Figuring out who we are and what we want out of life can be challenging if at any point you, like me, veered off the course of self-exploration and self-acceptance.
But eventually, life smacks us in the face enough times that we’re forced to admit the truth: we’re totally lost.
In that moment, there is surrender to something much bigger than our individual selves, and we start this journey again. Only this time, we’re present; we’re tuned in to what’s up, and we’re ready.
The path to figuring it all out requires a determination to stay committed to the trail, to hang on and keep moving forward, even when it gets tough – which it does. We travel to our darkest depths inside ourselves and see everything we’ve hidden, covered up, locked, and repressed.
It all surfaces and it’s a wild ride. But, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: our perspectives about our selves and this life shift tremendously and open the doors for some miraculous opportunities, love, and peace.
I’ve learned some of these lessons the hard way, but once I learned them, life became a lot clearer and the road to wherever I’m going piqued by becoming effortless and enjoyable in more moments than not. There are still times that arise which aren’t so picturesque, I’m just better equipped to ride that rocky wave and can remind myself to settle into what I know.
Hopefully these lessons will serve you well, too:
1. Accept yourself above all else.
Resolve to make peace with who you are so that you can start showing up for the world. When we’re constantly overwhelmed by our insecurities, the light of our authentic self does not shine; and, it’s that light that draws in every person, experience, and opportunity that aligns with our true happiness.
2. Perfect is not real.
Nothing’s perfect. Nobody is. Flawless doesn’t exist and it’s not even attractive. Someone trying to be perfect is hard to get close to because it’s not realistic. So, just relax. Everything we consider a flaw about ourselves someone else might find endearing. Just get real and let that lead the way.
3. Accept everything.
Stop judging. Drop the expectations of what you want, how you think someone should behave, and the order things need to happen in. The good stuff is easy to accept because it makes you happy, but change your tune about the bad stuff too. Find the lesson in everything. The tough stuff, the people who challenge us – they are our greatest teachers as they force us to unravel the layers that cover our authentic selves.
4. Be selfish.
Find the balance between 50% selflessness, and 50% selfishness. Take your “me” time, know when you need it, and learn how to give it to yourself. Figure out what energizes you, what makes you happy, how you connect to yourself.
Don’t sacrifice those things – put them first. In the end, you can’t rely on anyone but yourself to bring you true happiness so stop waiting for anything or anyone outside yourself to try and start being the vessel that helps you receive it.
5. Use everyone else as a mirror.
If you allow yourself to recognize in other people that which exists within you, you will become aware of how and where to shift. I read somewhere once, “Any quality which you are attracted to, or unattracted to, you do not lack.”
This means, every thing about others we put on a pedestal, or every thing which we are frustrated by, resides somewhere within ourselves. All it takes is acknowledging that to find it. If it’s positive, enhance it, if it’s negative, appreciate that it reared it’s ugly head so you could see it, but make a note to self that you’re cool to move on without it.
6. Connect to your core.
Your core is your stabilizer; physically, emotionally, and mentally. When you feel off in a work out, or in your day, or notice a negative thought or insecurity arise, engage your belly. Draw your stomach in, and up – hold it, then take some deep breathes and you will immediately center yourself in a powerful way. It’s a very simple, life-changing tool.