We are constantly invited to be who we are – Henry David Thoreau
It can be hard to stay the course. To be who we are and live aligned with the truth of what we most want, to stay out of comparison or trying to measure up to the standard set before us.
It’s easy to succumb to the temptation of all the shiny things and end up distracted and pulled off course or move through life overwhelmed and weary under the weight of all of our competing tensions and desires.
It’s easy to buy into the noise about who we should be, what we ought to look like or live like, and to lose sight of our our vision and primary values along the way.
Challenging or not, it doesn’t have to be this way.
As Thoreau wrote long ago, we are constantly invited to be who we are.
We are Interesting, messy, creative, strong, beautiful, imperfect, resilient, gifted. We are mother, teacher, lover, wordsmith, CEO, healer, engineer, pilot. We are afraid, scared, broken, addict, warrior, survivor, advocate, truth-teller.
Our worth is not determined by our productivity, by our ability to have it all together all of the time. Our value does not stem from perfection or conforming to the perfect image, making others happy or even knowing exactly where we are heading.
We tell ourselves unkind stories about how we should be and our insufficiency. But the simple truth is we are lovable and worthy of acceptance exactly as we are. Not everyone needs to like or approve of us – we need to like and approve of who we are.
Brené Brown invites us to be who we are when she writes “you can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.”
Show up messy.
Show up real.
Walk out your values.
Love yourself well.
Offer your gifts and the lens through which you see the world.
Tell the truth.
Pick yourself up when you fall. You will fall.
Just be who you are.
5 Reasons to accept the invitation to be who we are
1. Our children are watching
I want my children to know that they matter and that they are acceptable, gifted, amazing just as they are. The only way I can teach this is by modeling it.
Kids are so smart and they pick up on what we do or how we live our lives and not just what we say.
2. We will be happier & healthier
Getting honest with ourselves and those in our circle of impact about what we need to thrive and not just survive is important. We can give ourselves permission to be healthy and happy and still make a difference in the world.
This will undoubtedly feel hard – sifting through competing desires and making space for our own self-care. People may not always appreciate the boundaries we set for our own health and well-being. But we matter too.
3. This is how we find the point of our highest contribution
We get to decide the kind of person we will be and be known for, what we want our children and grandchildren to remember about us, what we want others to say about us when we are gone. We build our legacy every day by all the myriad choices we make.
You may be a multi-potentialite or excel at many things yet still choose to quiet the noise to get clear about the point of your highest contribution in this season and let the rest fall away.
4. This is how we walk in integrity
I care deeply about walking in integrity. Brené Brown defines integrity as “choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
I don’t think this is easy to do but it is necessary if we’re to feel proud about who we are and the work we do in the world.
5. This is the way to growth
Deepening self-awareness and getting increasingly honest about our struggles, fears, and insecurities, the way we self-sabotage or put on a brave front, this is the way to growth.
And I do want to grow. I want to be stretched and challenged to let go of what no longer serves so that I can become my truest and most vibrant self and live authentically.
We can admire someone’s style or manner of parenting, we can hire a coach to help us grow a sustainable life and business, we can learn and grow and glean insight from others. But we don’t have to BE them.
Our happiness and highest point of contribution ride on us choosing to quiet the noise, get honest, and simply be who we are.
To having what matters,