Are you ready to face yourself?

Facing who you are is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. When you do so, you know completely who you are, who you want to be, and how you want to improve, which is hopefully an even better version of who you are today. We are always evolving. Accepting this evolution is how we create an improved world filled with equality for all.   Maybe facing who you are sounds easy because you've done it already, perhaps even multiple times. If that’s the case, great job; keep it up. If you haven’t yet peered beneath your several layers, which can be endless, perhaps facing yourself sounds too scary or because you don't know how to start.  This was true for me. I didn’t know how or where to start, nor did I know that on the other side of doing so, there was a greater life to be lived. And I was scared to death that what I’d find would change my life in a way I might not be able to handle.  Nearly a decade ago now I was living a life I loathed. I didn’t like who I was. I was a people pleaser, afraid to go after the life I wanted. I lived in fear of disappointing those around me. At the time, being uncomfortable in my own skin caused so much internal anxiety, that to be seen or heard made it painful to be in group settings.  I remember hitting my breaking point; it was when I had momentary glimpses of who I truly was. The good things about me gave me strength and something to build upon, but my weak points made me realize there was work to be done if I truly wanted to become a better version of myself. Those momentary glimpses of who I truly was gave me the fuel to keep going with my transformation toward who I wanted to be. Do you know who I found? I found someone who was finally ready to be strong, empowered, and independent. This process didn't happen overnight, but I did experience a huge immediate shift as soon as I was willing to face and accept everything I was. Now, I am grateful for all the hard work of facing my weaknesses which gave me the motivation to change. When I first began to walk with my strength, it was a little like how a baby deer finds its legs. Today my legs are as strong as they've ever been and it's all thanks to facing my own truth of who I was and am. There are many layers that make up who you are, but today, I am going to reference just two. They are big ones; ones that helped lead me toward my own inner strength. I hope they help you find or amplify your inner strength. First Layer: The first layer of facing who you are is about acknowledging your physical form. You are a human in a body that is strong but not invincible. You need to prioritize, advocate, and protect yourself just as you would a child for whom you were the sole caregiver. In my past people-pleasing ways, I remember putting everyone's needs and wants before my own. Even when my energy was operating on fumes, I didn't know how to say no because I didn't want to disappoint anyone. I didn't know that prioritizing my need to rest would prevent me from becoming resentful and bitter at those around me. I didn't know it was solely my responsibility to speak up for what I needed to maintain balance in my life.  At my breaking point, I was also burnt out physically. Facing this layer was my physical wakeup call to take care of my body. My body’s burnout gave me an aha! moment. An obvious truth occurred to me that someday, my body would not exist, and it was up to me to do right by my body to feel my best while I was still alive. As humans, we are so good about being in denial about our own end. And with all our stimulating distractions in the world, it’s no wonder. But knowing and keeping this fact close to our awareness can help act as a reminder to prioritize self-care to live the best life possible.  Once I began to put my self-care first, I learned that when fully recharged I was able to be at my best in all areas of my life. This new habit I was aiming to adopt was challenging at first.  At the very same time I’d made up my mind to put self-care first, the flood gates of people asking me for things seemed to break fully open. Sometimes life can test you the most when you’re going through self-disciplinary change. But I held