Thursday, April 10, 2014

Week 14: 6 baby steps to a more authentic you

Last week, I promised you one more post on the subject of authenticity and here it is. I apologize for my tardiness, but it’s been for a good cause.

This week, I’ve dedicated myself to putting the finishing touches on a presentation for a breakout session I’ll lead at a women’s conference this weekend. The conference is for college women ages 18-23, and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to share with them.

In my session, I’ll have the joy of talking about authenticity and relationships. Now I could carry this theme a million different places, and trust me it took forever to narrow my scope. I guess being overwhelmed with ideas isn’t the worst problem I could have, but it still made for a challenging few weeks of preparation. Thankfully, I think I’ve managed to reel myself in and narrow my thoughts for a neat chat about relationships. Oh, and boy do I have some stories to tell when it comes to the importance of being yourself in a relationship – of any kind, but naturally my focus will be on close encounters of the romantic kind. 🙂

I’ll post again to let you know how it all goes. In the meantime, I could not let this week pass without a post. The 52 Weeks to Be Completely You train is still rolling. By the way, isn’t it cool how life seems to be choo chooing along the same track as our journey here this year? Very cool indeed.

So without further adieu, below (as promised) are six baby steps I try to take to practice my own authenticity in situations and relationships.

  1. Challenge yourself to enter new environments that expose you to new people. Before entering these environments make a pact with yourself to be yourself, no matter what.
  2. Say what’s on your mind, when warranted. Don’t be afraid. Don’t back down. Don’t worry about the ones who leave, but appreciate the ones who stay.
  3. Remind yourself of what God’s word says about who you are.
  4. Remind yourself of who really matters in your life and bask in their unconditional acceptance of who you are. Even their love won’t be perfect, but it will be the closest thing you’ll experience on earth. Enjoy it.
  5. Remind yourself of the many ways in which you ROCK. Just as there are areas of our lives that could use some tweaking and adjusting, there are also areas of our lives where we totally rock!
  6. Pay attention to situations and circumstances that make you prone to cover up your true self. Remember this is just a self-protection mechanism. Don’t use it. Instead, try to observe the reasons why you feel tempted to hide your true self. Sometimes simply understanding why is half the battle.

Remember, people who truly love you will love you flaws and all. After all, we’re all a beautiful mess and absolutely no one is perfect. God created you, and I’ve found Him to be pretty meticulous and intentional. He makes no mistakes. To cover your true self is to tell Him that He somehow didn’t get it quite right when it came to you. Now I know sometimes it feels that way. Trust me, I do. But it’s far from the truth.

So go now… Go be your beautiful, completely authentic, made in the image of God self. Yep! Be THAT girl, because she’s good enough.