Lost your identity? Not sure what makes you happy any more? This post outlines 7 aspects of yourself you may need to reconnect with in order to thrive.
My sons were both sick as infants and slowly but surely I lost my identity. I morphed from Leonaura, physician, wife, mother, friend and fun-lover to Leonaura, the downtrodden mother of two sick children. My identity was so wrapped up in being there 24-7 for my children, that I couldn’t even see the need to care for myself. My self neglect led to stress, depression, anxiety, weight gain, poor health and affected my relationships.
Thankfully I had an “AHA moment”, an awakening if you like. I was reading a book called the “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama, and I realized that I had forgotten how to be happy and forgotten who I was. I realized that my children didn’t need me to be a martyr, then needed me to be healthy, happy, energetic, fun and most of all present. I decided, as I wiped away the tears, to change, to rediscover who I was. I began a journey of personal transformation: studying, reading, modelling experts and taking classes. I trained as a counselor and coach and have devoted my life since to helping other women enhance their lives.
I meet women every week, who admit they have lost their identity. Each time, my heart is heavy for them, but just for a moment. Then, I remember that they too can change, if their desire is strong enough, and that I have powerful tools that can help them. One of these tools is to explore your authentic self: who you are at your core, free from assumptions. It is uniquely yours. Your authentic self is determined by many things: including your unique genetics, your environment and how you have processed the events and experiences in your life. You think differently, see differently, hear differently, feel differently, interpret differently and even taste and smell differently from every other person on the planet.
7 core facets of your authentic self
- Your personal perspective on your life and your world; on your past, your present and your future.
- Your core values or the personal rules you live by.
- Your strengths and weaknesses, the things you are good at and the things you are bad at. We all have them! Our weaknesses are often the main courses for lack of success.
- Your passions: the things you love and the things you hate! Passion focuses and arouses your brain and body, putting it in an alert state.
- Your needs or drives: the things you need in your life, to feel like you are thriving.
- Your purpose: Living with purpose means that you live with determination and resolution to reach your goals. When you consciously live with purpose, you will be more focused and productive.
- Your thought patterns: including your negative and positive thought patterns, your habits, attitudes, beliefs, regrets, hopes and dreams.
Take a moment and think about who you are. Your authentic self, today, is likely different from your authentic self as a younger woman. The differences may be dramatic or very subtle. Your authentic self determines the script you live your life by. Once connected with your authentic self, you can begin to consciously create a better life, you will make better decisions and you will be more resilient. Ignore your authentic self and no matter how hard you work, no matter how much money or possessions you have, you may feel like something is missing in your life.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I have accepted that happiness is a choice and no matter the challenges life throws at me, I can always find ways to increase my happiness. I am still working on accepting that I am just fine the way I am… I am my own worst critic (very mean!)
What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I appreciate my health, my passion and my stubborn determination. Outside of me, I appreciate my family, my home, my freedom. I am still working on appreciating what I have accomplished in my life.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
My greatest achievement other than producing two lovely children, which goes without saying, is finishing my book. I suffer from “shiny object syndrome” and had to fight hard against my instinct to get distracted. I am most proud of my children, no matter what. My dream is to reach as many women as I can, to help them nurture themselves, SO THAT, their whole family will thrive.
We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
I am highly creative and get bored easily with things that aren’t interesting. Consequently I have tendency to be messy and a little chaotic. My creativity is a blessing and a curse, but it’s most definitely who I am!
“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)
Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?
I Love My Brain. I know this sounds odd! I’m a neuroscience geek and fascinated by the brain and mind. I am in awe of the amazing complexity and power of the human brain… and I don’t mean to boast but mine’s a pretty good one!