08/26/2014 11:27 am ET Updated Oct 26, 2014

7 Tips for Greater Authenticity: A Runner's Guide to Life

Runner's World magazine's "Greatest Runner Of All Time" and the winner of four Olympic gold medals, Emil Zátopek once said, "If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon."

Life is not a sprint. It's a long, winding road toward living and expressing the truth of who you really are. Stretch, set your pace, and discover how these seven bits of runner's wisdom can enrich your path to authenticity and ignite your soul signature.

#1 Keep Moving
For every runner, there are moments in the race when the body begs you to stop and self-doubt threatens to take over. In the marathon of living an authentic life, you may be tempted to revert to old habits, patterns, and attitudes that no longer serve you. If you remember the unconditional divine love that ignites the most magnificent version of you, your old narratives of disbelief and uncertainty begin to fade and love grows with every step you take.

#2 State Your Name
Some runners write their name on their shirt to celebrate their accomplishment and gain encouragement from the crowd. You may feel you want to remain anonymous or hide your brilliance. You may think, Who am I to shine? At times, we keep ourselves small because we're afraid of the light we really are. The path of authenticity provides ways to embrace the full power of your being, own your brilliance without shame or doubt, and love those who support you -- whether they know you or not.

#3 Run Your Heart Out
Challenge yourself and push your limits, but don't get caught up trying to beat a certain time. Those blinders rob you of the exhilarating moment by moment experience of running the race. This race is yours and yours alone. You've trained hard and are continually moving into the fullness of who you are. Be fully present for every minute of it.

#4 Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Most often you regret the opportunities you don't act on, so have courage and dig deep. During a marathon, as in life, we cry, experience discomfort, feel joy, insecurity, sadness, bliss, or even anger. Authenticity means that you experience your emotions and let them wash over you. All you are feeling in this moment is adding to your growth and self-discovery.

#5 Free Yourself
You may start your marathon training with an iPod, headphones, cell phone, bottles of water, or anything else you feel the need to carry with you. In time, you'll find that running with nothing in your pockets or attached to your person allows you to run faster and remain focused. When you put down your armor and inhabit the truth of who you are without distraction, you uncover a newfound source of inspiration and truth. Releasing the baggage frees you to discover your own inner rhythm and soulful soundtrack.

#6 Tear Down This Wall

Around mile 20, most runners hit "the wall." As you strive to accomplish something significant and set out to shift your energy, at some point, you'll hit rough and challenging patches. When you come to this point, remember your dedication to living your most authentic life. Own your magnificence, breathe deep, push through the wall, and stay the course.

#7 Be Courageous
The question most asked of marathon runners is, "What if you don't finish?" The truth is, you never finish. You keep traveling the path, evolving your relationship with yourself, and unleashing your soul signature in the world.

The marathon is really a journey home to yourself -- back to the truth that has always lived in your heart. Embrace your authentic expression, run free, and remember the words of the greatest runner of all time, Emil Zátopek: "My running was simple; it was out of myself."