How Can I Be The Me I Want To Be?
To be yourself, you need to know yourself. Keep reading to find the real you.
Who am I? Figuring that out should be easy, right? If you’re like most of us, you’ve spent much of your life figuring out who other people want you to be so that you can be her. How much time have you spent figuring out who you are, and how to be you – you know, the authentic you? The one you’ve been hiding, the you that maybe, possibly, sometimes, you actually want to be.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?!
Wait a second, now you’re wondering if anyone is going to like the real you. You don’t even know if you like the real you. You’ve stuffed that b*tch down for so long someone’s going to need to do CPR to get her back up. What if she turns out to be Regina George?! 💀
Someone once said that you’re not who you think you are, you’re not who someone else thinks you are, you’re the person that you think that everyone else thinks you are. Whether you’re five or 50, I think this might be true for each of us, at least sometimes.
Channel The Real You
If you’re reading this post, you may already be channeling the real you and want to affirm that. Or maybe not. BUT, you’ve decided that you’re brave enough to find her, and then you can decide whether she’s getting CPR to bring her life.
Radha Agrawal, author of Belong, writes of waking up to this very feeling at thirty years old as she was getting ready to go to a sports bar to spend yet another night doing something that she didn’t even enjoy. This had been her pattern for years. She’d been doing it not because she liked to do it, but was acting like someone who did out of a need to feel connected. This night, she admitted to herself that, in reality, she didn’t feel connected at all. Thus began her quest to resurrect the real Radha.
Last week, I got a call from a friend to tell me that our mutual friend was making a spontaneous trip to our city and would be arriving that night. Yay, I was so excited. Later, on a bike ride with my husband, I was thinking about the visit and how fun it would be and how I would find the energy to be as bubbly and expressive as my two friends. All. Evening. Long.
In case you’re wondering – I think I would be described as warmly reserved, cool as a cucumber, or that feminist beotch, depending on who you asked. 🙂
I had already started this post and when I realized what I was doing, I thought to myself that even though I mostly like myself, and I live authentically, even at my (undisclosed) age, here I am contemplating being someone other than who I truly am.
Because I love outgoing and expressive people and I am not one. And even after all my work, my own self-love, sometimes I still question whether showing up as me is enough. Thankfully, I caught myself, and I went to our little party as me.
It made me think, though, we are intensely influenced by everything and everyone around us. Showing up as ourselves is rarely as simple as we think it should be. Even when we know who we are.
Are you really you?
Now, let’s start this journey of self-discovery and see who you uncover.
It’s time to grab your journal, a cozy spot, and maybe a cup of tea (or glass of wine), and answer the following prompts. For each question, give yourself no more than three minutes. If it’s not coming easily, it’s likely not that close to your heart.
1. What matters to me? There is a whole lot going on out there. What are my interests? What in my life do I really connect with and care about? List as many things as you can think of that are true interests that you actually pursue (or at least truly want to).
Examples: Love, money, nature, beauty, family, adventure, fun, music, sex, career, success, the environment, animal welfare, fitness, personal growth, etc.
2. What are my values? (Here’s Brene Brown’s list of values to help you brain-storm.) What beliefs or actions really resonate with me? What are my guiding principles? List all that come to mind in three minutes.
Examples: Equality, openness, perseverance, gratitude, loyalty, contribution, adventure, kindness
3. What do I love doing? If I could spend my time doing anything, what things would I be doing? Lay it all out here!
Examples: Hiking, travelling, meditating, working, painting, dancing
4. What do I actually spend most of my time doing? What is 80% of your waking time spent doing? What are you doing in that 20%?
5. What, of the things listed above, actually aligns with my values, interests and activities?
6. What can (or will) I change to align with who I really am? List one to three things that you can start now.
The easy part is over. You’ve figured out the real you- if only on paper. Now it’s time to bridge the gap between knowing who you are and actually being who you are. Being the authentic, unapologetic you. Luckily, this is the fun part. The part where you get to experiment, play and grow. Because showing up as the real you is where the magic happens.
You don’t have to do it alone. In Part 2: Know Thyself, we break self-awareness down even further. You’ve answered the question “who am I?”. Now it’s time to ask yourself “how do I show up? ”
Let’s do it!
Psst- Intrigued by this topic? It’s one of our favourites, too. In fact, we love it so much we’ve written two whole Thinkbooks on the topic of internal and external self-awareness. And what are Thinkbooks, you ask? Think online courses, but FUN. Think self-reflection and self-assessments, journal prompts, and interactive learning in a way that’s 100% your own, but never alone. Learn more about our Thinkbooks here!