woman in white tee shirt writing with pen in notebook

How to Find Your Authentic Self

“We come into the world merciful, and we can be that way again once we realize we have so many stories about ourselves and other people and so many defenses against feeling exposed. Little by little, we can start dropping that armor and practice being real instead of putting on those great social personas we’ve mastered.” Anne Lamott

For me these words of wisdom rang a painful truth on my heart and heavy in my mind. I had always thought I needed to show up with a real but strong outer presence to appear and look the way I thought I wanted others to see me ( and one that others would, of course, be drawn to..) these are the areas I attempted to cultivate. Being ..In control, in the know, smart, witty and sincerely kind. With this life approach to be the master of all I didn’t want to know… own and flat out didn’t know my own life story.

woman in white tee shirt writing with pen in notebook

How I Found My Authentic Voice

In 2016/2017 I began a new life venture! 

Bringing my brand of health and wellness strategizing out in the vastness of online service. I placed my care in the capable and driven hands of a personal business and life coaching program showing me all things online while at the same time exposing the vastness of all I carefully created as my story/my identity. I was asked to draw out the real raw me. I was asked to tell my story of where I was and how I found the path I’m now on as if in an intimate face to face conversation with a close and trusted friend. Lots of things exposed lots I wanted to hide still.

Physical discomfort held my hand as my heart seemed to pound in my chest my throat tightened and mouth felt dry as I sat down to craft with all that I had in the moment my story of where I was in those years leading up to where I am now. 

I spent what I thought was real and valuable time being all that I thought I needed to be … to look, act, talk and show up according to what I assumed would allow me to best fit in and be pleasing and likable to others. I was driven to look and seem “perfect” My story here is that I valued self-worth along with emotional intelligence (the keen ability to read others intuitively in the nuances of what was spoken and unspoken so I could help and serve them well). I did this to the extent that I sought to craft this “made up persona” according to what I observed and thought would be the best way to achieve this outer appearance for my place in the world. 

Sadly I never found this because the very story of who and what I wanted to be laid within me, not out of me. What I had been carefully crafting with uninspiring results came back to me. A key part of my training and certification program as a yoga teacher and health and wellness coach was finding my “why” aka personal raw and real reason for wanting to do what I do. Making things up that certainly sounded good, real and true as they passed my lips didn’t fool those in my close circle. “Wow that sounds great, but do you really believe this and want to do this. 

quote bringing it forth with everything i had making no excuses or apologies

Your reasons although real are not convincing and believable and if you don’t believe them who will?” Words have a heavier weight and carry so much more than a physical blow ever could. Finally, I was forced and set free and find my story bringing it forth with everything I had making no excuses or apologies. I slowly began taking this step forward one foot by one foot.

Crafting and revising this “all about me” bio on behalf of NancyStevensCoaching.com, that is real and raw, brought up my stuff and left me feeling extremely vulnerable.

Forcing my hand and heart to work in tandem as co-authors of my story I gained an entirely different vista of what is – me that I would never have done had this not been asked of me. So why would you do this then? Stay where you feel comfortable. The problem was I really wasn’t comfortable with the status quo. Although the process brought up a depth of thoughts, feelings, and emotions regarding my life and my why. I now can’t imagine living and being any other way. My story is mine, bumps, wrinkles, messes and all. I now own this piece it is mine unique to me. End of story! Not really! My new better is I saw the value and meaning and strength to be gained by stepping out on behalf of me to do what was asked even at the expense of being exposed. This has empowered me, inspired me and placed me on a firmer more real foundation.

How To Start Your Story

Ask yourself… What is my story/my life? Is my story one of my own making based on how I think others see me and or how I want others to see me? Is this true/partially true? What will happen if I share my story – first to myself and then to others? Make a list of pro and con if this helps. What will I gain by opening up to this? What will I lose? Is this true? How will I show up in the world going forward as a result of my story leaving me and the seeds being sown?

Your story will most likely be like mine; it brought me back to me what I had unknowingly taken away… authenticity and wonder of being deeply present and alive to all that truly is available each and every day.

Next Steps

Find a quiet place in your home, outdoors or such that is comforting to you. Sit in stillness ( all electronics on mute! Better yet not on you!) and take in this moment in time. Start by reflecting who you are and how you became this. Get compassionately curious on behalf of yourself so you can draw out perhaps for the first time your unique story or recraft a newer true more real and raw story like I did.

Personal empowerment and new found accomplishment will take their place going forward with you.

“Be where you are planted as your life is your best story to share and live.”

Abundantly yours!