To Thy Own Self Be True
While this phrase may be well know, living authentically- knowing and connecting your Inner and Outer Self- seems less common. I’ve had two job coaching clients in the last week talk about their struggle with their company norm to “Fake it ‘Til you Make It”. We talked through ways to stay connected to their strengths so they didn’t feel so disconnected from who they really were. Of course what they were saying was that they wanted their Inner Self and Outer Self to be in alignment.
Your Outer Self vs. Outer Self
Your Outer Self- your hair, clothes, car, house, toys – is only one dimension of who you are. It isn’t the entire package. Your Outer Self represents the personas or masks you display.
Your Inner Self contains your values, beliefs, personality. Many people feel they have to stuff down or hold back those aspects for fear of offending someone at work. Yet it takes a tremendous amount of energy wearing the mask each day to work.
Knowing Your Inner Self
You know your true nature during great trials or spiritual tests. When your back is against the wall your true nature comes forward. When you have to make the tough decisions your soul speaks. In these times you make the self-defining choices: courage vs. fear, personal convictions vs. compliance, persistence vs. giving up, admitting a mistake vs. covering it up.
Integrity, courage, and persistence are all traits we aspire to have. The question is whether those traits get expressed or lie dormant, waiting for another time.
As we end summer, move past the New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and into another cycle of the sun, the Fall Equinox, it’s a good time to look beneath the surface. It’s worth slowing down, reflecting on how your Inner Self is (or is not) being demonstrated by your Outer Self.
I like the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur as it requires a reckoning with your soul, your deeper self, your Higher Self. Once a year, at least, you have the reminder to take stock of your life and change directions if you don’t like the path you are taking.
May your Inner Self and Outer Self extend as one consistent flow. One that’s strongly connected to a spiritual Center that provides guidance, comfort and wisdom as you meet the trials and challenges of your life.
Share in the comment section below what helps you bring your whole self, your authentic self, to work.
Linda J. Ferguson, Ph.D. guides people through their stress and challenges to live more joyfully and spiritually grounded.
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