First and foremost, in staying true to yourself you must know who you are. This requires that you take a long hard look in the mirror. You must see yourself for who you truly are. You have to be able to identify your assets and value; but you must also be honest about your liabilities and handicaps. That is, of course, the harder part. You have to be completely honest about where your character lacks substance. Make an effort to better the parts of yourself that are weak.
Next, you must practice tough love with yourself, unconditionally. This means that you can hold your to a higher standard for your own good. Tough love means that you are staying on track to be your best self. Push yourself to take the higher road. Yes, its more difficult but its worth it. Unconditionally means that when you do make a mistake you aren’t too harsh on yourself or that you don’t belittle yourself. Everyone makes mistakes! The real choice comes when we determine how we will react to the mistake we have made. We need to take the opportunity to ensure that we learn the lesson to improve our future. After all, we do learn more from our mistakes than we do from doing everything correctly.
Think about how you express yourself. Do your actions or your appearance speak differently than your heart? You say that you are generous; yet, you don’t volunteer, you don’t donate, and you prefer to receive rather than give a hand out. You say that you are open-minded; yet, you are judgmental about others, you are critical of habits or lifestyle. Write or imagine a list of positive words you would use to describe yourself. Now, when you do or say something negative think about which words you would need to cross off that list. How long would it take before your list were blank? You must live every aspect of your life with integrity. The same level of integrity, no matter where you are or who you are with.
Be authentic with yourself. This requires some deep soul searching. When something bothers or offends you dig until you find the real reason you are disturbed. If you learn that someone has said or done something you don’t like, take time to really investigate why this ruffles your feathers. Is it their actions that bother you or could it be your reaction or perception that has you upset? We cannot control other’s behavior and their behavior speaks to their character. The only power they have over our lives is the power we choose to give them. Rise above and stay true to your own inner being. Sometimes, there are instances when people in our lives hurt us or others we care about. It is reasonable to become frustrated because of this. However, don’t take the opportunity to think or speak poorly of that person causing the problem, try to find a way to brighten the day of the one who was hurt. After all, we can’t single handedly change the world or the people in it; but ,frequently, we can make a small difference which can effect big changes.