This is an affirmation I adopted for myself back in high school. This was a time where, while working towards my future, I felt the most out of touch with myself and in life. I felt as though I wasn’t in control of my life and therefore I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything. But it was just my own perception, my environment, the people I surrounded myself with. Someone once said, “you have to be the change you want to see” and that is so true. We are all creators and we all have the ability to manifest anything we want, but that starts with a genuine heart.
I’ve been on a journey not to find myself, but to be comfortable with being myself. I think it’s a very important distinction to make. A lot of the time “finding yourself” really just means being who you really are without consequence or fear of judgement. I figured this out when I was finishing up my senior year of high school. I had found myself in a situation where I was forced to look at my life objectively (in an attempt to see what had gone wrong) and quickly realized I didn’t recognize myself. And that’s so hard. Unfamiliarity is not comfortable and can easily turn to resentment and eventually hate. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Below are the steps I took (and still take) to find my authentic self and live a genuine life.
Social media is such a blessing and a curse. While it may be great to be connected to everyone at all times, it can be kind of draining. Having the ability to see others leaves room for comparison, for competition. But what are we competing for? People seem to always try to outlive each other, when ultimately we are all living the same life. You’re born, you’re raised, you work, you live, you die. I have had to learn patience. Everyone has their own timeline, and just because you are not doing what you think you should, does not mean you are not successful, accomplished, or experienced.
All change requires effort. Manifesting requires effort. Living requires effort. And effort does not always equate to hard work. Loving yourself shouldn’t be hard and neither should being yourself. However, it will require what conscious thought. Conscious thought is a technique used to counter irrationalities and biological instincts. You cannot control automatic responses to environmental stimuli, but you CAN change what you think about those responses, which will eventually lead to a change in behavior. I like to tell myself the following:
Until the day comes that someone puts breathe in your lungs or pumps blood through your veins, they don’t matter.
If you’re going through a bout of imposter syndrome, or you just cannot recognize who you are anymore, then you’re going to have to do some self-discovery. And this isn’t as hard as you may think. You probably thought “Well, I don’t know who I am?” right? Wrong. You know who you are, you just can’t remember. You know who you are, you just can’t define it. You know who you are, you’re just scared to be that person. The first step is realizing you cannot run from yourself. I’m currently in this stage of self-discovery or re-discovery. And I grow into it by journaling or asking myself questions, forcing a dialogue even if I’m scared. Here are 6 prompts to jump start your journey to authenticity.
- What is your favorite compliment and why? When people say this to you, you believe them, you’re flattered, and you feel great about yourself?
- Have you ever wondered how people see you? Close your eyes and imagine what you look like to others. What are all your physical characteristics? Write down (or think of) detailed descriptions then stare at yourself in the mirror. What’s different? What’s the same? Once you get through this process, realize that either way it’s you and neither is better than the other.
- Think as hard as you can and write a short story about your life or certain parts of your life. Read it out loud. What jumps out at you? Does anything surprise you? If your story was a best-seller, how would you feel about the main character?
- What can you do? No matter how insignificant, list what you are physically, mentally, and spiritually capable of. How many things are on your list? Did you fill a whole page? Is there more than what you thought there would be? How many times have you ever said you aren’t talented? Now think of what you want to add to the list. Why can’t you do it? How can you turn those can’ts to cans.
- Do you like taking pictures? Regardless if you do or don’t, take a picture of yourself everyday, just one, and on the first try (without retaking it) write one word to describe what you like about it or what you see in the picture. Delete the picture. At the end of the month, look at the list of words. Is this how you would describe yourself if someone asked? Why or Why not?
- What do you love about yourself? Everyone has at least one thing. Ask others what they love about you. Are they the same? Why do you think you do not see what they see?
Now this is not by all means a quick fix or cure all for everything wrong in your life. Change doesn’t happen overnight and growth is a continuous cycle that never stops. I’m still figuring out the best way to be me everyday, but it’s never too early to start or too late to finish. If you found that this post has helped you, please share so that it can help someone else. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can submit a form on my contact page, leave a comment, or reach out to me on my socials @KaevynLei everywhere. Good luck on your journey to yourself!