One of the things that makes your journey - and my journey - extraordinary is the fact that we are different. We, as human beings, are different from each other. We each have unique gifts, talents, abilities, dreams, and desires. I am so thankful we were each designed differently because then we can collaborate and create in ways that we couldn't if we all thought and acted in the same way.
I attended a retreat for women in business and the topic of authenticity came up many times from various speakers. They were talking about building business authentically, relating to customers authentically, and simply being your authentic self.
One area I have battled and struggled with over the years is my health and my relationship to food. The challenges go back to high school when I responded to my battle by eating very little . . . I was mentally and physically anorexic. Then in college the pendulum swung the other way . . . I loved food and I ate plenty, but when I was in the off season of my sport I struggled to reign it in and took a step toward bulimia. I am thankful this was a sporadic battle, but it still took years to completely walk away from it.
In college I was very athletic. I played sports and took up running. I was a PE major and activity was a part of school for me at many levels. When I got out of college it became an even greater challenge to stay fit. I put on a few much needed pounds, but then the yo-yo began. Months of healthier eating and thinking followed by months of compulsive over-eating and poor thinking. The compulsive eating (even during healthy seasons) became a real issue and my love-hate relationship with food and with my body was in full swing.
So what does this have to do with authenticity, you may ask?
I became very aware at this retreat that I am stuck in comparing.
I compare myself to other women who are more fit than me. I compare myself to those who maintain the level of activity and personal fitness that I did in college. I compare myself to those who are fitness trainers and health coaches, who love their veggies and wouldn't think of eating at McDonald's. I compare myself to these people and I beat myself up about where I'm at.
And then--my big aha--I compare myself to my self of 20 years ago. I play the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" game. I realize that I have been trying to be what I was, rather than being the best of who I am now! Who is the real Traci? What is the best version of myself at this stage of life, at this age, and in this body? The best version of me is who I ought to desire to be. That is the woman God made. That is the woman God designed me to be right now. That is the best one to live out my extraordinary journey . . . my authentic self.
What about you?
Does my story resonate with where you are or where you have been?
Are you asking God to help you be someone else or a former version of yourself, or are you becoming the very best "you" possible?
The extraordinary you is the authentic you . . . find her!
My name is Traci, and I love sharing insights that challenge and encourage people to be the best version of themselves. Click HERE to receive a weekly newsletter and never miss a blog post from Be Extraordinary!