45. Remember To Present Yourself Honestly

Remember to Present Yourself Honestly

Previously, you learned some strategies to show the world your personality and express your feelings. However, authenticity is more than being honest with the world. It’s also about being honest with yourself.

There are many advantages to being truly authentic. Most importantly, you’ll no longer feel the need to change your words and actions to impress others. You can relax and be yourself.

Embrace authenticity and present yourself honestly:

1.   Give up the need to appear perfect. Excellent is good enough. But seriously, when you don’t need to appear perfect, you’re in the position to be honest. No one can be perfect and honest at the same time. Avoid putting on a show for the rest of the world. You’ll only feel bad about yourself later.

○     It’s okay to be less than spectacular. Be the best at being yourself.

2.   Know your values and live by them. If you know your values and live by them consistently, you’re already doing well in the authentic department.

○     Make a list of your values and determine the five that are most important to you. Are you living your life according to these values? Would it be obvious to others that you hold these values?

○     Decide to make your decisions based upon your values. Be willing to share your values with others.

3.   Notice when you’re not being authentic. It’s not easy to be authentic all the time. You might find yourself transforming based on the situation. A first date is a good example. Are you being authentic or pretending to be someone you’re not?

○     Take note of those times your authenticity starts to wane

4.   Know your goals. What do you want out of life? Do you know? Are you willing to let others know? By knowing your goals, you can you live your life accordingly.

○     Make a list of your short-term and long-term goals. How well do they align with your values?

5.   What are your defining characteristics? Describe yourself honestly. Now ask yourself if a casual acquaintance would describe you the same way? How about someone that knows you well? How about your closest friend?

○     How many people know you well? If there aren’t many, ask yourself why. If you’re living authentically, it should be easy for someone to develop an accurate opinion of you.

○     What are your “negative” characteristics? Are you impatient or messy? Are you willing to allow others to see these characteristics or do you attempt to hide them?

6.   Tell the truth. If you’re being authentic, why would you need to lie? This pertains especially to anything you say about yourself. Admit your mistakes, weaknesses, and frailties. Share your opinions honestly and freely.

7.   Simplify your life. Get rid of everything that’s extraneous. What you choose to keep will be representative of your preferences and your true self. Find your true essence by stripping away the non-essential. Start with the clothes you never wear, the things you never use, and the activities you don’t enjoy. Only keep the things that mean the most to you.

8.   Do what you say you’ll do. Keep your word and follow through on your promises. You’ll feel more congruent, and others will view you as more congruent. When your words and actions match, you’re demonstrating authenticity.

Life becomes easier when you’re living authentically. You’ll no longer feel the exhaustion that comes with constantly changing your opinions, attitudes, and personality to please others. You’ll no longer feel the need to protect yourself from others. Be authentic with your thoughts, words, and actions. Invest the time in yourself and learn to be free.

Trusting in yourself also makes it easier to be authentic. The next lesson shares ideas for trusting yourself.

Here’s what you need to do today:

What are your defining characteristics? In your journal, describe yourself honestly. Now ask yourself if a casual acquaintance would describe you the same way? How about someone that knows you well? How about your closest friend?

If your descriptions from the various people are different, why is that? Are you presenting yourself honestly?

Learn How to Be True to Yourself

There's no one out there who knows you better than you know yourself! Your likes, dislikes and indifferences should be more apparent to you than to anyone else. However, you may find it hard sometimes to really commit to what you know about yourself.

Being true to yourself requires a lifetime of work. Life throws out all sorts of scenarios that test your knowledge of self and your commitment to living up to your own expectations. You'll probably be the first to admit that there have been occasions when you've let yourself down.

But it's nothing to be ashamed of; it happens to even those who are the most self-aware. Going forward, however, it certainly doesn't hurt to work towards achieving complete honesty so you can avoid compromising your beliefs and values.

Tips for Being True to Your Own Reality

1. Think it through; then act quickly. Whenever you find yourself in a situation where you may end up being untrue to yourself, take a moment to think about the situation. Think about what it would mean if you did what you felt was right versus giving in to expectations.

* If you decide that you ought to stick to what you feel, act quickly to make your point of view be heard. Sometimes, taking too long to make a statement dilutes its effectiveness, and people may doubt your sincerity and commitment to what you've declared.

2. Assess the root of each situation. One key thing you can do when your ideals are being questioned is to ask yourself why someone else is asking you to go against your beliefs. Are they not placing enough worth on your point of view?

* You may want to reconsider your relationship with that person. Are they really here to build you up or break you down? Ideally, you want to associate with those people who support your individuality.

