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Take A Selfie: 5 Steps to an Authentic and Effective Self-Image

Opening your mindset for personal development growth – to pursue life with authenticity & purpose. Your self-image is the way you view yourself. You might view yourself as a parent, entrepreneur, friend, sports fan, wine connoisseur, plant-enthusiast, intelligent, or tech-savvy. But you’re more than your career, gender, and age. You’re more than other people’s opinion […]

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Courtesy of Laura Chouette | Unsplash
Courtesy of Laura Chouette | Unsplash

Opening your mindset for personal development growth – to pursue life with authenticity & purpose.

Your self-image is the way you view yourself. You might view yourself as a parent, entrepreneur, friend, sports fan, wine connoisseur, plant-enthusiast, intelligent, or tech-savvy. But you’re more than your career, gender, and age. You’re more than other people’s opinion of you. You’re a unique person with nuances that are unique to you!

When who you are aligns with what you do, you’re living authentically. Quite a few people, however, live through the lens of an Imposter, viewing themselves as one way and live another. Authentic people act honestly and congruently. The benefits of this congruence are enormous: success, self-esteem, respect from others, and inner peace.

Those that live lives misaligned with their values, beliefs, and attitudes suffer from more anxiety, guilt, and shame. It might seem easier to live up to the expectations of others in the short-term, but the long-term costs are significant.

Determine your true self and live life on your terms. Here are five steps to an authentic you:

1) Identify your core values. 

An authentic self-image is one that is aligned with your values. By knowing your values, you’ll gain an understanding of what is important to you. Once you’re aware of your values, you can build a self-image and life that are more meaningful and enjoyable. 

2) Determine if you have any conflicts. 

When you’re faced with an inner conflict, you’re likely to shut down and do nothing. If you’ve ever been paralyzed while making a decision, it’s possible your values were in conflict. Think back to when you’ve struggled to make a decision and see if it’s true.It can be tempting to have moments of self-pity mixed with self-criticism and believe you’re the only person who struggles with something. It’s important to give yourself some grace in the area(s) of your life that you are working on, and not judge the process. Pay attention to the little details and take notice of your progress in creating solutions and progress.

3) Create a COMMITTED Action Plan.

A committed action plan creates self accountability. The goal of achievement comes in taking committed action in reaching your goals with intentionality and purpose based on your heartfelt values. Choose a domain in your life that needs work. Align with the values you feel resonates with and are serving you in that domain.  Whenever you feel out of balance or alignment, it is possible that those feelings are the result of not behaving in accordance with your values. Once you bring into conscious awareness those values that are at the core of who you are and your existence, you can begin to take actionable steps towards translating those values into committed action.

4) Make a list of activities you enjoy that are in alignment with your values. 

It is necessary to identify and choose your values and also, find activities that allow you to live those values consistently and to thrive. For example, if generosity is a priority, you could find an enjoyable way to spend your time helping others. If health is a value you cherish, you could join a soccer team or a yoga class. Find your favorite sport and participate.

5) Evaluate yourself at the end of each day. 

We often carry around perspectives instilled by our parents. Here’s a newsflash: they may have been wrong. Take the time to determine your values for yourself. Think about the instances when you failed to live according to your values. Likewise, contemplating the times you were able to live according to your values and self-image, particularly when doing so was challenging.  Disregard what society says you should value. You’re an individual.

Authenticity eliminates many of the common emotional ailments in life, but it’s not always the easiest choice. Create a self-image that is in alignment with your values. Be bold enough to choose the person you want to become and live accordingly and authentically. Now say, “cheese” and smile for the best version of yourself…YOU!

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