Connecting Back to You for an Authentic, Intentional Life
Have you ever been at that point in your life where you lost sight of who you are?
When you look back at your choices and reflect on your past, you may find be in shock that maybe you weren’t as authentic as you should have been. Maybe there were things that drove you that shouldn’t have, people who influenced you more than you should. The list goes on!
Everyone has gone through this pseudo-identity crisis, but you’re here because you truly found the disconnect between your true self and the person you project onto the world.
Losing your authenticity is one of the hardest realizations that you can come to. Some people experience it when they’re with a group of friends, others realize it in the quiet of their own homes. Wherever your realization happened, you are not alone in this struggle!
I’ve been there. Oh, have I been there!
My realization happened when I was looking towards my future on a quiet evening at home. What did I want to do, what did I want to save up for… And then the question hit me: “was I happy?”
I don’t think my entire being has ever been so shook before. I looked around and I was surrounded by things that weren’t me, they didn’t reflect me, and the worst is that I found myself acting like how I thought everyone wanted me to act.
Talk about a huge punch in the bread basket!
I know it’s scary. You’re looking for big changes to get back to an authentic life, and it starts with being intentional.
When this happened in my own journey, I started to dive into every resource I could get my fingers on. Blogs on blogs, Psychology Today, and so on, nothing was safe in my pursuit for understanding!
That’s when I stumbled on intentional living, to be more exact, the intentional living connected with minimalism.
This was my glimpse at “ah, that’s more like me, that’s where I ran off the tracks!”
So, without further ado, let’s talk about how you can connect back to you, the true you! And it all starts with being intentional.
Looking for more ways to live an intentional life? Take a look at the Intentional Living tag! Here you will find guides on how to be more mindful, as well as how to build a solid, healthy mindset. These guides will help you build your foundation for a life that is authentically you!
Looking for more ways to practice self-care to take care of yourself during this new journey?
If you’re new to self-care, check out How to Start a Self-Care Routine, where there's actionable steps to implement now to start you off on the right foot of your wellness journey! Self-care may be completely different from your normal routine, but this new routine will give you immediate benefits! Mentally and physically, self-care has been proven time and time again as to how influential a simple change in routine can be.
Already have a solid self-care routine? Check out the Self-Care tag. Here you will find activities and guidance to add to your routine as your needs change along your journey!
Finding your core values & beliefs
Focusing your energy and determination on finding your core values and beliefs will make your journey much easier than if you jumped in without them!
First, what in the world does this even mean?
Your beliefs are just that: what you believe in. What you’re passionate about, what makes you, you. These beliefs are than enforced, if you will, by your values. Your values are what help you live out your beliefs.
They are the value-pillars on the belief-house! Keeping everything in place and keeping your beliefs safe and sound.
Finding these beliefs and values comes from reflection. What made you have the realization that you weren’t happy? What sparked it?
Most of the time, when you have these realizations, they come from actions that go against your beliefs. You may have done that action for years, but sometimes, we have our eyes and ears a bit more open when it becomes too much against the grain.
Just as you became aware during your realization that: “gee, something’s not right…” That awareness should be nurtured and grown throughout your journey.
Listening yourself can be difficult starting off but giving yourself more time will be fundamental down the line.
Keeping your eyes and ears open isn’t the only way to stay aware. Most of your awareness will come from how you look inward. Asking yourself “why am I reacting this way” or “why am I inclined to choose this over this.”
These types of inner-awareness come with time but starting off by asking yourself “why” will help your journey to intentional living. Each thought, each action should all have a reason and answer if you ask why. If it doesn’t, is it truly worth indulging in?
Staying curious about your why’s will help you nail down where you need to nurture and where you need to help it along.
Intentional living starts with slowing down these knee jerk reactions to emotions, to stimulus.
Ask before reacting/responding
Your journey to being intentional starts with lying a solid foundation that you’re able to build off of and grow. In my own journey, I found that asking these three questions helped guide me to being intentional on auto-pilot. Granted, that are times you may have to come back to this, but this creates that solid foundation for you.
“Will it benefit me?”
You have way more important things than to be bogged down by meaningless actions, things, and even relationships. This question weeds out the meaningless for you. If it’s not a benefit to your beliefs or values, this may not be the right path to take.
“Does it value my time?”
Your time is yours, and you choose to spend it how you want to spend it. Focusing your time towards your beliefs and values is time well spent. If you’re finding that most of your time is spent on busy-work, it may be poor planning or it could be that these slipped by the question above.
If you’re filling your time with things that don’t value that, take a look at how you can take the burden off or refigure them into your schedule so they’re not tipping the scales.
“Does it align my core values & beliefs?”
Biggest question you can ask if you’re connecting back to you. And this is why having that solid foundation of your beliefs and values is so crucial.
Whenever you are faced with a question, a task, anything, if it does not align with your core beliefs, it’s not worth your energy or time.
This can be difficult to us people-pleasers. I know it was difficult for me when I had to tell someone no for the first time. But you are the protector of your own life. No one else is going to work as hard as you are to make sure you are happy.
I don’t know how many times I had to catch myself because of my whirlwind-tendencies, but slowing down is a must when you’re seeking a more intentional life.
Going back to asking and staying curious about what’s going on inside your thoughts is huge, but it will take time and active “doing” before it becomes a routine.
When you’re first starting out, give yourself two breaths.
Inhale-exhale, inhale-exhale, then respond and react. This method has been bounced around for everything but it’s so simple that it works.
When you have something to judge your time off of, then you can begin to tune in more easily to your reactions. Something physical attached to a thought will bring it out of the unknown and into something you can follow up on.
Everyone has the capacity to be kind, but that doesn’t mean we actively go out of our way to be kind. On my own journey, I wanted to do more for others and make an impact in the lives I was apart of. I challenged myself to go above and beyond to do something kind each day for a different person.
When you set these kind goals for yourself, it ripples into other aspects of your life. Not only do we feel good about ourselves, but this affects the people we care for as well.
Plus, those relationships become much more enriched and even more intentional themselves!
This book was SO amazing and really helped with those much more difficult people who are in everyone’s lives. Not only did I pick and choose what to do each day for the not-so-difficult people, but I really challenged myself to implement this book to the people who I struggled to go above and beyond for.
Definitely a must-do challenge! You can pick your’s up here.
(I really liked this one too, it goes into the science behind how kindness is a such a catalyst for joy in other areas of our lives.)
I know that this is a scary path to take at first, but look back at why you’re making this change. What was your realization that make you want to reconnect? Would you be happier if you continued the safe route you were on now?
Chances are you wouldn’t be, and you would be even more miserable now that you’re aware. Remember, being happy with yourself is key and is just as important as taking care of yourself along the way.
I know you’re ready to take the leap to living a more intentional life! And you’re already at the point now where you’re closer to your true, authentic self.
Closer than ever!
You have the strength and the drive that will help you along the way, and I’m here to help guide along the way. Remember:
Take it slow, ask yourself why, and be kind.