I know it sounds like a “duh”, but it’s true. The greatest challenge you will ever face in your life is learning to “be” who you already are.
So what makes it so hard to accomplish that simple goal? Why do we spend so much of our lives pretending to be someone we’re not?
First of all, it’s a human problem that everyone has to learn to deal with because all of us start out as children conditioned to be good and do what we are told. We learn very early in life the importance of pleasing others so they will like us. So we pretend to be the person we think they want us to be. Breaking out of the false self we created for ourselves in childhood is almost impossible because it has become an unconscious life long habit.
So how do we begin “being” who we already are?
Discover your life purpose and the begin living your life in alignment with that purpose. What is your life dream? What fascinates you? What would you do if there were no barriers keeping you from living that dream? What would you do even if they never paid you to do it? Until you discover your life purpose, you will spend your life working for a paycheck as a labor commodity for someone else and their dreams. The day you discover your life purpose, you will be working for yourself, and your work will have deep personal meaning.
Too many people come to the end of their life with regrets for not having lived authentically and realizing the dream that was always hovering just out of sight at the edge of their awareness.
Guidelines For Authenticity And Becoming The Person You Already Are:
- Recognize that you probably knew very early in life the dream that was calling you. Think back. What were you most interested in? What memories stand out from your childhood? For me, it was writing. I wrote short stories that my teacher would have me read to the class. Then in early adulthood I took a couple of writing courses. The dream of being a writer has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. Life just kept getting in the way, and it took many years for me to remember who I already was. In my case, the dream to be a writer.
- Once you re-discover your dream and re-discover “who you have always been”, embrace the skills you already have, and then start learning what you need to know to make that dream come to the center of your life. Live it! Read it. Study it. Become a teachable person. Embrace change. Take action. Learn what you need to know to make that dream a reality. And never stop moving toward that dream.
- Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t. If you put a bunch of crabs on a big plate, every time one of the crabs begins to move toward the edge of the plate, the other crabs will pull it back from the edge of the plate. The plate is obviously a metaphor for “status quo”. There are those who will support your dream, but most people will give you advice on why you can’t reach your dream. They will tell you how “unrealistic” you’re dream is; that it’s too big. Remember, they are simply a crab speaking for themselves and subtly pulling you back into the status quo. Get off the plate and follow your dreams. There are a lot of crabs out there, so beware.
- Most importantly, don’t think small. Most people fail because they fail to think big enough. Think big, and then fake it till you make it! Look for a person who is already successfully living your dream. How do they act? What do they do? Then act that way, and do what they do, until you too become successful at living your dream.
- It is never too late to turn on the light and begin being who you already are. No matter how long your life has been lived in the darkness devoid of deep meaning, the moment you turn on the light of your life purpose, the darkness will be overcome. Your world will light up! The joy of living a meaningful life will transform everything you touch. Everything you do.
The most successful people in the world will tell you, the path to your dreams will be filled with setbacks and failures. There are going to be days that you will experience discouragement. But they will also tell you to simply learn from the failures and setbacks, and then keep walking. Keep moving forward one step at a time. And don’t quit until your dream becomes reality. Because that will be the day you will be living the life you were born to live; that will be the day you will “be” the person you have always been.