- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Being Your Authentic Self
Has anyone ever said to you, "Just be yourself"? If so, did you wonder what that meant? You may have thought, "who else would I be?", or you may have wondered "who am I?" when you thought about being yourself. This is a difficult thing to figure out for most of us, because we have been brainwashed, and mentally manipulated, by a lot of people by the time we become old enough to evaluate what "being yourself" means.
When you are a child you are taught how to act, what to believe in, and how to talk by your parents, teachers, society, and peer groups. The most pure form of your authentic self, would be to have grown up without any outside influence on your behavior, actions, and appearance. That however is an impossibility given the fact that humans need others to help them grow into adulthood from childhood.
If you could remove the brainwashing that others have done to you such as what religion you should believe in, how you should dress, any prejudice's, any bigoted beliefs, political views, and social expectations and interactions, and then react from the place inside you about those things, without influence from anyone else....you would then experience your authentic self.
Unfortunately, we have been, and are, influenced by many things that can dilute who we really are. Would a racist believe in his or her racist beliefs without the influence of the people around them who told them it was good to believe that way? Or would they form their own beliefs from their authentic self through their own experience? I believe that without an outside influence most of us would not have many of the negative beliefs that we have.
As I have stated in the past, I was not raised with religion, but was allowed to go to any church I wanted to. I did just that, and went to almost every church in town. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, and so on, I went to them up until I was twenty-six. I was then able to form my own opinion from my authentic self, for no one was telling me I had to believe in a certain Dogma. I was able to do the research on religion, and figure out what was best for me without outside influence.
When you are being your authentic self, you will be your happiest, that is one way to know that you are acting from your real self. If you are not coming from your authentic self, you will feel conflict within, never truly experiencing real happiness. An authentic self is not angry, mean, or abusive. Those emotions are caused by outside situations, and others, which then leads the authentic self to use negative emotions to protect itself with.
In my experience, and what I have learned from others, the first year or so in a intimate relationship, we are not our authentic self's. Usually we hide our "real" self so that we can be assured of keeping the relationship. We don't let our crabby, or moody self out during the honeymoon part of the relationship. We don't want them to see our selfish side, or our argumentative side, we only want them to see us as they want to see us.....perfect! We are not being our authentic self, just a "hearts, flowers, and tweety-bird" version of who we are.
Then down the road a year or two, both partners start to let their authentic self's out, and that is when the relationship might break down as both partners wonder who the heck is this person? The further you were from being your authentic self, the less chance you will have in being in a good relationship. The closer you are to being your authentic self, the more chance you will have in developing a healthy relationship that is based on who you really are.
As we age, many of us find being our authentic self much more comfortable to do. For many women, it is the age of 50 that the authentic self is able to thrive. There is a better sense of self at that age, and an awareness that it doesn't matter as much anymore what other people think or care about you. When we are released from caring about what others think about us, we tend to find our authentic selves, which is a wonderful and comfortable to experience.
Wouldn't it be great to experience that before your fifties? I think it is possible if you are conscious of what is important to you. Are you behaving in ways to please others? Are you acting in ways to please others? Are your beliefs really yours, or are they the beliefs of someone else? Look at these things and find out if you are coming from your authentic self. You might be surprised at how many of your actions and beliefs are not coming from who you really are, but from others around you.
Your authentic self is who you "really" are. Start taking time to question your beliefs, and actions in this world. Are you living your life to please others, or are you finding happiness through being yourself? You will find true happiness when you can be more of your "authentic self".