What does it mean to be true? It means that you uphold yourself and put your needs first so that you’re able to meet the needs of those you love or are responsible to.
It means you know your values and are guided by them in all that you do. It also means that you do not do things just to please others when those things violate your values or your boundaries. Sometimes it means you let others be responsible for their feelings and actions. You hold yourself responsible for your own feelings and actions.
Being true is the third component of the Live HOT way of life and the guiding principles to loving yourself.
Today, I want to expand upon the idea of being True. As before, I have included a personal appraisal that is also a checklist of ways you might realize a better relationship with yourself and with others.
Trust, Responsibility and the Power of You
The alternative to living true to yourself is living like a puppet on a string. It’s easy to get caught up seeking approvals, fitting in and going along with the crowd. But here’s why you shouldn’t. Why give away your power to live your life with integrity and authenticity?
I’m not urging you to go take a walk on the wild side, whatever that might mean to you, or ignore your responsibilities or even dye your hair bright blue. I don’t care if you do those things.
What I am urging you to do is to take responsibility for yourself. Your actions. Your choices. In success and in failure.
People who take responsibility for themselves have learned how to listen to their inner voice and how to trust themselves.
Exploring What it Means to be True
There are many different ways to be true to yourself. Here are some, you may think of others and these will help you get started. You are true to yourself when you:
- Have a vision for your life and keep your actions and choices aligned with your vision.
- Follow your dreams, not the path someone else has laid out for you.
- Remember, you always have a choice. Even if that choice is limited to how you respond to the worst that life brings you.
- Know your strengths and rely on them.
- Know your weaknesses, and build on them, because you are only as strong as your weakest part.
- Are kind to yourself.
- Stay in the present and experience it fully. Some people call this being mindful.
- Laugh, especially at yourself. When you find humor in something, share it with others.
- Let yourself love others unconditionally, and let them love you the same way. Warts and all.
Someone who understands the principle of being true to yourself is the writer Jeff Goins. I was privileged to read an advance copy of his latest book, The Art of Work, and was inspired by it. He writes about finding your calling and purpose in life. I know of no better way to be true to yourself than to use the authentic you to fulfill a need in the world. You can get a free paperback version of the book.
Another person who was fortunate to learn the value of being true to yourself early in life is Martina McGowan. A physician and the great-granddaughter of a freed slave, she made a brave decision that changed the course of her life.
“I think of life itself now as a wonderful play
that I’ve written for myself, and so my purpose
is to have the utmost fun playing my part.”
~ Shirley MacLaine
Your Personal Appraisal
- Listen to your inner voice, especially when it differs from the opinions of others.
- Follow your heart and intuition.
- Take responsibility for all that happens to you.
- Set and keep boundaries for how you let others treat you and how you treat yourself.
If you’re new here, I suggest you take a minute to read the post where I asked the question, How Do You Live HOT? and first talk about being Honest, Open and True as guiding principles to loving yourself.
Live Honest, Open and True
Being true to yourself is remarkably freeing. You only have one life, and it will end, so make the most of every part of yourself and share the real you with others.
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Tweet: What Does it Mean to be True? A blog post by D’Anne Hotchkiss.
What is the hardest part for you of being true to yourself? Are you like me and struggle with setting and keeping boundaries? Or is it hard to make choices that align with your vision for your life? Share your challenges in a tweet to @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!