What does it take to meet the real you? Are you afraid to meet the real you? If you met the real you, what would happen?
So many people are afraid to deeply observe themselves. What if you don’t like what you see? What if there are parts of yourself you want to change or improve, but you don’t know how or you don’t know if you can? What if you don’t like her? What if she is lazy or judgmental or snobby?
Plus, even if you have met the real you at some time in your past, it’s probably a very different you than the you of today. Imagine yourself 10 or 20 years ago. There were different people in your life. You were doing different things. What was going on in the world was very different. The real you changes dynamically over the course of life.
Personally, the real me has changed many times, more than I want to count. The way I identify myself, my attitudes towards my strengths and weaknesses, and my weight and appearance have all changed. What’s in my heart and what I want has changed. Given so many changes, is it even safe to explore meeting my real self?
The answer is definitely yes. It takes courage to meet the real you. I believe that having that courage is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself, and one that expands when you go looking for the real you.
There are countless ways to meet the real you. For some, looking in the mirror or stepping on the scale might be ways you go about it. Some people may use meditation to do inner work that surfaces important parts of the self. Seeing yourself reflected in the face of others is a great way to discover the real you. In my way of thinking, looking at events in your life and your reaction to them are extremely important ways of meeting yourself.
Hardship, challenge and grief are significant in self-discovery. There is a great deal to be learned about ourselves by going through difficult times. Perhaps you are the first person in your family to complete college – that says something big about you, right? A few years ago I did a 5k for the first time. Not a big accomplishment for many of my friends, but for me, a non-athlete, completing a 5k was a big deal.
In my view, grief is one of the finest lenses available to meet the real you. Grief is about loss, or more specifically, the perception of loss. We experience grief not only when someone dies, but also when we go through other losses including job loss, pet loss, divorce, moving, and becoming an empty-nester. The experience of grief demonstrates our experience of love and illustrates what we value. While going through grief varies from difficult to exceptionally hard, in going through grief, you have a picture window open to see what is in your mind and your heart.
The real you is also your experience of joy, laughter and love. Babies typically smile at two months and are laughing by four months. We are hard-wired to be socially engaged, experience passions, and play.
What brings you joy? What lights you up? Who holds a special place in your heart? Close your eyes now and take a deep breath. Let one happy thought cross your mind. This is a core part of who you are.
There’s no metric for the benefits of meeting the real you, but I can tell you from my personal experience, it’s life-changing. I’ve had more than my fair share of loss and change. One important and valuable result of that loss and change has been a coming eye-to-eye with the real me.
The real me is often disorganized, prone to over-indulge and (still) not very athletic. She is also a hero who has raised her son on her own, led teams, and written a book. Passionate, filled with deep compassion and expansive love, the real me can’t always see the trees in the forest and often trips over her own feet.
How has exploring, meeting and accepting the real me helped me? The most important result is that it has boosted my courage. It takes courage to look for and find the real you. Plus, once you meet the real you, your courage grows. Courage is like love; the more you pursue it, the more you receive.
What would happen if you were to meet the real you? Would you experience a similar increase in courage? Results are not guaranteed, but I believe you would.
There is no crystal ball to tell you if the outcome of meeting the real you will make you more confident, more committed to your goals or more courageous. There is no crystal ball to guarantee anything.
If in your heart, you seek more in the arena of self-discovery, I encourage you to go out and meet the real you. Looking at yourself compassionately, with your flaws and your strengths, you may see what you like and grow your courage.
If you are looking for ways to meet the real you, consider attending my one night online class January 23, 2023 “Free to Be Me in Twenty Twenty-three.” We’ll be working on a number of different topics including internal reflection, compassion and courage. Details here.