Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
Dear friends from all over the world!
The beginning of a year is when many of us contemplate change. I set an intention for myself: being more visible with my new activity, and laying the foundation for my most authentic life ever.
I’ve created ‘A Good Life in Paris’ to support conscious visitors who want to experience a more authentic Paris, and expats who want to thrive in my city. I launched my activities early 2019, but I kept it slightly confidential. It took me nine months to feel ready to extend my visibility to a wider audience. It wasn’t for a lack of skills (I have a professional background in marketing, as you might know). Neither were ideas or motivation missing. My mental block was actually a fear of being visible with my new career, with my life choices.
I am comfortable and effective in helping others express who they really are, but it turned out to be a lot more complicated for myself! My situation was not isolated. This paradoxical reluctance to be visible when launching one’s project, I also found it on many other people’s path: artists, coaches, creatives, solo-entrepreneurs, and writers alike. Finding one’s way, then believing in oneself to share one’s vision with the world, is a profound process that takes time and courage. Maybe this situation resonates with you as well?
Here I was, stuck in my fears, when one day, I read with amusement this quote (attributed without any certainty to Oscar Wilde):
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”
After my first laugh, I realized that the idea was really deep, and it acted as a catalyst for my growth. I understood that my life path shaped me and led me to become who I am today. What I bring to the world is unique, it is built upon my own strengths and experiences. And it is the case for each and every one of us.
The courage to be more authentic
If it takes a little bit of courage at first to show our more authentic self to the world, and do what we love to do, the peace and joy that comes from this shift is priceless. This new service, A Good Life in Paris, fits me perfectly. It is an ideal platform to express my talents with authenticity and joy, while contributing to the world as best as I can. Is this not the best way to live one’s life?
Maybe some of you will recognize themselves in my story. If that’s the case, and you’re wondering how to make progress toward something that makes you feel alive and joyful, remember that the longest journey always begins with just one step!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Tao Te Ching, Laozi)
It simply starts with that: be nice to yourself, and stop feeling guilty. Guilty about not having enough clarity, not making progress fast enough, never feeling ready, or feeling afraid of change. First, because it doesn’t feel good! Second, because it doesn’t do yourself any favors. And third, because it is actually detrimental to you and people around you.
So, instead of beating yourself up with fearful thoughts, start with doing things that bring you JOY. For example, go on a trip to Paris and count on me to make it an unforgettable experience!! But it can just be a nice walk in nature, cooking a delicious dish, reading a good book, playing music, going for a swim, visiting an art exhibition: just anything that brings you a sense of calm and peace.
Then, from that more serene place, decide to take all the time you need, and just take one small step every day in the right direction. Small changes are the most sustainable in the long run.
In that process, do not forget to keep your vision! (If your vision is still not clear, and you’re wondering how to clarify it, I’ll talk about that topic in an upcoming post, stay tuned!)
I would be happy and very interested to read you in the comments below, and learn about your own experiences regarding the fear of jumping into the water to advance your projects, whether personal or professional. What is (or was) your biggest challenge? What baby steps do you (or did you) take every day to move forward?
If you would like help in getting a clear vision or identifying small steps to take, in order to move towards your goals and dreams, contact me, I’m here to help!
Wishing you a Happy Authenticity-filled 2020!