4 Steps to Becoming Your Most Authentic Self

Whether you know it or not, you’re unfolding right NOW…

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For decades, so much of what I experienced in childhood lurked just under the surface of my daily life.

In my mid-twenties, married with a young son, I worked as a personal trainer, became an entrepreneur, started a corporate wellness business, and started an integrative medicine practice. I was earning a steady income, living in a beautiful house, married to a gorgeous husband, and raising a fantastic kid.

But underneath it all, I was in a dark place.

On the outside, I looked like I had it all, but I was suffering.

One evening as I stood at the front desk of the gym I managed, the phone rang. It wasn’t my job to answer the phone, so I never did. But I just happened to pick it up that night.

A woman was calling, desperate to find a personal trainer for a private client in Washington D.C. at 4 o’clock the following day. Now, that was about the last thing on earth I had any interest in doing, but she was so frantic and persistent that I took down her information and figured I’d find somebody else to do it.

The client turned out to be Dr. Ken Blanchard—someone I had never heard of before. But the client I had just finished training came out of the locker room as I ended the call and asked, “Did you say, Ken Blanchard?” She was holding a book in her hand, which she opened and slid across the counter to me. The book was Who Moved My Cheese, and Dr. Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D., had written the foreword.

The entire drive home that night, I was flooded with thoughts about my life, my marriage, the path that lay ahead of me.

I am not a morning person. But four o’clock the following day found me standing in the lobby of a hotel in downtown Washington D.C. as Ken Blanchard stepped out of the elevator. Immediately, he greeted me with a question.

“Yedda, what’s your priority in life?”

Nobody in my life had ever asked me that, and I had no idea how to answer.

All I knew was the hell I’d been living in.

We spent four mornings together that week, and by Thursday, Ken had given me copies of all his books. In exchange for training him each morning before the workshop he was co-hosting, he invited me to attend a seminar on servant leadership with the top fifty CEOs in Richmond,

I said yes. All I could keep thinking about was that I couldn’t believe someone like Dr. Ken Blanchard had offered something like that to someone like me―someone who had once been a high school dropout.

Six months later, I attended the workshop. I met fifty of the top CEOs in Richmond in an intimate setting. After that workshop, I knew I needed to change my life. I decided to go back to school. I earned a four-year degree and an MBA. I became the first person in my family to graduate college, earn a Master’s degree, and own their own business.

But the entire time, I felt like an impostor.

I was still stuck in the belief that I was nothing more than “a high school dropout.” Every single time I stepped into a room to teach, coach, or give a talk, I didn’t believe I had anything to offer anyone. I felt I should just be grateful to be there because who was I anyway?

But I kept showing up.

I kept saying yes.

I kept learning.

I began to unfold into my most authentic self.

As you begin to do the work of mindfulness, you’ll be amazed at how you begin to unfold into your most authentic self. But that unfolding happens in stages.

  1. Victim Mindset: In the first stage of unfolding, you believe something outside yourself determines your destiny, giving up your power to someone or something else. Your perceptions are creating your reality, and the stories you tell yourself keep you a victim of the external circumstances of your life.
  2. Manifesting: Here, you learn to take responsibility for your thoughts, words, and actions. You discover that your thoughts—which are simply mental units of energy—become instrumental in manifesting your intentions.
  3. Channeling: As you grow, unfold, and evolve towards a newer, higher level of consciousness, you understand that a larger force and purpose is at work through you. You allow it, surrendering to life feeling and being good.
  4. Being present: Finally, you find ease and simplicity in just being yourself, in each present moment. You nurture the feeling that all the universe is one, connected, and infinite—yourself included. You sense that you are connected to and are just like everyone else. You awaken to the power of contributing to sharing your new awareness with others by simply living your life in the present.

Eventually, if you commit to a mindfulness practice long enough, you’ll arrive at a place of radical presence and awareness. You’re able to operate joyfully from your most authentic self, and that’s the space from which all freedom arises.

Did this post make you think about how you might be unfolding into your most authentic self right now? If so, I want to know! Head over to Facebook to share any new insights, ideas, or questions you have!

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