3. Trust your gut. In many cases, you'll find that the pit of your stomach gives both physical and psychological clues about whether you're being true to yourself. Take a second to think about this: how often has your stomach ended up in knots when you're in an uncomfortable situation?

* That gut feeling never lies. If you pay close attention to it, you'll realize that it pops up whenever there's a moral stance required. And when you ignore it, it plays on your conscience.


Situations and circumstances will arise to throw off your commitment to your moral positions. You'll feel pressured to agree with popular beliefs, even though deep down you may not agree with them. You'll even feel the urge to do something that's completely wrong because you feel doing otherwise would be detrimental.

But at the end of the day, when all those situations have passed, you still have to live with yourself. You still have to come to terms with the decisions you've made and live with knowing that the outcome was solely based on your choice - good or bad.

The best way forward is to pay close attention to who you are and what you want out of life. Achieve your fullest potential. Remember that you are in charge of the direction of your life!

AFFIRMATIONS

Sincerity keeps my actions aligned with my conscience.

One of the things I appreciate most in life is genuine interaction. It is important to me to show others my true intentions. 

There are moral guidelines that I follow each day, and following these rules ensures that I maintain peace of mind.

I keep my guidelines in mind when dealing with business partners. Although there are ideal outcomes for negotiations, I avoid compromising my beliefs to achieve them. My role at work is best carried out when I am true to myself and what the job requires.

When I have unpopular decisions to share with my kids, I am firm with my announcement.

I explain to my children that my decisions take their best interests into account. Although I enjoy when they are pleased with my choices, I prefer to follow my instincts. Taking care of their well-being is my most important priority, and using my moral perspective as my guideline serves me well.

Following my conscience makes it easy for me to explain my thoughts, actions, and decisions. I am confident about my choices when I know there is a basis for them.

I portray a positive and reliable image when I declare commitment to my morals, inspiring the trust of others around me.

Today, I am committed to sincerity in all my relationships. My daily mission is to stay true to my beliefs and perspectives. I embrace the validity of interactions that are based on honest expression.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How do I move forward when my conscience presents me with multiple possible decisions?

2. How do I respond when others criticize my honesty?

3. What is my response when I find that someone is dishonest with me?


AFFIRMATIONS

I go within and get in touch with my true self.

Deep inside, I know what is right for me. I am aware of where my values lie and which life choices make me happiest. Therefore, I regularly go within and get in touch with my true self.

I trust that the answers I need are inside of me. If I feel uncertain, I take a moment to breathe deeply and evaluate the situation at hand in light of my highest vision of myself. The answer always becomes clear. 

This self-searching is an ongoing practice for me. Because I stay in touch with myself, I increasingly find myself knowing intuitively what I need or what to do in any situation. I act with confidence, knowing that I am aligned with my highest priorities: my values.

I am thankful for the self-confidence I gain when I act in alignment with my highest vision of myself. I have character and integrity and their strength grows increasingly as I connect more and more with my innermost self.

Today, I make time to evaluate the extent to which my actions are aligned with my values. I am thankful for each opportunity to create what I most want in my life. Because this is such a high priority for me, I regularly go within and get in touch with my true self.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. In what situations do I feel I act most clearly in accordance with my values?

2. In what circumstances do I feel challenged to act according to my beliefs?

3. What can I do to support positive action in these situations?

AFFIRMATIONS

I stay true to my convictions.

My belief system guides me through life. Being true to my convictions allows me to identify positive paths to take.

The lessons taught by my parents remain with me today. They are based on values and principles and go far in opening up opportunities for me. I am committed to certain truths that prove themselves worthy as I go about my daily exploits.

My choices at work allow me to have a clear conscience. Each night before bed I express gratitude for being able to stay true to my beliefs.

When opportunities for advancement come around, I consider what is required of me. I stay away from choices that go against what my heart and mind know as true and honest. Anything worth earning is worth earning honestly.

My interactions with strangers are noble because everyone deserves to be treated respectfully. I avoid looking at myself as more deserving than others.

My decisions are based on what I believe to be just. I avoid allowing external influences to cloud my judgment. Promises of wonderful things from others have little power to sway my personal convictions.

Today, I realize how much value there is in staying true to myself. I feel like a powerful and courageous person when I stick to what I believe in my heart. Being sincere about who I am makes me a strong so I can bravely face any circumstance or challenge.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. How do I respond to those who try to discourage me from being honest?

2. What are some of the influences that strengthen my resolve to live positively?

3. How influential are my family members and friends on my path to positive living?