That song title, made famous by The Who in 1978, was then and is now, a very good question. Do you know?
Judy Garland, an American actress, whose career spanned 1924 – 1969 (she’s Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz), famously said, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else”.
We can all grasp that this means we should stop living inauthentic lives in which we strive to measure up to some societal vision of the ideal woman that is whatever vision of perfection is popular at the time. But really, how can we stop being that if we don’t know what a first-rate, or any-rate, version of ourselves looks like?
You Define It
I often say that you get to decide what it means to be your sharpest and live your life on point. Why is that important? Wouldn’t our magazines be more helpful if we were offering tips and tricks on how to be better at things like cooking and cleaning and building a career and raising kids and staying – or getting – in shape and keeping our mates happy and… and… and…
The short answer is a resounding NO. There is already an unending stream of periodicals, books, videos, courses, etc. that offer that. We’re over it. That right there is one big recipe for how to contort yourself into a second-rate version of someone else. We want to live free, fulfilling lives as the best version of ourselves. We want to cultivate an environment where women show up as their real selves and where we’re all on a journey to become our truest, best, most authentic selves. Why? Because it’s exhausting to try and live up to the expectations of others. Because it’s empty and meaningless. Because it’s fake success. We are setting ourselves free by stepping into our true selves.
Sign me up! Where do I start?
If you are ready to let go of killing yourself trying to be someone else and you’re ready to step into your own skin, the place to start is with getting a clear picture of who you are.
Figuring out who you really are at your core can be a daunting task. As always, I recommend you have a coach who knows how to walk you through this to help. Nonetheless, here are some basic steps to get you started:
- Make a list of all your personal attributes and values. What are the tenets of your personality? What do you stand for? What matters to you greatly? Helpful hints: you can google personal attributes and values and find lists of adjectives. You can also ask *trusted* family and friends for feedback.
- Narrow that list down to the top 5-7 things that are your most important values and attributes.
- Write those 5-7 things into one or two short sentences.
- Visit these sentences regularly when you are having your morning personal time of study, journaling, and meditation/prayer. Revise, revise, revise until you feel like the statement really nails it for you.
And then what?
I have my Being Statement written on a sticky note which is pasted on my makeup mirror. Every morning, while I am getting ready, I reflect on who I am and think about what I have planned for the day, and I ask myself:
- In what I have planned today, how do I want to feel?
- How will I show up today?
This prepares me to operate each day authentically, as me. Throughout the day, as things arise and I have the opportunity to how up in my highest self or play it small – reactionary, fearful, insecure, or fake – I have the opportunity to remind myself of who I am and ask myself, “What does that look like in this moment?”
This has been a game changer for me. I don’t always get there, but every day, I get better. I now have a guidepost and a process for living as a first-rate version of myself.
If you want my help, or the tools to be able to create your own Personal Being Statement, connect with me and I’d be happy to help.
And, in the meantime, stay on point!