The ending of summer brings with it an array of new beginnings. Pool days will soon be replaced with school days and late nights with early mornings. Although circumstances may be changing, our hope is that you don’t. As the new school year begins and new pressures arise, the importance of staying true to you is greater than ever.
What does it mean to “Be You” and how can you remain authentic during times of change?
Being authentic means embracing who you really are, at your very core, and acting in harmony with your values and beliefs. In order to achieve true authenticity, you first have to understand what that looks like for you. This process requires self-awareness, mindfulness, and self-acceptance; three values that Kids America live by.
The mission of Kids America is to bring you back to the inner kid; to inspire and empower you to Find You. Here are 7 tools that will help in the discovery of self and your journey to remain authentic this year, regardless of any circumstances.
As mentioned above, in order to be yourself, you must first explore what that means. Spend some time diving deep this week in order to reconnect with your innate child within. Allow yourself to be very honest about your desires, feelings, and thoughts. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What traits do I feel define me?
- What words would others choose to describe me?
- Which role do I play in my group of friends?
- How would a stranger see me?
- What do I want others to think about me?
In addition, give some thought to the major decisions you’ve made in life, both positive and negative. Reflect on your discovery and own it! Once you know who your authentic self is, you can then begin aligning towards living as that person.
Authentic does not equate to stagnant. Occasionally, adapting and changing can be tagged “inauthentic” by society when in reality, growth represents an awareness of self. Inauthenticity happens when we change because someone else encourages it; on the contrary, authenticity happens as we change due to our own development and desire. Work on improving yourself this year by taking diverse classes, reading books, and being conscious of every action you take. Remember, authenticity demands you only change if it feels right to you.
The foundation of an authentic life is built on truth. Although it may be difficult to do, being honest will ultimately lead to more respect and genuine relationships in your life. This year, you may be faced with difficult situations, so make the decision now to be honest in everything and stay true to you. Never compromise your beliefs or values to make someone else feel comfortable. The truth will set YOU free!
Avoid Negative Influences:
Does the crowd you surround yourself with bring out the best in you? After your interaction, do you leave uplifted or beat down? As the new school year begins, you have a choice. You get to choose your surroundings and your networks. If your influences push you to be something directly contradicting your genuine self, it’s time to regroup! The new year offers the perfect opportunity to meet new people and find those that support and invite you to be true to yourself.
Set Time Aside For You:
Self-care and reflection are crucial on the journey to self-discovery. Take time for yourself each week in order to reset and remain true to you. Inauthentic people often neglect the things that interest them, in favor of pursuing whatever they believe to be popular or socially required. Never sacrifice your desires or needs in favor of others. When you take care of yourself, you are being mindful and will find yourself feeling better mentally, physically, and spiritually. Once your cup is full, you can then overflow to others in abundance.
Have The Courage To Face Your Fears:
Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone this year and allow confidence to override fears. So many times we allow fear of failure, rejection, or judgment to hold us back from shining as our true selves. As you find the courage to overcome those fears this year, your confidence will begin to increase and your true self will flourish. And remember, it’s okay to feel fear. Courage is not fearlessness, rather it’s showing up and confronting and embracing your fears regardless of the outcome. Choose to choose courage, every day.
Set strong boundaries and stick to them. Mental health professionals put a lot of emphasis on boundaries because they set the foundation for healthy relationships and a strong sense of self-worth. When setting boundaries, be sure you are clear about your wants and never apologize for your needs. Boundaries keep you safe and help others understand your expectations. Don’t let anybody tell you that you are not enough or that you need to change. You are in control of your life and nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent. Always believe in yourself, and respect yourself enough to set those boundaries.
School is starting and the true you is begging to be released! Don’t spend another minute trying to be someone you aren’t. As you step into your authentic self, you will find more respect and genuine relationships in your life. It may take time and it may not happen all at once, but as you step into YOU, you will find greater joy and fulfillment. If you need some motivation or help along the way, be sure to follow along with Kids America as they embark on a journey to make a change!
You can’t fail at being yourself, so be authentic.