you can contact me via email or add a comment below.
Tell me below what one thing you will do today?
Have a great day! Until next time.