I was in Malibu for the night on Tuesday to have dinner with @neil_strauss and a great group of people.
I flew in from SF and texted my dad from the Uber as I sat in LA’s notorious rush hour traffic. I told him about the dinner and he texted back, “Confidence and fun.” Always his advice before anything I do that may be slightly out of my comfort zone.
What he didn’t say is; “Just be yourself.” Why? Because it’s shitty advice.
When I got to the dinner, Neil, being the common thread between each of us, introduced everyone and mentioned we were all in the midst of some big life changes. As we went around the table and talked about those transitions everything came up from career shifts, divorces, loved ones lost, moves to new cities (🙋🏼♀️), to homes lost in the devastating Malibu fires. Basically, life.
It soon became obvious that Neil wasn’t the only common thread. Everyone at that table (and everyone with a heartbeat) is in some way shape or form wondering how to truly be themselves.
But telling someone ‘Just be yourself’ is about as helpful as reiterating the address to someone who asks for directions. The way home to yourself is a journey, not a destination.
The first step of that journey starts with honestly asking yourself who you are, and more importantly, being willing to hear the answer.
From there, I think the key is cultivating a habit of self-awareness. We can only become aware of what we know, or don’t know, by continually remaining the curious observer of our own thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behaviors.
With that knowledge, we can start to shift the conversation from, ‘Who am I?’ to ‘Who do I want to be?’. It’s picking up the pen and authoring our own definition.
@neil_strauss did just that and wrote a book called The Truth about how that process unfolded for him.
As your own story unfolds, it becomes clear there is no destination. The self, or your definition of the self, is always changing. You aren’t the same person you were yesterday and you certainly aren’t the same person you were last year, or 10 years ago.
So if I could give any of my own advice, it’s not to be yourself but to see yourself; curiously, continually, and clearly.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.