Being true to yourself begins to emerge when you stop allowing the influence of what others think of you change how you perceive yourself.

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

At the age of 29, I have taken a step back to discover who I really am. And what I have discovered so far is that the person I really am does not really exist on the outside, but rather on the inside. I am filled with abundant love, generosity and compassion. The people in my life who know me well know this to be true—I love with my whole heart. Once upon a time I lived my life according to other people’s expectations and doing everything for the sake of everyone else which left me exhausted. I found myself living my life pleasing everyone and trying to be someone that everyone wants me to be. Maybe it’s just my perception of who they want me to be, but sometimes it’s hard to differentiate perception from reality. Anyhow I am completely done with doing things for the sake of what people may think of me. I could go on for days with examples of how other people’s opinions of you mean absolutely nothing. I love to enjoy myself, to motivate myself, to grow myself and to make every moment count. What is genuinely most important to me besides my son (lil Einstein) is having a healthy body and a healthy mind, to love and be loved, and of course, to help others.

Just as you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself, you cannot be true to anyone else until you are true to yourself. Begin by not being afraid to be who you are! To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.

Sometimes, it's difficult to be true to yourself with social media, advertisements, fashion trends, and television convincing us that we need to change who we are in order to fit in. As difficult as it may seem at first, have the courage to accept yourself as you really are, and not as someone else thinks you should be. Do not take action or pretend to be someone else for the sake of gaining acceptance. Why try to emulate other people when you were fortunate enough to be born with your own unique set of characteristics that make you different from everyone else? Being true to yourself isn't just about standing out from the crowd. It's about knowing who you are, being interested in your own well-being, and being able to identify your hopes and desires without outside influences. It is about establishing a true identity that you can define by yourself and being able to show the world what makes you YOU! When you can be honest with yourself and others, you know when it's time to make changes in your life. Whether it be cutting out toxic relationships, making new friends, moving to a new place or finding a new job, if you are aware of the values that are important to you, you can immediately identify the things in your life that are making you unhappy, and change them to be more beneficial to your happiness. If you already know and love yourself you will find it effortless to be true to yourself.