Last week I talked about my dilemma. An identity crisis of sorts in which I question if you can be both a soul searcher and a lover of style all wrapped up in one (and when I say “you” – I’m really talking about “me”). Every week while deep in a conversation about empowering and inspiring women it almost always veers off to my favourite pair of jeans or seasonal style must-haves (sigh). Here’s the thing, I love both sides of this conversation but every time I have it it leaves me questioning myself and if I can be these 2 things rolled into one. I mean soul searcher and style lover – could there be two more opposite things on the spectrum?
How can one be on this quest for finding my truth and living an authentic life if I get lured by every Gap sale email I receive in a day? (oh come on, like I am not alone in this). Despite the positive and supportive feedback I received after posing this question last week (even from some of my favourite most down to earth yogis who I admire) I still wasn’t convinced. Until I read this last night:
“If the first task of leading is to figure out your goals, the first responsibility has to be the capacity to lead yourself – to understand and stand up for your values, your vision, and yes, your own style. To be anything other than authentic will inevitably compromise your confidence. It will also compromise the trust others place in you. You can’t lead effectively, or for long, without earning and keeping the trust of people you work with. Authenticity matters, and it matters more today than it ever did.” – Kirstine Stewart
I talk (um, shove down your throat) a lot about authenticity but what I didn’t realize is that I was questioning and scrutinizing my own because it’s not a typical, common or normal combination to be. In other words I was caught in the act (pretty much the only time) of judging my own authenticity while desperately trying to figure out what piece I was missing or why “I” didn’t seem to add up.
So here is the thing. Be fearlessly authentic. This doesn’t happen over night – or at least it didn’t for me. It means questioning (with authority) the decisions we have made about who we are based on influence with a side order of manipulation (gasp – I know, but it’s true). We have spent years trying so hard the person we “should” become in order to be accepted by others that somewhere along the way we forgot our own identity (check back in with your 8-year old self) and don’t even really know who we are or what we want until a situation or life-changing moment occurs (um, can I get a serious “amen” to that!). Be careful what you identify yourself by – a relationship, a career (ah hm), a title – we act, we think, we speak, we dress (ahhhh hmmmm), we eat, and we behave in a way that allows us to fit into the beige boring square holes that society has created – often leaving our true sparkly self aside.
Be fearlessly authentic. Go after the “things” that provide you with the emotions of how you want to feel – not how others will perceive or judge you – and definitely not because someone else is wearing it. Here is to being you even if you love superficial things – because what I have realized is much like everything in life – the things don’t make the person 😉
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