What Does ‘Being True to Yourself’ Really Mean, Anyway?

Be who you areThere was an article published a couple years ago about the top five regrets of the dying.

The number one regret? I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

(You can read the full article here)

But what does being true to yourself even mean? How do you know when you are being true to yourself and when you’re not?

When you’re not living a life true to yourself your soul will sort of tug at you. You’ll feel off.

You’ll know you’re living a life true to yourself when your life/your work/your message/your actions won’t entirely make sense to others (or even you, at first) but there is a feeling of freedom to it. This is a sign you are on YOUR right path.

We often get wrapped up in what we ‘should’ do…what the world tells us is normal so that we can be happy: the high-paying job, the right partner, the cool friends, the great house, the perfect wardrobe.

But the problem is, if we are only living from this space, we are looking for the “outside stuff” to make us happy when really true happiness and fulfillment can only come from within.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good handbag or a pair of killer shoes as much as the next person, but that stuff only makes us happy to a certain point.

At some point you have to look within and what fills your soul up. And what fills your soul up is not something that can be figured out in your head. It’s felt in your heart. It’s a feeling. It usually doesn’t make sense at first and it usually goes against what your head may be telling you.

Back when I started searching for a new career path, all I knew was that I liked to help people. So, I began to look for my dream job by googling ‘careers in helping people’. All the typical stuff came up – nursing, counseling, teaching, but then there was a career I hadn’t heard of before: life coach. I was intrigued and started to do some more research. As I researched more and more into life coaching, I noticed something – I felt different. It was a sort of knowing in my gut, a lightness, a joy – this is what I wanted to do. This kind of work felt like freedom.

The problem? It didn’t make sense in my head. While my heart was singing with excitement the dialogue in my head went something like this:

“Life coach? Really? That is definitely not a normal career path and you are NORMAL, Laura. You can’t do that; it would be way too far out your comfort zone. And you’d have to start your own business. You are not an entrepreneur. You follow the rules and like security. Plus, you would have no idea how to build a business of your own. You are losing your mind Laura, really. Just go back to school and get your Masters in something normal and forget you ever looked into this.”

This is what so often happens – your heart tells you one thing but the mind quickly jumps in with all the fears and resistance telling you WHY IT CAN’T HAPPEN.

But the reality is, it can. Your thoughts and beliefs can be changed if you choose to change them. In other words you can literally change your mind and the way you think about your dreams so that your heart and head are in agreement. It takes work and commitment and it’s not always easy but it is SO worth it once you are on the other side.

So, bottomline: you will know you are being true to yourself and following your heart because it feels like freedom. Not safety, not logic, FREEDOM.

Follow the feeling. If it lights you up (even if it doesn’t make sense) trust that you are on to something, because you are!

Think your dream is too far out there? Here are some examples that any career is possible:

There are dog whisperers, cat whisperers, people that give hugs for a living, people that pick through piles of junk to find gems, a guy that draws pictures of cats, storm chasers, fish tank designers, pretty much any reality show on this station, this station, and this station, and me 🙂

The world needs more people doing work that they love.

Do what you love.



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