Be real. Be authentic. Be the you that makes you different from everyone else. And that’s a good different. There are plenty of copycats and people who are trying to be something they are not. Oh and being authentic doesn’t mean that you have to stand out in the crowd by dying your hair a bright color or by being weird just to be different. Being you means letting what is on the inside of you, what’s in your heart come out. When you do this, your true beauty will shine no matter your socio-economic status, race, color or body size. And often times, when you let your true you shine, you naturally desire to improve your physical appearance and your circumstances. Ironically, we try to change the outside in order to make ourselves feel better on the inside. This works but I believe it’s more sustainable to change the inside and let the outside follow suit. I hate to give you a formula for being authentic because everyone is different. However, here are some ways to ignite your authenticity:

1)      Do what you love to do. Even if no one you know likes to do it, do it anyways. When you chase your passions, you will find other people who share the same passions. Don’t let your social circle hold you back from doing what you love to do. Be honest with yourself. Are you doing what you love to do or are you doing what other people love to do because it’s easier and more comfortable?

2)      Think about who you are. Spend quiet time or if you are time poor do it anytime you can, asking yourself what’s important to you, what moves you, who do you want to impact and why. You don’t need anyone to tell you this because you know it yourself. Just think of the times where you were really excited about life and ask yourself what was it that inspired you so much.  Recall times where you were really moved and ask yourself what about that situation moved you.

3)      Avoid “should”, “could” and “would”. If you find yourself saying “I really should…” then you are probably speaking from a protocol perspective not a heart perspective. I will give you an example of how I operate from authenticity. I only send birthday cards to friends and family when I feel like I “want” to. And when I do, it really means something and touches their heart because it is from my heart to theirs. If I send an obligatory card every year then it doesn’t means as much. I am not saying sending birthday cards is bad, I am just using it as an example of how I operate from what I feel in my heart, not because it’s what a “good person” does. This might be perceived as being flaky and a “whatever I feel that day” approach, but it’s not. It doesn’t replace life diligence and it doesn’t mean you just sit at home waiting to feel something and then do it. I lead a very full life so when my heart stops me and says, “do this” then I respond.

Enjoy the journey of discovering the real you! It’s actually really fun and will bring joy to your life. It might take a little extra effort to get your “real you juices” flowing but don’t give up. Keep at it until you start to feel like “you”.

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