When it comes to going after what you love in life,
don’t take “NO” for an answer.
— Regina Brett

Much of our stress and dis-ease in life is caused by living a life that does not resonate with our own inner truth. We hide from ourselves and each other in big and little ways each day. We find ourselves blaming and judging other people, our situation or circumstances for our unhappiness, not realizing that its deeper source lies within us. In failing to recognize and honor our own truth, we sacrifice our own well-being. Why do we do this? I’ve noticed that it is usually for one of three reasons — either we sacrifice ourselves to please or support others, to conform to social norms, or we are too afraid of what might happen if we really gave ourselves permission to be fully ourselves.

Having it your way doesn’t mean that we should all be selfish, greedy and self-centered. Rather, it is about being honest and true to ourselves by living life as a reflection of our inner truth. This takes courage and ruthless personal honesty.

Each of us has a unique set of preferences, needs, talents and abilities that affect how we see ourselves in the world and how others see us as well. Among the strongest influences on our identity are our gender, race, family, socioeconomic affiliations, culture, moment in history, etc. No matter how similar we are to another, each of us has our very own unique way. Just as we might prefer to “hold the pickle, hold the lettuce” on our burger, we each have a personal sensibility about many things in life. We might prefer the country to the city or the color turquoise to red. We might have a great voice, tremendous business acumen or parenting skills. Being conscious of our own talents, abilities, preferences and deeply held beliefs and values is the foundation upon which we can build our life your way.

Each of us is an original and can’t be replaced. When we fail to recognize and celebrate who we are, it is a collective as well as a personal loss. The less we live as who we are the less alive we are. Knowing ourselves and what we are capable of contributing is not only personally liberating, but socially responsible as well. This doesn’t mean that we are all meant to be stars. Many of us contribute quietly or to only a small group. The point is to be who we really are and to give our best. Anything less cheats us all.

f you are feeling out of sync with yourself or with the world, the following five steps will help you find your way to living your life your way.

Celebrate and share the gift of who you really are!

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