Have you ever felt like there’s a wall between yourself and how others see you?
Like they only see the incomplete pieces and not who you are as a whole person?
The Live BARE challenge is all about being your real self through extensive self-reflection, inquisitive self acceptance, routine self-care and genuine self-expression. By being reflective, accepting, caring and genuine with yourself first, it allows you to be comfortable in expressing who you are in the here and now.
And as I’m writing this, I’m making the change to live BARE too knowing that it won’t be easy. While also knowing that it won’t change my present situation with a snap of my fingers, the flick of a magic wand and with a full jar of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust combined. It’s gonna take time and the strength of my own personal efforts. But this change is better than the feelings of unfulfillment, aimlessness and other emotions that are hindering my progress as well as possibly yours.
So the following steps are just a different perspective of your own self-discovery toolbox. And with these basic tools, may this challenge encourage and empower you to make the change that you need. Everyone has a unique journey. Only you know when you’ve reached your personal plateau, mountain peak or your top of Rocky’s stairs moment. Just during your journey, remember always to LIVE BARE.
1. BE REFLECTIVE
Be Reflective by making the time for some much needed self-reflection. The day to day can get so distracting that the idea of even trying to self-reflect seems tedious.
So make the time to detox.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s your day, week, month and/or year. By making the time to self-reflect, you not only know who you are in your past experiences but you can use that knowledge to shape your present situation.
For example, write out your experiences or make a collage out of your emotions that happened at a memorable or regrettable event. By visualizing your day to day, you can see even the most smallest of changes. And by seeing them, you can transform those lessons into larger future results.
Self-reflection is important. Make the time to know yourself by learning the lessons from your day-to-day experiences.
2. BE ACCEPTING
Be Accepting by accepting yourself first and foremost. Ever felt that people only accept only a part of you especially the side that you dislike? By accepting yourself first, you learn how to be honest with yourself and appreciative of who you are. For instance, have you taken the time to ask yourself some of these basic questions? Like:
Who am I? | What makes me happy? | What makes me sad? | What makes me angry? | What do I fear? | What makes me nervous or doubtful? | What are my dreams? | What are my passions? | What are my strengths? | What are my weaknesses? | What pushes me to wake up and hustle everyday?
By starting with these questions, you’ll start to form a larger understanding of yourself. And you’ll also learn how honest you are with yourself through the answers that you allow yourself to accept.
For me, by being unable to answer the question “What are my dreams?,” I learned to accept that there was a part of me that was aimless. And because of that aimlessness, I allowed others’ opinions to influence my plans and ultimately my happiness.
So be accepting by accepting yourself first. And be honest in your acceptance. That way, you are sure about who you are and in your present and future actions and decisions.
3. BE CARING
Be Caring by making your health a top priority. Self-care is intentionally ensuring that you are physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. By establishing your own self-care routine, you learn how to take care of yourself first before the need for outside assistance.
After a stressful day, you should know how to relax your mind, body and emotions in order to have a good night’s sleep and to ensure a better tomorrow than the day you just experienced.
Or you can carry that extra baggage into the next day. To each his/her own.
But when you don't care for yourself, for instance by skipping a meal, missing some needed hours of sleep or carrying unresolved issues and pent up emotions, are just a few unhealthy ways that you can do to yourself.
By being real with yourself and putting your needs first, you show others how to take care of you by showing them how you take care of yourself.
4. BE EXPRESSIVE
Be Expressive by genuinely expressing who you are all day, everyday. The “Who am I” question is foundational, and your answer influences your thoughts, emotions and actions.
For awhile, I played the comparison game to other people’s personalities and skills.
Meaning | I didn’t think too highly of myself.
Yet, others could see the great person that I’ve always compared myself to. And rightly so, I had a hard time believing them.
So if who you are now is different than what others see, then you haven’t made your answer to the “Who am I” question a reality. By reflecting on your experiences, accepting yourself by being honest and appreciative of who you are and are routinely caring for yourself everyday, you are genuinely expressing yourself.
And by genuinely expressing this image of yourself to others, people don’t have to second guess what you’re all about and neither do you. Learn who you are. Be expressive about it. Ultimately, just be you.