I have been writing over the last two editions about my unique model for personal change called ‘The 8 Attitudes for Personal and Professional Change’. When applied together, these 8 Attitudes create the necessary mind-set for anyone to live their lives with purpose, passion and to achieve their full potential. They are the compass that assists you to take control of your life. We have already explored Attitude number one, ‘I Live My Life on Purpose’ which helps you to identify what you really want out of life. And, last time we explored Attitude number two ‘I Create What I Want’ which showed you how to take back control of that voice in your head, that gremlin that often gets in the way of you achieving what you really want in your life and your career.
Attitude Number Three: I Know Who I Am
This Attitude is all about finding out what you are passionate about, because doing so goes a long way towards helping you re-discover your sense of self and your love of life. Or to help you discover it for the first time. After years of prioritising partners, families and careers, many people lose track of who they are. It’s almost as if we have given so much of ourselves to others over the years that our true self has become diluted and, for some, unrecognisable. This can lead to a lack of confidence, assertiveness and independence that prevents us from moving forward. This Attitude is all about regaining a sense of self, a feeling of knowing who you are at your core. So, if you’re ready to make some interesting discoveries, read on.
My Personal Mission in Life
We’re going to discover your purpose in life, when you are being totally authentic or at ease with yourself. In other words, who are you, what do you do and what do you have when you are truly being yourself. This does not have to mean making a massive change in your life. However, it does mean understanding what is important to you, what you excel at and how you can utilise these strengths more effectively than you do right now. This is a journey of self-discovery. So, enjoy…
Activity: Who am I when I’m being authentic?
This activity takes about 45 minutes to complete, so make sure you have enough time to do it justice in one sitting.
Step 1: What Motivates Me?
Go through the following lists of words and circle each one that gives you a strong positive feeling because it is important to you. Then go back and pick the top three or four themes that have the greatest meaning in your life. There are no correct answers and the meaning of each word or phrase is up to you.
Personal achievement, Winning, Happiness, Finding the good in others, Earning lots of money, Creating something, Leaving a legacy, Loving someone, Gaining approval of others, Caring for others, Being loved, Being accepted, Gaining recognition, Popularity, Creating something, Competence, Getting things done, Independence, Doing good, Risking, Dominating, Being different and still fitting in, Being unique, Being my best, Reaching your potential, Gaining security, safety, Excitement, Controlling, Being a leader, Having fun, Learning, Gaining wisdom, Working hard, Gaining mastery, Having influence over others, Making a worthwhile contribution, Experiencing life to its fullest, Fully expressing yourself, Seeking adventure, Becoming an expert, Power, Authority, Making a positive difference, Prestige, Developing people or things, Increasing effectiveness
If a word or phrase comes to mind that isn’t on the list, please add it.
Step 2: My Greatest Accomplishments
Now, in each age range below, list at least one accomplishment that gave you a great sense of joy. These are accomplishments that you personally felt good about, regardless of what others thought at the time. If you can’t think of anything, pass on to the next age range. Stop when you reach your current age range. 0–12, 13–17, 18–22, 23–30, 31–40, 41–50, 51–60, 60+
Step 3: What I Do Best
After you have completed the above, please answer the following questions: Throughout my life, what activity has consistently produced the greatest sense of joy and self-fulfilment for me? What else is important to me about the way I live my life? What skills or abilities do I have that I most like to utilise? What do I most like about myself?
What patterns, trends or similarities do you observe in all your answers so far?
Step 4: Who are you, really?
The goal of this step is to create a set of words that causes you to connect with what your life is about. I call this your statement of authenticity and it should consist of what you do best, what you are passionate about and what is most important to you. It should tempt you out of bed in the mornings and motivate you to take action towards your goals. It should have a strong meaning and deep emotional feeling for you. The key is to come up with a definite theme that best describes the driving force in your life.
Step 5: Visualise the authentic you
As you look at your statement, notice what thoughts it conjures up in your mind. What are you seeing yourself doing, hearing yourself saying and how are you feeling? Close your eyes if it helps to get a clearer image. Make sure that you are looking through your own eyes in the picture that you have as opposed to seeing yourself in the picture. This creates an emotional response which sends clear and strong messages to our unconscious mind that we are serious about the changes we wish to make.
One of the important foundations of NLP is about learning to ‘act as if’. The last exercise showed you how to behave as the authentic ‘you’. Ask yourself what first steps you need to take to start on your journey of authenticity. Ask yourself now: Who am I really? Am I living an authentic life? And, if not, what must I change? How can I start to ‘act as if’? What’s the first step for me to take?
Wherever you go, there you are, so enjoy living a totally authentic life.
Until next time when I will be speaking about Attitude number four ‘I Am True to Myself’.
Lindsey Agness is a Master Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming, author of four books…..
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