Being you: How to be effortlessly happy and successful
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Imi Lo: Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Supervisor (MMH,UKCP,HCPC,MBPsS)
8th October, 20150 Comments
Abundance in life is about being able to efficiently let go of things that do not, or no longer serve you.
One of the challenges many individuals face is knowing what to keep and what to let go of in life, knowing how and when to ‘filter out’ toxic people and things, so you are not over-burdened by responsibilities and unnecessary stimuli.
Authenticity is a natural filter. When you are just being yourself, not stretching beyond limit, not trying to be who you are not, you will naturally filter out the bad apples in your life, and attract people and opportunities that are the best natural fit for you.
For example, if being stuck in a certain job role makes you sick, to a point where you could no longer sustain it, instead of being self-critical or focusing on the loss, you can choose to view this as a ‘dropping away’ initiated by your healthiest self. It simply means you have now made space for something else, something else that your deepest self desires.
This makes the path to success and happiness a lot simpler: Instead of twisting yourself to fit into a certain mould, you only have to focus on being authentic. It may feel ‘self-indulgent’ at first, but that is because years of social conditioning have bullied you into believing that you ought to behave in a certain way.
This is about a radical change in mindset: When things ‘fall away’ from your life, it maybe because they do not belong in the first place.
This process of living true to yourself can seem intimidating because by being fully authentic, things, people, assignments that no longer serve you (even if part of you think that is what you want, or need) will drop away, and you may have to temporarily grieve the loss of them. Yet when you can commit to trusting the process, you will gain a sense of deep equanimity when it comes to people and relationships.
Next time you feel ‘rejected’, or ‘abandoned’, keep in mind that relationship is always a dance, and never one-sided. See if you can imagine events in life as following a natural order: two people gravitate towards each other, they may walk a path together and learn from each other, and when that cease to serve them, the journey comes to a natural end they will move apart. With practise, you will begin to see everything - ‘that person’, ‘that job’, ‘that place’ as atoms in the universe that are doing their natural movement of coming together and falling away, and nothing is personal.
A skilled therapist would be able to help you identify your unique personality traits, including your strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. He or she can be the champion of your authentic self, a guardian of your self esteem and a guide to help you set healthy boundaries with others.
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we should be and embracing who we actually are. To allow this practise to truly serve you, you must have faith in its power as a ‘natural filter’. When you can allow yourself to be what you thought of as ‘imperfect’, to say no to things that deep inside you know are hurting you, to your surprise, true abundance - the right people, the right job, opportunities… will gravitate towards you.
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want. (Margaret Young)
About the author
Imi is an award-winning mental health professional, accredited clinical psychotherapist (UKCP), art therapist (HCPC, BAAT), supervisor and trainer. She specialises in emotional intensity, sensitivity, and borderline personality traits. She is the founder of Eggshell Therapy Practise, based in London, UK.
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