For years I lived my life based on what other people would think of me. It affected all parts of my life from where I want to college, to the jobs I chose, the quality of my relationships, activities that I participated in, and even what foods that I ate.
It’s no surprise that I turned into a bland, watered-down version of myself and felt completely lost. After battling depression and a general unhappiness with my life, I decided enough was enough.
I began taking a journal of every time I chose to do something I didn’t genuinely want to do. Once I created this awareness, I was able to make different choices. I found clarity on who I was as a person, my confidence grew, and I began to embrace who I truly was.
You were born to be you, not someone else.
15 Powerful Shifts to Help You Reconnect With Your Authentic Self
1. Follow your heart
We hear this all the time but what does it even mean? Follow what feels good. Follow what makes you smile on the inside. This can be around making big decisions like changing careers or leaving relationships, but we sometimes don’t realize that following our heart with the little things in life, eventually add up to the big things.
2. Remove the word “should” from your vocabulary
Watch what happens to the way you feel and how you show up for yourself. Once I stopped saying “should” I found a sense of power and accountability I didn’t have before.
3. Stop people-pleasing
For those of us who are natural people-pleasers, this can still be done! Make the decision to stop doing it – tell yourself you’re simply not going to do it anymore.
4. Find a career you absolutely love
If your career doesn’t light you up, there is some exploring to do here. If we aren’t happy at work, it’s very difficult to be happy in our lives. We are meant to love what we do, and deserve to have a career full of passion and purpose.
5. Say no to activities you don’t really want to do, and yes to the ones you do
When I started my business, I was being pulled in 50 different directions. I was working my 9-5, had small kids at home, was shuffling our evening actives, AND working my business on the side. My time was precious, so I started saying no to invites or activities that I wasn’t super excited about, and yes to those that I was. Suddenly my life was filled with everything I love to do!
6. Get rid of bad habits
Netflix for hours on end? A glass of wine every night? I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with either of these – but if they are making you feel unsettled about doing them, let them go for a month and see how you feel. I found that once I cleared up the habits that were dragging me down, I immediately had more energy, my creativity exploded, and I was super productive in my business.
7. Travel by yourself
I’ve traveled all over the world – on my own and with a partner. Both certainly have their plusses and minuses, but taking a trip solo is so liberating. You decide how to travel, where to travel, what sites to see, what restaurants to eat at. Everything you do excites you because there’s not someone else there to throw their opinions in the mix.
8. Talk about what you want to talk about
For years I let others drive our conversations and rarely spoke about what I loved to talk about. I usually left conversations feeling drained, exhausted, and unappreciated. Once I embraced that people were actually interested in what I had to say, the dynamics of my relationships completely shifted.
9. Eat foods that make you feel good
Want to be vegetarian? Go for it. Gluten-free? Why not. Thinking about giving up alcohol for a year? Do it. Stop worrying about what everyone is going to think of you and just go for it. Who knows, they may even hop on board with you when they see how happy you’re becoming!
10. Live where you want to live
I’ve moved a lot – cities, states, and countries. As someone who has a strong connection to the earth, I’m torn between wanting to be with my family and living where I feel the most alive. Where we live has an enormous impact on our overall happiness, so when we live someplace we don’t feel a genuine love for, it can carry over into all aspects of our lives.
11. Exercise the way you want to exercise
I spent years killing myself at the gym doing cardio and lifting weights. Sure I stayed fit, but I usually dreaded going. What would I rather be doing? Yoga, hiking, sunset runs, or riding a bike. Exercising in ways that you love makes it so much more enjoyable and you’re more likely to stick with it.
12. Decorate your living space as your sanctuary
I love having my home decorated with things I absolutely love, colors that inspire me, and decorations that fill me with those warm feelings inside. If you share your home with a partner or children like I do, it’s not going to be 100% yours, but if possible, dedicate a space as your own personal retreat (even if only a corner in the basement).
13. Wear clothes that you are comfortable in
Stop trying to be fashionable if it stresses you out! Wear what you feel happy and excited about putting on. If that’s yoga pants, awesome. If it’s a new pair of jeans and a beautiful flowy shirt, perfect!
14. Take care of your body in a way that makes you feel good
I love being all natural and the day I stopped painting my fingernails was liberating beyond belief. If you don’t want to wear makeup, stop it. If you want to wear your hair in a ponytail every day, do it.
15. Quit wandering through life aimlessly
We have the power to make our dreams our reality by living intentionally. Ask yourself these questions. What type of life do I want to live? What do I want my legacy to be? Am I living with a sense of purpose or just going through the motions? Write out the answers to these questions. Create a vision or a Pinterest board and look at is frequently. Keeping this detail fresh in your mind will help you live more authentically and create the life you were destined to live.
Only you can be who you are. You have your own gifts, talents, and beliefs that you are meant to share with the world, and the world needs you. It’s time to stop living your life based on everyone else’s terms and let your true light shine. You might just be amazed at how wonderful your life will become when living it as your incredible self!