3 Sure Steps to Discovering the Authentic You
There are many fads and fashions out there. And let’s not talk about the rapid speed that new gadgets are being released. IPOD, iphone…can anyone keep up? By the way, I don’t have either. I don’t feel behind the times or left out. Why? Because I am very comfortable with who I am and where I am financially, etc. At some point I’ll get one, but right now I’m OK not having one. Having an ipod or iphone does not mean that you are not comfortable with yourself, so lets make sure that is clear. However, there are so many people that are trying to satisfy inner desires or define themselves with things. However, the joy lasts for a short time.
Recently the toy industry has had to recall countless toys from the toy store shelves due to lead paint. Sixty Minutes had what I thought was a great commentary a few months ago that went something like this, How many children play with the toys endlessly anyway? When I thought about it, I realized that was true. When my niece and nephew were small, they were so excited when they received new toys. They would run off and start to play with these toys. Then give them a month or sometimes a week and the novelty wore off. Before you knew it they had a very large (no extremely large) box of toys that they no longer played with. Not because they had out grown them intellectually, but because they had lost the interest. It was no longer satisfying them. However, they always found an interest in dragging my dining room chairs in the middle of my great room, maybe an old box and a blanket and creating a pretend house. That never lost its interest and it helped them to exercise their creative juices. (And yes, auntie was often solicited to be one of the members of the cast!)
I want you to ask yourself a question. Are you comfortable with who you are?
Too many adults are still not comfortable or sure who they are? And if you don’t know who you are, then you can’t show up as the authentic “you” wherever you go. Can the real Jane please stand up?!
Have you ever seen the movie, Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? Julia Roberts plays a woman who on the outside is confident and loving life but on the inside is unsure of who she is. She comes to that realization when a reporter (Richard Gere) asks her what type of eggs she likes. She is unable to answer that question because for each fiancé that she had (I believe it was four) she would adapt to what they liked so they would like her; only to be afraid at the altar and run (thus the title). She realized she had no clue as to what type of eggs she liked. She had lost herself in trying to be like someone else.
What about you? There may be one area in your life that you are sure and comfortable. You know the career that you are pursuing is your passion, but you have never thought about what style of clothes or hair you really like. You have somehow adapted to what your parents said, or corporate America said or society is saying at that time. Or maybe you are comfortable with your fashion statement, but are realizing that the career that you are pursuing is not your passion and you are unsure what your purpose is.
Don’t despair. Let’s look at 3 areas (there are more) that you should consider to find out who you are.
1. Be honest with yourself. In my book, Knuggets of Knowledge to Get Unstuck, Knugget #7 is Be Honest with Yourself. I discuss how we often do a good job of excusing our weaknesses or negative character. I go on to say that we should not justify but rectify. Be honest with yourself and God. Go in the bathroom, stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself the areas that you need improvement. That does not make you a bad or lost person. What it does is brings things to the surface so that you know what needs to be worked on. We all have areas that we need to work on. That is life. That is growth. You and God can work them out.
2. Discover your passion. In discovering my passion, it helped me to find my purpose and also find myself. I discovered that I love encouraging others. I discovered that I am free spirited, creative and that I am not conservative. I discovered that I have a zest for life and that I am an extrovert. In other words, I get energized around people. This helps because I am a speaker. See how everything ties in together? In my book, in the section Getting Unstuck; Making It Personal, at the end of Knugget #8: Discover your purpose. Know your gifts, I ask some key questions. For example, ‘If you were told you were going to receive one million dollars each year for the rest of your life, what would
you do with that money?’ Another question, ‘what games did you play as a child?’ How about, ‘List something people tell you that you are good at doing or that comes naturally to you.’ These are a few questions or commands that get you thinking about who you really are.
3. Ask the Designer. One day I was having problems with a software program that I was using. My technical friends couldn’t help me. I asked around but no one was able to help. I tried figuring it out also (that’s the analytical side of me), but to no avail. So I eventually decided to contact the software design company. After sometime, they were able to assist me with the troubleshooting to figure out the problem.
Your creator knows who you are. He is the one that designed you. So if you are stumped, ask the designer. Over time, and step by step, you’ll start to see, hear and discover things about yourself. Look at it as a fun discovery project.
Enjoy evolving and discovering. Age doesn’t matter. You’ll be surprised how many senior citizens have come to me saying that they are lost and not sure who they are or what they should be doing next. Try the three things above for starters and enjoy what you discover.