On this blog, I’ve talked a lot about career issues, but let’s face it: That’s only a part of who You are. I would hope that you recognize that there’s other important areas of your life: your family, spiritual growth, your physical self, contribution to important causes, your social circles – and perhaps more.
Your Authentic Self is the person underlying all that.
Why bother trying to combine all these different aspects of your life? Simple:
- Clarity about your Authentic Self helps you to make important life decisions
- Physically, you’re only a single person, with all your capabilities and limitations
- You have to balance all of these in 24 hours a day
- Wonderful things can happen when you remove the barriers between these areas
Over ten years ago, I became interested in the field of coaching. Originally, it was because I saw it as a great career path, but as I explored it more, I found that it tied together a number of other areas of my life as well. The principles of coaching strongly relate to why I contribute to certain ministries in my church. It affects the friendships I form and business partners I work with, even how I relate to my family. Not that I coach family members, but that the mindset of coaching contains some imp0rtant components of my personal principles.
One result of this is that I don’t have clear lines of demarcation between my “work self,” my “family self,” and my “social self.” It’s not necessary to adopt radically different personalities, because I’m more confident of my deeper Authentic Self and True Purpose.
You can discover your Authentic Self by asking some simple questions:
- What have you done which gives you the deepest satisfaction (not just surface pleasure)?
- Where do you enjoy doing hard work, just because you believe it’s worth it?
- How are you similar in different aspects of your life?
- Where do other people value you, even seek you out?
Your Authentic Self is something that’s very unique to you, so you may find it surprisingly hard to find appropriate words to describe it. Don’t worry – if it’s valuable to you, you’ll pursue it until the concepts become clearer.
What do you do with knowing your Authentic Self? Well, you use it to build your energy and make life decisions.
- What are you doing to grow toward your Authentic Self?
- How does your Authentic Self show up in your job, with your family and friends, and how you spend your discretionary time?
- How will you know if you’re making progress?
Believe me, this can be one of the most important things for you to figure out in your entire life. Really.