THE BLOG

Knowing Yourself Is Real Success

05/14/2014 04:34 pm ET | Updated Jul 14, 2014
Xavier Arnau Serrat via Getty Images

Every person I coach is looking to redefine their life -- personally and/or professionally. They want to know themselves better: be happier, more successful, healthier, authentic, integrated and whole.

Clients tell me: "I'm a different person at work than I am in the rest of my life... I'm not really happy... I don't know myself or what I want."

Knowing your self is a fully rewarding and challenging process. It takes a lifetime of pleasurable work and courage. Your desire to know who you are and what you want is the real success in life. It gives you purpose, direction and a true sense of well-being.

Disruption redefines success and gives back life.

My whole life was disrupted when the company I worked at for 13 years, as a recruiter, suddenly closed. The success and confidence I had was shattered. I was lost not working in an office every day, not talking to clients and not helping people with their careers. I didn't see it right away, but the catastrophe was a gift, my gift to reevaluate my choices about life and career. It was a renewal opportunity for me.

Here's what happened as I left the stressful pace of corporate New York City and stepped into the unknown and, my greatest success -- discovering my true self:

1. I began having new emotions. One morning I saw a cardinal standing in sunlight on the driveway. I was moved to tears by his sheer red beauty. I stood there for a long time just looking and being so happy that I felt something. My heart was opening.

2. My mind worked better. Without stress my brain was calmer, clearer, more flexible and open. My vocabulary was growing or rather, coming back. For so long I had used words and phrases to communicate with, but didn't think or care about what I was saying. "Awesome. Cool. Wow. No Kidding. Checking in. Touching base. Later."

3. I started reading again. I read books by Martha Beck, Libby Gill, Deepak Chopra and Byron Katie, about finding my destiny, getting unstuck, discovering my true self, and I couldn't put them down. I was learning new things about myself, what stopped me from living a unified, rich life -- body, mind and spirit.

4. My health improved. I slept better and ate better (not fast at my desk), lost weight, started to sing out loud. At work I had pushed myself to succeed, meeting every task the company set. I worked 12-hour days shooting for high numbers and trying to beat everyone out. The choices I made nearly ruined my health and my personal relationship. The changes I went after helped my anger and resentments to disappear. I had new energy, positive feelings and hope about the future.

5. I made new and better choices:

  • To consciously slow down and work on being patient.
  • To kick my ego around and really THINK about my friends and other people.
  • To be present and not split up in 20 directions.
  • To find out exactly what I wanted to do and do it.
  • To focus on my gratitude.

When you value your self you become confident, generous, positive, vibrantly alert and alive. Your well-being comes first, inside and out. It's crucial in order for you to thrive and live the life you dream about and deserve. When you go after change, the things you most want come closer to you immediately.

Four tremendous benefits I gained from change: the return of positive, good feelings, removal of anger, stress and negativity, conscious new care for my mental and physical health and renewed interest in other people, my own potential, gifts and aspirations.

I went back to school and became a certified life and career coach. Helping other people live good lives, the magnificent lives they desire, is the purpose of my life and the success I most value.

Why not practice living a wonderful life?

You have the powerful ability to create your own life. It's absolutely possible. As a matter of fact, your authentic or true self is with you right now. It waits for you. It may be covered up a bit, but with some digging and a few deep, good changes, you'll find it. It's open to connect immediately.

Start by seeing what qualities and emotions you honestly want in your life. See what's working well and also find what's missing and start to add it in, one small change at a time. If you deep feed your genuine nature and loving presence, bit by bit, it will be renewed, grow and bloom.

What if you choose to work on being a kinder person?

It's the same desire as wanting to learn French, play the piano or cook. It takes practice, concentration daily and after a while, it happens naturally. It becomes part of you. It works because you want to be kinder. You like it. It expresses you. It is you. It's the truth.

Innovative dancer and choreographer Martha Graham expressed that desire so well:

I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or learn to live by practicing living. The principles are the same.

The majority of us were created with everything we need to live successfully in this world; millions of emotions, thoughts and possibilities are inside each of us. Over time that changes because we make choices about people and the world; how we're seen and treated and what we think will truly take care of us and make us happy and successful -- be it money, job, relationships, owning things.

Sometimes we limit ourselves with our choices, and we go away from our true brilliance, infinite potential and purpose in life.

The good news is this: You can get back to it. Genuine happiness and success will be yours, when you make the choice to find out who you really are -- to know, respect and honor your rare individuality.

The greatest care and gift you can give yourself is the profound pleasure and knowledge of being able to say: This is who I am and this is what I want.