woman relaxing on beach
I’m sure by now you’ve heard the song, “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” by One Direction. We listened to it in the van at least a hundred times on the way to and from North Carolina this summer, and I admit that I love it! What makes me smile is the truth that comes through the lyrics telling of a girl who doesn’t know she’s beautiful but everyone else can see it. Why is it that so often others see in us what we overlook in ourselves?
Did you know the most common struggle most women face, and what causes the most havoc in our lives, is the thought that “I’m not good enough?” It becomes a broken record playing in our minds day-in and day-out. The good news is: YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH! You just have to believe it for yourself.
Now that school is back in session, I encourage you to do a little schooling of your own. Make a commitment to go on a journey of self-discovery and find out what makes you special just the way you are.
Make a start: What are you good at? What do you enjoy? What makes you unique? What is the art inside of you? And if you just can’t come up with the answers, how can you find out? That is what makes the process of self-discovery so beautiful and artistic. You can’t go wrong any way you try, you just have to start. So here I’d like to offer three ways you can tap into the creativity and uniqueness that is YOU.
1) Write. Did you cringe when you read that? It’s okay. Writing is not scary and, in fact, it can be quite fun and most certainly insightful. I am not talking about writing a book, although you could, but writing to discover your feelings. This process, also better known as journaling, will become a favorite tool for emotional release. All you have to do is sit down, allow yourself a little time and start writing about whatever comes to mind. Journaling is a safe place to express your feelings and find out what you really think on a variety of topics. It helps you to validate and rely on yourself for emotional support. And it helps you to get to know yourself better. To start, you can use Life Coach Barrie Davenport’s 30 questions for self-discovery to springboard your first writing session by visiting www.liveboldandbloom.com.
2) Spend time alone. As a parent, I understand that it can be very difficult to get any time alone, but we all need it. It is a necessity, not a luxury. I recently interviewed Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, a lovely couple who have been married for more than 40 years and are the authors of “Building a Love that Lasts”. Together they have studied successful relationships for more than 30 years. According to them, one of the most important things you can do to have a successful relationship is get time alone every day. Being alone helps you discover who you are and when you know that, everything else falls into place. So find some time each day to sit by yourself, work on a project that matters to you, or take a walk. When you do, listen to the voice within and get to know yourself.
3) Practice. Tip three is to practice tips one and two often. It goes without saying that learning anything new takes time. And certainly creating the world’s greatest masterpiece (YOU) is not going to happen overnight. Start by scheduling time for yourself. Do something you enjoy. Spend time alone. Bring a notebook or laptop and jot down your thoughts. Make it a habit through daily practice. Remember, it is a necessity, not a luxury!
When Michelangelo was looking at a hunk of marble he knew the David was inside. He could ‘see’ it. In his mind, all he had to do was chip away everything that was not part of David. Be the Michelangelo of your life. See the beauty that lies within and chip away what doesn’t need to be there. Allow the beauty of you to emerge. It just takes some practice to master these new skills of self-discovery, and you can be sure that you will find the art of being you.
As a Certified Life Coach, speaker and author, April O’Leary helps women bring peace into their busy lives. April and her husband Jim reside in Estero with their three girls. For more on April, visit www.apriloleary.com.