This year my “Intent” is to “Be Courageous” by actually accomplishing some goals that I have held for some time. Setting my annual Intent, has taught me that just by focusing on, thinking about and changing just at one aspect of yourself, brings positive results into more than one area of your life. My analysis of being courageous has shown me that in many ways I am/have been courageous. I have done many things that other people would say, they could not do with excuses such as: “I don’t have a degree,,” or “I do not have any experience.” That being said I do, however, have some experiences, activities and accomplishments that I have wanted to achieve for a while. Further more I now have the time and opportunity to do these things but I have not. Why? The answer that came to me was that I am afraid of what other people will think of me if I live my life as my total authentic self. WHAT? Me? After getting over this revelation, my first thought was, how can this be my issue because I create my own future. I asked myself, why I was wary of something that might happen, when all that any of us really has is now. I finally I came to the conclusion that I was only being a portion of who I really wanted to be.
Being yourself seems self-explanatory: just wake up and do what you want to do, without following the crowds, without fear of judgment. But that is not how the world works, though. We tend to stifle our authentic selves to fit in without even realizing it. And doing so we suppresses our creativity, ingenuity, and self-awareness. For example, we all have variations of ourselves we present in different situations. You might act one way in front of your parents, another way at work, and yet another way in front your significant other. Those “invented selves” are normal, and something we all do to some extent. However this makes defining your authentic self more difficult.
Being authentic requires you to be self-aware, become more humble, and take feedback from others. It is a never ending process because your identity is constantly evolving. If you are not making choices that are deeply satisfying to you, you are not living an authentic life. The more authentically you live, the easier it is to let go of fear, doubt, anxiety, and uncertainty. I invite you to assess the areas of your life that you are giving time and energy to that do not satisfy your soul – relationships, memberships, jobs, neighborhoods, social circles, exercise classes, shopping excursions, and so many other things you spend time and energy on that do not serve your highest good or they would feel really good to you. The payoff is a happier, more creative self. According to some psychologists, authenticity can also lead to better coping strategies, a stronger sense of self-worth, more confidence, and a higher likelihood to follow through on goals.
Now that I know that source of my fear; I choose to challenge, change and learn from my new awareness. When I taught Introduction to Psychology, my first lecture would be about Psychology’s “ABC’s of Change”. Affect (Emotion), Behavior (Action) and Cognition (Thoughts). Sometimes change can be a process, where by steps are taken, milestones set and reached until you obtain your goal. Often used for changing your thoughts or emotions. Change by action, basically requires that you do that behavior that you fear.
I will be taking the latter approach by just jumping into what I really want to do. I have learned that it is easier for me to stay behind the scenes but that I really want to be heard. So, I have chosen to be my authentic self by living and sharing my messages, insights, information, support and assistance by fully embracing being a “Creative” person. Here is my first jump.
The following are, my list of questions and viewpoints that I feel need to be addressed immediately. Issues that we can and should all take a look at from a different perspective than we normally use to come up with different answers and results.
- I want people to see that everything around them has been carefully crafted to condition them to a limited existence.
- I want people to realize that our earth is being ravaged.
- I want you to think about how and where your food come from and what is in it. Why does natural food cost more?
- Why do we give our children over to an educational system that forces them to conform? To a system that has not changed in over 400 years?
- Why doesn’t everyone have medical care?
- What happened to the founding principals our government was based on?
- I want people to question their sources of information?
- Why is there so much hate in the world?
- I want people to stop accepting what they see around them and ask themselves why the world is the way it is, because then, they can take the first steps to freedom.
- I want people to question the source of the chaos. Is it really the fault of the masses, or is there a hidden hand keeping the madness in place?
We can change the world, but we have to leave our comfort zone and apply ourselves. You are worthy with no exceptions. No type of beauty, no amount of money, no memberships, no physical ownership of anything makes you more worthy. Nor does lack of these things makes you less worthy. You are incredibly worthy just as you are. You have been created in your own unique and exceptional way to contribute your uniqueness to the world to make it more beautiful in a way only you can.
Note: Repost from my Capital City Hue newspaper column from October 2016.