Often society dictates our thoughts, our wardrobe, our style, even our weight. But, what happens if we’re not perfect in “their” eyes? In my mind, there’s two choices: 1) Spend endless hours chasing images of what we “should” be or 2) Spend time discovering the answer to the question: “what’s perfect for me?” If you’ve ever found yourself struggling with your image of self as it pertains to your peers, consider this your freedom ticket. Here, I’ll outline several ways to enhance your personal beauty and self-worth. Further, it won’t cost you anything more than your time and focus. It may even liberate you and empower you to be free to be who you are and become more of who you want to be. Here’s three of my favorite ways to get you moving toward the “you” you desire to become. Take Time To Discover Your “Self”: In effort to find ourselves truly and authentically, we need to first do what my favorite spiritual guru, Dr. Wayne Dyer says: “leave the tribe.” This does not mean moving to a remote area of the country, nor does it mean ex-communicating yourself from friends and family. Simply, taking time to dream and imagine who you’d like to be authentically can create a foundation for true self-definition. Dr. Dyer also tells us that the tribe need not know we’ve even left! He explains: You are the only one who needs to know you are working toward establishing yourself away and apart from the masses. Again, this does not mean selling off worldly belongings and moving to the woods. Perhaps it simply means turning off the tube for a week and spending down-time being quiet. Or expressing your creativity through the art of writing, drawing or doing something of your choice that you love to do. The list is endless. You will know when you’ve found your own piece of nature if the place or activity gives you peace and quiets the world around you. Take Responsibility For Your Gifts We have all been given gifts by the universe, but here’s the challenge: It is up to us to use them! We know that our gifts were given to us for a reason, to use, explore, enjoy and share with others. As my friend tells me: When we use our gifts, God smiles. It pleases God when we use our talents and when doing so we are blessed. Listen closely to your intuition to find what gives you energy. Follow this path toward your gifts. I truly believe If we each learn to live more authentically, share our gifts with the world and focus on the positive – we will be shown more ways to express our talents and serve the greater good. In my mind, it cannot happen any other way. What we care about and place our attention on expands. Take some time to observe yourself closely: Do you have an ear for music, eye for art, literature? What’s your gift? Ask yourself are you taking absolute responsibility for it (them)? Create a Personal Mission Statement: If you are with me so far, you’ll be taking time out of your busy schedule to find and nurture the God given gifts bestowed upon you. In addition, once you’ve identified your talents or dreams, try one of my favorite siren songs to the universe: create a personal mission statement. This is a technique I like to use and my contribution to the notion of discovering yourself. Pause for a moment and ask yourself what you’d like people to remember about you. What do you believe you are here to do? In other words: What do you stand for? As Martin Luther King tells us: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” It need only be a short statement. Here’s mine: To inspire. It’s that simple. Identify your mission (or choose one) and put it in pen – you’ll be amazed at what develops. Each day I look carefully for ways to use my gifts in concert with my personal mission statement. In Conclusion: In Conversations With God, the author Neale Donald Walsch teaches us that life has no purpose save the one we give it. What’s your purpose? It’s a simple, yet thought provoking question. Give it some thought. If you need help sorting out your ideas, check out the classic: What Color Is Your Parachute? By Richard Nelson Bolles or my personal favorite: Finding Your Own North Star By Martha Beck. Most of all, be brave! Declare you mission, identify and take responsibility for your gifts. Let them expand and contribute them to the world. You’re positive energy will become contagious. And when evaluating your self-image remember: it all begins with you.