Monday Inspiration: Be Authentically You

MONDAY INSPIRATION: 
BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU

By Toni Carey
(@toni_carey/@blackgirlsrun)

I wish someone had told me at the age of 33, I'd re-discovering myself. Perhaps this is something that happens with every turn of the decade after the age of 10, but being yourself is hard. Discovering who you really are is even harder.

You may be thinking, what does this have to do with running. How does being myself or being authentic relate to running a 5K or a marathon?

It, my friend, has everything to do with it. 

The further I travel down the road to self-discovery I keep coming back to these key questions:

  • Does [xyz] make me happy?
  • Does [xyz] encourage self-development and personal growth?
  • Does [xyz] in alignment with where I see myself in the future.

[xyz] can be anything, especially when it comes to running.

I see it time and time again, especially with my own running journey. Oftentimes, the races and the miles aren't necessarily for my health or well being, it's to prove something. Whether it's proving something to myself ("if I can run this distance then it means I'm worthy" or to others "if I run this distance, people will think I'm more valuable"), we often set goals based on other people's expectations, whether it be your friends and family or the world.

Recently I've been grappling with how I show up in the world. As a black woman, it's tough and I found for many years, I was just playing out the role that people (and the world) would expect me to play. I'd shrink in the background, or conveniently change my opinion or disapproval of a subject because it was easier that way. 

But one day, I woke up and began asking why.....OF EVERYTHING! One of the most important why's I asked was, "Why do I run?" Before we began Black Girls RUN!, running was a source of therapy and solitude. It was a place I could retreat while honoring my body. But with the increase of popularity in BGR! it quickly became my duty....a chore. I was putting in miles and miles because frankly it's what people expected of me. 

It's no surprise that I lost my love of running, and subsequently lost my why.

With social media and the globalization of the word, it's become harder than ever to be yourself. It's challenging to scroll through Instagram and not compare yourself to your friends or random strangers who appear to have it all together.

But if there's one thing that you should know, it is that the world needs you....it needs your authentic self. And while it may be tempting to compare your running journey to others, realize that this is YOUR journey. You can go as fast (or slow) as you want.....as long as it's what YOU want.

So, whether it is running or something else, I encourage you to come back to these three questions:

  • Does it make me happy?
  • Does it encourage self-development and personal growth?
  • Does is align with where I see myself in the future.

It's the consistent compass that will keep you on the path to being yourself. 

 




Toni Carey
Toni Carey

Author



11 Responses

Gwendolyn
Gwendolyn

February 09, 2017

Excellet post! It fits right in with my recent decision to ask the “does xyz make me happy” question along with the “do I really want xyz” question. Thanks for sharing; right on time.

Laura
Laura

February 07, 2017

I recently started a kind of “why” journey where I am deep diving into different dimensions of my life. The purpose is to ensure I am creating and moving toward my best life. These three questions will be so helpful in determining what should stay and what needs to go. Thank you.

Sharon Odom
Sharon Odom

February 07, 2017

It all starts with why doesn’t it? It’s about intentionality and staying on purpose. We are all on the way to becoming more than we are to. It’s an internal yearning and stretching forward. Thanks for reminding us to listen to our own inner voice.

Aisha Northington
Aisha Northington

February 07, 2017

Wow!!! This blog blew me away… Truth!!!! I honestly have struggled with this in the past and sometimes still trying to navigate the world, while holding on to a true sense of self. Those questions you posed we’re AMAZING… Thanks for sharing my sister

Gena
Gena

February 06, 2017

I loved this blog post. I am currently on the “Why?” journey myself. As I get older, I want to be more my true and authentic self regardless of what others think and feel. It is exhausting to try to change yourself and fit into other people’s definition of who you “should be.” I am purging people and situations from my life and only surrounding myself with people who love, care, honor and support me.

Angela Smith
Angela Smith

February 06, 2017

I love this post, it is an excellent piece. Thank you for sharing, it will encourage most of us to come back to what makes us feels good at the end of the day, weeks, and months. It is telling me as a woman I fully respect my mind, and body.

Angela Smith
Angela Smith

February 06, 2017

I love this post, it is an excellent piece. Thank you for sharing, it will encourage most of us to come back to what makes us feels good at the end of the day, weeks, and months. It is telling me as a woman I fully respect my mind, and body.

Angela Smith
Angela Smith

February 06, 2017

I love this post, it is an excellent piece. Thank you for sharing, it will encourage most of us to come back to what makes us feels good at the end of the day, weeks, and months. It is telling me as a woman I fully respect my mind, body

Natasha
Natasha

February 06, 2017

Great post! Thanks for sharing your honest moment of losing your desire to run. I’ve often worried about the fun things turning into chores and I don’t want that. But I will keep those questions in mind. Bless you lady!

Dawn Allen
Dawn Allen

February 06, 2017

I enjoyed reading this. I’ve been on the “why” journey myself for about a year now. I definitely used to compare myself to other runners but I don’t anymore and have carved out a niche that’s uniquely mine?. Thanks for sharing Toni!

Samantha Gourzong
Samantha Gourzong

February 06, 2017

Enjoy the blog

Leave a comment