Being true to yourself – having self-integrity. What does it mean and how do we achieve it?

Being true to yourself – having self-integrity.  What does it mean and how do we achieve it?

So this would be my first blog post as a married woman, yes I recently ‘got hitched’.
I was inspired to write this blog given the life milestone my husband and I have reached together, both having individually overcome many of life’s traumatic challenges.
We both acknowledge and understand that life needs to be lived in a fulfilling way that is meaningful, in order to experience extreme joy, well-being, happiness and fulfillment.
One thing we both aspire to attain and keep in life is self-integrity and being true to our individual selves - for its own sake!

What does it mean?

To be true to yourself means to act in harmony and congruence with who you essentially are and what you believe to be your truth. You would have to have a higher level of self-awareness for this to take place. This can be built over time.

If you know and love yourself you will find it effortless to be true to yourself. This would mean that you have self-actualized, or you are in the process of self-actualizing.

Just as you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself, you cannot be true to anyone else until you are true to yourself. This comes with awareness and acceptance or change.

Be who you are!  Even though you might be constantly evolving, be comfortable with your personal evolution.  Have the courage to accept yourself as you really are, not as someone else thinks you should be. Do not take action or pretend to be someone else for the sake of gaining acceptance! If this is what you do, then I’m afraid to say that you have a very low sense of self-worth and self-esteem.

When you do things that are not genuine or a reflection of the real you, you will not be happy with yourself and will end up confused, frustrated and full of anxiety.  You'll be confused because you won't know whom to please, or how.
Self-respect comes from being true to who you really are and from acting in accordance with your own fundamental nature. I’ll use myself as an example, I am naturally free spirited and independent meaning I don’t need permission and I’m not blocked by fear.  I love to be with people of all kinds, creeds, cultures, religions and walks of life. Now if for some reason, someone had a problem with my natural state of being free spirited and full of life, I would respect the opinion if it came from a person who mattered in my life, for instance a close friend or a family member, but I would not conform to stereotypes or their expectations of who they think I should be and of how they think I should conduct my life, in order to make their lives more comfortable.

How do you achieve this state of being?

When you respect yourself by being true to yourself, even if others might not agree with your way of life, by default others will respect you. They will sense that you are strong and capable of standing up for yourself and your beliefs. You would be seen as a person of substance who has a deep understanding of their life and life in general.

When you are true to yourself, you allow your individuality and uniqueness to shine through. To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others, even though others might perceive it as that.

 It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.  For example, what style of clothing you should wear, what kind of food you should eat, the kind of music you listen to and even the God you should pray to, or not.

This may cause major discomfort for those who try to define you or frame you in accordance with their own world view - in-order for their own lives to makes sense and remain in a comfort zone.

Remember one thing though - being true to your-self should not be self-destructive! It should be self-enhancing and should be part of flourishing in life! This requires an amount of balance and reflection. Having and living a fulfilled life would automatically keep this in check.

We should we be true to ourselves - why?

Be true to the very best that is in you and live your life consistent with your highest aspirations, this would require much introspection and the courage to do the things you said you were going to do for yourself, by when you said you were going to do them! It’s called having self-integrity.

Stop judging other people’s lives and look at your own life… what’s going on there?

Those who are most successful in life have dared to creatively express themselves and in turn, broaden the experiences and perspectives of live and everyone else.
Being true to your-self is life changing and is part of living an EXTRAORDINARY LIFE!

“Go on, get out there and show them what you got” I dare you!

Live well!

Marie Jones (formerly Joshua)
Psychological Counsellor & Wellness Practitioner.





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