I watched a TED Talk the other day by motivational speaker Caroline McHugh called The Art of Being Yourself.

Caroline said, “When you figure out how to be yourself it’s an incredibly liberating, untragic way to go through life. You don’t develop an identity that’s predicated on being a patchwork personality. You’re not a composite, an amalgam, of all your experiences and influences. You’re not just somebody’s boss, or somebody’s mom, or anybody’s anything. You’re yourself.”

She talked about intervals of possiblity in life when you have a chance to become more of yourself.  It could be getting fired or moving or a breakup.  Those times where everything falls away and only what’s really needed stays on.  Those times when you truly see what’s inside of you.  Once the worst thing has happened and you realize you’re still standing, you aren’t as frightened anymore about living and taking chances and being yourself.

One of my favourite things Caroline said in her speech was, “People who are frightened to be themselves will work for those who aren’t afraid.”

So why not be ourselves and see what happens next?

Sometimes it takes our whole lives to figure out who we really are.  And life is so much easier once we get there.  Once we know, we spend time with those we enjoy, we do things we like and pass on things we don’t, and we realize we have all we need.

Caroline said, “So when you think about your identity, when you think about what it means to be alive, when you think about why you deserve to exist, you’re not your thoughts, because you think them. And you can’t be your feelings, because otherwise, who’s the you that feels them? You’re not what you have; you’re not what you do; you’re not even who you love, or who loves you. There has to be something underneath all that.”

What can we do today to help us figure out who we are?  There has to be something underneath and it’s waiting to be uncovered.