Do you have an authentic self image reflective of who you really are?
Your self-image is the way you view yourself. You might view yourself as a parent, construction worker, friend, blonde, sports fan, intelligent, impatient, and middle-aged. But you’re more than your career, gender, and age. You’re more than your parents’ opinion.
You’re a unique person with nuances that are unique to you!
When who you are aligns with what you do, you’re living authentically. But most of us view ourselves as one way and live another. Authentic people act honestly and congruently.
The benefits of this congruency are enormous: success, self-esteem, respect from others, and inner peace.
Those that live lives misaligned with their values, beliefs, and attitudes suffer from more anxiety, guilt, and shame. It might seem easier to live up to the expectations of others in the short-term, but the long-term costs are significant.
Follow these steps to determine your true self and live life on your terms:
An authentic self-image is one that is aligned with your values. By knowing your values, you’ll gain an understanding of what is important to you. Once you’re aware of your values, you can build a self-image and life that are more meaningful and enjoyable.
For example, you might say that adventure and freedom are two of your most important values, but what if you also strongly favor responsibility and security? Those values could be in conflict.
Imagine one of your values is frugality. You could create a budget and savings plan that incorporates that value. You might plan to start clipping coupons, visit less expensive stores, and search for free entertainment options available on the weekends.
For example, if generosity is a priority, you could find an enjoyable way to spend your time helping others. If health is a value you cherish, you could join a soccer team or a yoga class. Find your favorite sport and participate.
Think about the instances when you failed to live according to your values. Likewise, contemplate the times you were able to live according to your values and self-image, particularly when doing so was challenging.
An Intrinsic Coach® and enthusiastic student of personal development, I’ve been actively writing on a range of related topics for over 10 years. The range of topics I share has varied over time, but I try to pick ones that will hopefully strike a chord with you. You may or may not always enjoy everything I write, but if you appreciate the effort please make a point to share it with someone else.
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