Your REAL Self
Everything always comes down to what we have inside of us. Whether the challenge is about love, work, education, starting a business, health or any other endeavor, what we believe about ourselves is THE single most important element. No matter what else we do, if we lack a strong concept of self and personal power, we only get so far. No one and no thing outside of us can compensate for what we lack for ourselves.
Getting REAL and being REAL are foundations for success in everything we do. They are especially important when it comes to our relationships with others, especially partners and family members. It’s an age old adage that “we can only give away what we already have” and it’s true. The very best thing we can ever give someone important in our lives is our REAL self. No amount of money, affection, words or attention can every replace the value of giving from our REAL self to others around us.
So just what is our REAL self? What are the main components? REAL is my acronym for Respected, Esteemed, Accepted, and Loved Self. By increasing and expanding your capacity for these gifts within yourself, you expand your ability and influence to give it away. I will lay these out in just a little more detail here. Take a few moments to assess the degree to which you show up as your REAL self.
Respected Self: Respecting others is reflected in the way we treat them. When dealing with another person you think highly of, you show them respect by the way you talk, how you interact, how you dress, how you speak, the words you choose, your behaviors, and other areas. You choose to treat them this way because you honor their person, position, or achievements. To show disrespect for them you would choose not to do these things or even choose to do opposite things to show disrespect. Self-respect is about how we treat ourselves . Do we treat ourselves from an honored space or from dishonor? How do we speak to and about ourselves? Do our thoughts honor who we are? Do our behaviors honor who we are by the way we eat, dress, exercise and take care of our health? Do we honor ourselves by setting appropriate boundaries for our actions and choices and how others interact with us? Do we honor ourselves by taking 100% responsibility for our lives and what happens to us? Showing up as your Respected Self means you are consistent in treating yourself as if you are someone of value, worth, and honor.
Esteemed Self: Esteem is a sense of value and worth that comes from our thoughts about ourselves. Its about how we feel about our worth and value as a human being. Showing up as your Esteemed Self means you believe you are a beings of value, worth, and talents simply by being alive and present on the earth. Self esteem expands and grows as we participate in our lives and accomplish things that create a sense of pride, joy, and happiness. Low esteem grows when we begin to devalue who we are by thinking we are never good enough, can’t do things right or fail to meet others’ expectations. We start to put others ahead of us in terms of worth or value as human beings. We value other people’s opinions over our own as more important or more “right”. Low self esteem leads to low self-respect and is usually a precursor to treating ourselves poorly physically, mentally and emotionally.
Accepted Self: Acceptance is so important in our self-concept. It is innate in our beings to want to belong, to fit in, to be “OK.” When we experience rejection from others, we regress deep into our cores. We become afraid to be, express and show up as our true selves because of the fear of being rejected, cast out, abandoned and alone. Even worse than rejection by others is self-rejection. We think of reasons why we should not fit in or belong within ourselves. When we focus on the low energy of rejection, we close off our inner voice. The ego voice gets louder and louder telling us reasons, false reasons, albeit, why we do not belong even to ourselves or why we should be left alone by others. When we show up as our Accepted Self and we choose to accept who we are as human beings, we know we belong anyway, no matter what anyone else says about us. We allow ourselves to be comfortable with who we are and where we are in life and deep down, we feel good. It’s OK to be us. We feel accepted by a deeper self that supports expression, optimism, and personal empowerment. We are then strong enough to rely on our self-acceptance to get past the fickle rejections from others that usually have absolutely nothing to do with us personally.
Loved Self: Loving ourselves in this context does not mean vanity, excessive pride or being narcissistic. A concept of self-love means we regard our individualism, personalities, gifts and talents with high regard and self-care. It means we take responsibility for who we are and what we do. When we show up as our Loved Self, we are empowered, clear, and confident in our boundaries and we are emotionally available to ourselves and others. We can be with and understand our own needs to emotionally express ourselves and we can empathize with others as they share their emotions. We can also be aware of co-dependent behaviors and know when it’s time to detach from others appropriately. If instead we self loathe rather than self love, we create conditions for irresponsible behaviors and sow seeds for unhealthy relationships. We look outside of ourselves for validation, acceptance, and esteem and we internalize it when those things don’t show up in those around us. It is impossible to love another person and create an atmosphere of intimacy in the absence of self-love.
Today, take a look within yourself and look for the REAL you. Where are you? Are you hiding behind something deep inside of you and afraid to come out? Are you hiding behind others to whom you have given away your personal power through years of low self-respect, low self-esteem, low self-acceptance, and low self-love? Are you hiding behind a job, a relationship, or material things which have become replacements to the essential elements of who you really are. Maybe you are healing, growing and expanding in your REAL Self, empowered from deep within and able to get in touch with your soul in a powerful way.
Wherever you are, you are OK right where you are. Today is a new day. Let your heart expand your REAL self and you will experience fresh present moments full of infinite possibilities for every area of your life. When you show us as your REAL self, all things are possible. Especially love.
Live Happy. Love Happy.