Journey to One’s Self: Try not to Barf

As Business Coaches, we often find that stress and burnout are related to existential questions. Many of us hear the whisper in our heads asking us to be our best selves. As a nation and as individuals, we see that we can (and must) make an impact. But we don’t necessarily know how to be our authentic self.

 

journey to one's self. Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Journey to One’s Self. Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

The answer will require us to step out of the molds we have created so we can ask ourselves, is this working for me? To quote Uriel Abulof, “Don’t merely know thyself, be thyself.” Or to quote William Shakespeare, “to thine own self be true.” Now more than ever, the world needs you to be you.

Vulnerability, support, care, and mentorship are all services that we pay to receive because our culture doesn’t provide these services on its own. We don’t have many many role models that encourage our authenticity. Often we get overwhelmed, anxious, concerned or lost in doubting ourselves, with thoughts like what if I don’t know how, or what if I’m not enough, or what if I fail? Trust us, there is no such thing as failure when you continue to let your light shine.

How can our actions be congruent with our beliefs and desires, despite external pressure? We get it, life is hard, even for the most privileged. We all struggle with different physical and mental challenges, and it is the uniqueness of these struggles that brings us closer to ourselves and our potential to contribute to society.

Authenticity takes practice, the journey to one’s self is long. Although we are born with it, most of us lose our sense of self as we deal with the pragmatic realities of adulthood. We can’t always remove ourselves from the situations or people that bring us stress. What we can do is form habits that mitigate the impact on our lives when we are exposed to these situations.

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Here is the good news: this isn’t a big and scary “fix.” In fact, nothing is broken. If you are struggling, it means you’re working. You know what they say- those that don’t try, never look foolish. So here are our five major recommendations for being more authentic on your journey to one’s self:

Photo by Lauren Kay on Unsplash

Check in with yourself

We are so quick to offer a helping hand to someone else but we can struggle with helping ourselves. Getting in the habit of checking in with yourself is incredibly helpful for your journey to one’s self. Where are you holding your stress in your body? Do you need a glass of water? Like, in this moment, do you need to drink some water? When is the last time you thought about all the ways you can accommodate yourself? I do it to myself too, when I sit at my desk without going to the bathroom for hours, just to get one more task checked off my list.

Learn How to Play Again

Allow yourself to not know, to be pulled by instinct instead of logic. Is it a bird chirping, is it your stomach growling? Go where energy is light, like being with a kitten or puppy, and stay there as long as you possibly can. Stay 10 more minutes. I don’t know, literally go use the swing on the playground. Find time to play every day. Not just over the weekend, or at kids sporting events, but whenever you know it can fill you up on your journey to one’s self.

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Be curious

Challenge yourself to look at people or situations differently, with a light heart and playful energy. Don’t require yourself or anyone else to ever be right. Be an iteration. Attempt to put your best self forward, but recognize, as humans, we all have flaws. How is that? Why is that? Can you ask these questions without judgement?

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Research

Don’t take our word for it, check out what experts all over the world are saying. Like leading researcher, Brene Brown, or youtuber Prince Ea. Compare notes with friends. Heck, create a research team in your department to develop updated reports. Individuals are not the only ones who get a large return on their investment. Track your own progress, I dare you. The process rewards itself.

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Ask for help

If you are like most of America, talking about authenticity to friends and coworkers may terrify you. Well, we can help! We design experiences that give you the practice (and data) you need to make the changes you want. Whoever you choose to ask for help, know that there is no such thing as an easy fix, nothing is broken.. Change happens over time through persistent effort. It’s okay for this to be fun. It’s okay to shop around. You want an effective coach, and you want to enjoy your work together.

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One of my many heroes, Michelle Obama, once famously remarked as First Lady of the United States that she still didn’t know who she wanted to be when she grew up. Maybe knowing isn’t the point. The journey to one’s self can be rewarding on its own. 

It all begins with a conversation. We believe that if we are training our clients to be person-centered, it’s imperative that we do the same. That’s why we always put our clients first.

Ready to begin? Get in touch!   

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