Daring To Be Authentic | Blog
Daring To Be Authentic
It takes courage to settle below all that's expected of us so we can finally touch what is meant for us.
Settling below all we've been taught, all of our conditioning, below our plans for our lives, what we believe others expect for us or even our idealized images of ourselves, allows us to discover our own truth; our path, our voice and our expression. Taking the time to reveal ourselves to ourselves creates a new sense of what's possible.
From that direct knowing, we can bring forward what deeply speaks to us rather than what comes from obligation or cultivating an image.
Last week in a conversation with a client, he said, “I'm not going to do anything meaningless anymore.” What he meant by this was, doing tasks, meetings, hustling, long hours, saying yes to others when he really wants to say no and unfulfilling activities. These last few months, have helped him discover that most of what he was doing was not necessary and in the end was diluting his pleasure in life. As he puts it, he had disconnected from his own gut, his own wisdom, and was doing what he thought was needed or what others thought he needed to be doing. He said, “I lost my way. I didn't even know what mattered to me – really mattered anymore.” By tuning in and listening he has rediscovered what that is, and it no longer makes sense to do anything that is not in alignment.
How do we reveal ourselves to ourselves? How do we uncover what truly speaks to us or calls us rather than what comes from conditioning or obligation? How do we discover our true self and align more authentically with ourselves and our work?
When I was living in Paris and learning to speak French one of the executives in my company said, “Tu dois être audacieux, Barbara” – You must be daring, Barbara.
That phrase applies in the pursuit of allowing our true self to be revealed to us as well. We must dare to meet what we do not yet know. Or for many it means we must dare to let our truth emerge – to be birthed or come alive. The reward for daring is great. When we dare to listen, to uncover, to let it have room within us, we discover more of our who we are.
We meet what's possible when we allow what is within us to come through us. This is living from our authentic nature; our true nature.
When was the last time you followed what you knew to be true in your heart? Can you discern the difference between following others wisdom for you and following your own wisdom? Can you identify some part of life you need to be more honest about? How can you express more of your authentic self?
These questions are a doorway to your inner knowing. They are not a judgment or assessment of where you are. When we hold them lightly and see where our deeper intelligence takes us, we often uncover a new hope, possibility or desire that is there, right below the surface.
I'm am often in conversations with clients who struggle with where they are being drawn, internally, and what they think they need to be doing. Somehow, it seems reasonable to disregard the inner pull of something new or different because of obligations, expectations, fears, or not being able to guarantee a certain outcome. From a rational mind, this makes sense.
But, what if, that deeper pull IS the path to new freedom, authenticity and fulfillment?
A number of years ago, I was working with people I really admired. They had had a major impact in my life and work. I loved them dearly. The work we were doing was exciting and I had grown tremendously in our time together. In many ways though, this was “their work to be done” not necessarily mine. Meaning, it was purposeful and in complete alignment for them, but I was starting to see, not for me.
After some time, I started to feel the pull to make a change. To follow my own path, to let go of this partnership and step into my work in a new way. At first, I discounted those nudges. I thought, “Things are so good, why change?” It made no logical or financial sense. However, eventually those nudges got louder and louder. It was time for me to be daring.
That change required uncomfortable conversations and loss of income and stepping into a lot of unknowns. I did not take it lightly but the desire to follow my truth and not the safe or reliable path was too compelling to ignore. I was willing to take the risk. That risk has paid off. It has not been without some lessons, some adjustments, insecurities, and even some financial impact at first, but in the end, I'm grateful that I listened.
When we look back at our lives, we often see that it was the moments when we listened beyond other's opinions, beyond our worries and fears, and followed those nudges that we discover the very same thing. The risk of listening and following our authentic voice pales in comparison to the risk of staying where we are.
Even with the success of that decision, the listening, the willingness to let go of my attachment to certain ideas I have about myself or my work, is an on-going journey. We change, we evolve. Having an intimate relationship with our true nature allows our outer world to evolve with our inner world.
“Every decision that has prospered me has been when I've listened to that voice within.” – Oprah
When we live from our deeper nature, our true self, we are willing to be real. And as we learn to be real, our actions and our work aligns with what is true for us. From this space we have greater impact. We love more genuinely, and we give others permission to do the same.
Dropping all the ideas, conditioned thinking or images we have of who we should be, we discover who we are. We are unencumbered and free.
In our authenticity we discover the relationship between the essence of who we are and our humanity. We discover the relationship between our essential nature and our work in the world.
“When we live from our deeper nature, our true self, we are willing to be real. And as we learn to be real, our actions and our work aligns with what is true for us.”
“We cannot be anyone we want to be. We can only authentically be who we are.”
– Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita
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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. If you’d like to experience in-depth, robust and transformative mentoring for you and your business check out Barb’s 4-month virtual Beyond Limits Small Group Mentoring Program. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin, Twitter and Insta