In my work as life coach, I have listened to countless clients talk about feeling “stuck” in their lives. Upon deeper investigation, the root cause of these feelings is almost always a betrayal of self. I’m not totally sure how or when—but somewhere along the way we have been taught that choosing yourself is an act of selfishness. In many lines of thinking, it is considered conceited or arrogant, righteous or disloyal.
I operate under the belief system that none of this is true.
In fact, I believe that choosing yourself is the ultimate expression of courageous action. You are committed to aligning with your own truth, actively quieting the clamor of social training that encourages us to find health, happiness, and balance outside of ourselves. The fact of the matter is, you already have all of the answers you are seeking to find inside of yourself. And truth is not selfish... it’s simply truth. Aligning with your unique truth is one of the most selfless things you can do. It encourages and empowers each and every one of us to step boldly into our highest selves.
Here are my three tips for choosing yourself:
1. Listen to Your Body
Your body is your wisest tool. When you experience an uncomfortable sensation or feeling in your body—don’t disregard it. In fact, I encourage you to deepen the experience by getting quiet, creating space, and paying closer attention. Where do you feel the sensation in your body? Does it feel hot or cold? Contracted or open? Does it have a texture, color, sound, or smell?
In some schools of thought, the human body contains three types of wisdom. 1) The wisdom of the mind: our intellect. 2) The wisdom of the gut: our intuition. 3) The wisdom of the heart: our truth. When you begin to listen to your body’s innate wisdom, you’ll start become more aware of what feels aligned and what doesn’t. As the body never lies—trusting the information that you receive is one of the most important things you can do in choosing yourself.
Call to Action: Write the sensations that you feel in your body down in your journal and look for any patterns or consistencies in the information. What you may find is that a particular person, place, experience, or thing elicits a reaction in you that no longer serves you and holds you back from being your best self. Becoming aware to your body’s unique signals of stuckness and self-betrayal are the first steps to understanding your heart’s desires.
2. Be Willing to Let-Go
It’s a total bummer, but the act of choosing yourself is almost synonymous with disappointing someone else (and possibly even someone that you love and care deeply about).
We live in a culture that is very careful to not offend other people’s feelings. In doing so, we create a collective belief system that each of us has the power to make someone else feel a certain way. The truth of the matter is, we are 100% responsible for our own individual thoughts and feelings. When we are having a reaction to someone or something, it is merely an unhealed part of ourselves coming up to be looked at and healed.
When we begin to align with our own truth—becoming loyal to that which is uniquely ours—we are bravely taking ownership for our own way of being in the world. When doing this, we may find that there are people, places, and things in our lives that are in opposition to these actions and behaviors.
In Dianna Bonny’s podcast episode of Gutted, she shares a story of the unraveling that happened in her life in 2010. It ultimately led to her husband taking his life ten days after the truth was unveiled. Through this experience, she was exposed to the judgments, opinions, and projections of her community as she attempted to reclaim her life and protect her children. In order to do so, she had to be willing to let-go of feeling responsible for anyone else’s thoughts and feelings, claiming that “choosing yourself is a super power”. Dianna’s courage has led her to create a meaningful life and company that encourages others to “live on the fault lines”.
Call to Action: Begin to notice the relationships in your life that encourage you to act or be different than your truest self. This may show up as a feeling in your body (see Tip 1), a sign from the universe, or a recurring thought or feeling that you can’t seem to shake. This information is important, as this person may no longer be serving you on your path. The first step to action is awareness. Once you become aware, you can ask for what you need or begin to let-go of who and what is no longer aligned with your best self.
3. Take Risks and Break Rules
Reality is malleable. If you feel like you are stuck inside of a box—remember that no one put you there other than yourself. When we choose to follow someone else’s rules and guidelines on how to live a happy life, we are inherently trusting someone’s unique truth as our own. Choosing yourself means being willing to march to the beat of your own drum, color outside of the lines, and radically questioning most things that you’ve been told.
Call to Action:
Take time to journal and reflect on the set of rules or guidelines that you follow in your life. Ask yourself some of the following questions:
Who created these rules?
Are these rules serving me?
Does this path or course of life that I am on excite me and make me feel alive?
Do I feel held back from the rules or guidelines that I am following?
If I could do anything in my life—what would that look like?
If I could be anything in my life—what would that feel like?
Then, see if there is one rule or guideline that you are following that you can experiment with breaking. Start with something small as it will help you build up your risk taking / rule breaking muscles. i.e. You have been told that it’s rude to tell someone when they have food stuck in their teeth. Try it. See what happens. Notice what type of response you get. Notice how the action makes you feel.
Choosing yourself is an act of radical action and not for the faint at heart. However, with a willingness to listen, let-go, and be brave—the payoff will exceed your wildest dreams. As Charles Einstein notes, “You will find yourself in closer contact to something much more precious, something that fires cannot burn and thieves cannot steal, something that no one can take and cannot be lost”. This place of preciousness holds a truth that can be found only within you—who are you to not choose it.
Allie Stark is a life coach, speaker, podcast host and inspired entrepreneur. Her work is centered around the idea of Reclaiming Your Instinct—a practice focused on quieting the clamor of social training in order to realign with your own truth. With over fifteen years of experience in health and wellness, Allie's coaching and facilitation provides tools, ideas, and resources to support individuals and organizations to become their healthiest, happiest, and best selves. Listen to her Gutted podcast here.
Allie Stark is a life coach, speaker, podcast host and inspired entrepreneur. Her work is centered around the idea of Reclaiming Your Instinct—a practice focused on quieting the clamor of social training in order to realign with your own truth. With over fifteen years of experience in health and [...]