These days, it's fair to say that as humans, we're evolving on many levels. Social and personal conformity has become less important, gradually being replaced by self-expression and individuality. Evolution is inevitable, and because it's now happening on levels of spirituality and consciousness, it can at times, be confusing and even overwhelming. Bridging the gap between the societal and familial expectations of our past with our present quest for self-discovery and personal happiness, has become that much more important in order to ensure balanced and successful relationships, both with ourselves and with others. So in lieu of all this personal change we're going through, how do we make sure we're being ourselves?
1. Start from within. Get to know yourself! This may sound obvious or easy to do, but often it couldn't be further from the truth. We can spend a lot of time justifying the choices we make, and even lying to ourselves. If you can't be straight with yourself, you won't be able to be honest with others. Accept responsibility for who you are and what you do. If you're not happy with the things you do, forgive yourself. It's ok, we're all human and we all make wrong choices in our lives. You can always change for the better, but you must forgive and accept yourself before you can move on to make those changes. Once you do this, you'll feel a lightness that tells you you're on the right path to being yourself.
2. Be as open and honest as possible. Don't hide your opinions, and don't lie to make yourself look or feel better. When you do this, you're creating a false image of yourself, putting a wall up between yourself and others, and making it impossible to experience true intimacy. You'll also feel guilty for not being honest, even if you don't consciously realize it at the time, creating low self-esteem. Let people inside, and allow them to see what a great individual you are!
3. Don't focus on how others perceive you. Each of us has as much right to be on this earth as everyone else, so giving someone else an imagined power to decide your own worth is completely illogical. We all individually bring something special to this planet, so try your best to be proud and happy to even be a part of it all. If you find yourself doing or saying things just to fit in with a group of people, you're not being yourself, and you're not doing anyone any favours, most of all yourself!
4. Relax. Worrying about the past and the future are sure-fire ways to keep yourself paralyzed and unable to enjoy who you are. If you constantly define yourself through your past and possible future "mistakes", you'll never be happy. Every challenge life gives us is tailor-made for us and presents a chance to learn about ourselves and grow. Learn to laugh at yourself - life doesn't have to be so serious all the time! And if you notice you're continually repeating certain patterns in life, this is usually a sign you're making a wrong choice, and aren't being true to yourself.
5. Most importantly - listen to your inner voice. Anytime you feel you're forcing your behavior, or restraining yourself from communicating, you're not being yourself. Trying is not an authentic expression of who you are - it should feel easy and natural to be who you are!
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