Just as each huipil used to create our One of a Kind bags is woven thread by thread into unique designs and symbols, your memories and experiences weave together to form a one of a kind story. Your life is yours and yours alone. What kind of story are you creating for yourself?
Every day you have people and things telling you who you should be. It’s a challenge to stay true to who you are and who you want to become. Being authentic and intentional are the keys to helping you create a life that’s yours. This is through your actions and words being congruent with your beliefs and values. It’s a practice of being yourself and not an imitation of what you have been told you should be. It’s living a life that's true to you!
#IAMOOAK honors the individuality, beauty, and resilience of the women who carry our iconic upcycled One of a Kind bags. Each month we will be highlighting creatives and visionaries who inspire us to stay one of a kind. As we highlight these women, we want to share how you can get back to your true self. Here are 10 tips on how you can live more intentionally and authentically to create your one of a kind life.
1. Identify Your Core Values
Values are your fundamental beliefs that guide your decisions and motivate your actions. They help determine what’s important to you and lead you subconsciously. In simpler words, your core values are what make you, you! This is why identifying them is so important to an authentic life. Your core values help you make decisions and remind you of what’s important in your life.
For example, a core value that’s important to you may be health. You manifest this value by exercising daily, eating right, and feeding your soul. It motivates you every day, guides many of your decisions and activities, and brings fulfillment to your life. Because you know health is important to you, you can continue making these authentic, healthy decisions that bring you happiness.
Curious what your core values are? From this Nena & Co. Values list (that you can save and keep), choose the 20 values that speak to you. Once you have your top 20, narrow it down to 10, then to seven, then to five, and then to three. The remaining three are the most important values in your life! Remember them as you make decisions to live a more authentic life. Over time, these values may change depending on the stage of life you’re in. Keep this list of core values and check in during different stages of your life.
2. Forgive Yourself
Feelings of frustration and anger can show up when you realize you’ve strayed from who you are. It’s okay to feel these emotions because “feeling” can spark change. After you've felt all your emotions, it’s time to show yourself forgiveness. Life is about learning and growing. Whatever you consider a step backward or step forward is really just a combination of your life experiences. Life experiences are meant to be learned from. Forgiving yourself is a beautiful step to becoming a more authentic person.
3. Give Up The Act
Do you ever find yourself trying to perfect your Instagram, career, and appearance? Putting up a facade and not being true to yourself can be unfulfilling and exhausting. It drains you of your energy and leaves you feeling like no one truly understands who you are. Now that you know what’s most important to you with your core values, it’s time to surrender the act. Let go of hiding your true self from the world and being someone you’re not. Instead, make a conscious effort to reallocate that energy to show up as your true self.
4. Cultivate Self-Awareness
Once you make a conscious effort to let go and show up as your true self, it’s time to reflect on your actions. Self-awareness is the conscious effort to know your character, feelings, motives, and desires. It’s a way for you to see yourself more clearly and objectively to understand how you relate to others in the world. It’s almost like a self-evaluation attribute where you can better understand who you are, how you behave, and how different situations impact you.
The reality is, no one is perfect and everyone is lacking in some areas. Self-awareness can show you your strengths and also open your eyes to see what or where you might be lacking. Don’t be afraid to call yourself out. Once you recognize your flaws and shortcomings, you can change them. Only then can you grow into the person you want to become.
5. Strive To Improve Yourself
Progression is only achievable with a growth mindset. After you develop more self-awareness, you can better see how you want to grow moving forward. Like One of a Kind huipiles, we all have imperfections. No one is perfect but what can set you apart is what you do with them. Embrace the flaws you can’t change or control and learn to love yourself with them. After all, imperfections are a part of your unique story and what makes you, you! The imperfections you can change, make an effort to grow and be better each day.
Journaling your progress is a great way to hold yourself accountable. Get a notebook or journal and write down your core values, your strengths, and what you would like to work on. Make smaller goals that can help you achieve your bigger goals and then check in often to see your progress.
6. Let Go
Once you understand who you want to be, it's easier to pinpoint what’s limiting you. A popular saying in Spanish sums this up. It says, “Dime con quién andas y te diré quien eres.” When translated to English it means, “Tell me who you hang around with and I’ll tell you who you are.” The people you surround yourself with daily have a huge impact on who you are as a person. Make sure your people lift you and encourage you to be your authentic self.
It's okay to evaluate the people in your life. Take note of the people, activities, or situations that make you feel most alive. You may need to let some people go from your life or simply minimize your time with them, and that’s okay! This can give you the room to attract those who have the same core values as you. Then, better conversations and activities that bring you more love, joy, and fulfillment will follow.
7. Think Positive
Your journey to living a more authentic life is not a one-time goal but a life-long process. You will have ebbs and flows of successes and setbacks. You might even take a few steps backward. When setbacks happen, it can be easy to let negative thoughts creep in. These negative thoughts can stunt your growth and damage your mental, emotional, and physical health when they go unchecked. Recognize your negative thoughts and feel them all the way, but try not to dwell on them too long.
Your thoughts are powerful in affecting what happens in your life. What we focus on tends to become a reality, so strive to manifest positive vibes into the universe. This doesn't mean that negative things won't happen, because they will. It means that you can get over the hurdles easier.
Having a positive mindset is the conscious decision to focus on the good in life and expect results that'll benefit you. There are several reasons why positive thinking is beneficial:
- Attracts and manifests good vibes.
- Helps you cope easier with life's challenges.
- Brings optimism into your life.
8. Live Courageously
What would you do if fear wasn’t an option? Would you start that business, switch jobs, or tell people how you really feel? Fear is a powerful emotion that can limit you on your journey to living an authentic life. Replace that fear with courage! Courage to know that taking chances, being true to you, and going after your dreams is better than living stagnant and unhappy. The courage to overpower the negative what-ifs and overthinking patterns. Take the time to slow down and make sure each decision supports your authentic self.
Fear can also manifest in your life when you’re scared to show who you really are in certain situations. This could be from a fear of rejection or a fear of not fitting in. Like huipiles are woven thread by thread into a one of a kind masterpiece, your life is one of a kind. You are one of a kind! Being authentic will attract the right people for you. Be courageous, be honest, and go after the life you want to create. Only then will the right people and your dream life find you.
9. Get Comfortable Being Vulnerable
An important element of being courageous is being vulnerable. It’s the choice you make to show your true self, despite facing fear and uncertainty that what you say, do, or feel will be judged or rejected. Vulnerability can be uncomfortable and a little scary. However, it can also help you feel alive while setting a precedent for others to follow.
It’s also important to remember that showing your vulnerability shouldn’t be for everyone in your life. Choose those who you trust and value to be vulnerable with. Keeping your vulnerability for those people can increase your happiness, improve your self-acceptance, and create stronger relationships. The more you let people in to have the opportunity to accept your vulnerability, the closer you will get to becoming your true authentic self.
10. Be True To You
One of the best ways to know you’re being authentic is to listen to your intuition. The world is full of outside voices trying to influence thoughts, beliefs, and actions. While it’s okay to listen to other’s opinions, the key is to figure out what they mean to you. Then you can make conscious decisions that align with your true self.
Be One Of A Kind
Your uniqueness and individuality is something to be proud of! In a world where everyone is trying to be the same, dare to be authentic. As each huipil that's upcycled into a bag has a unique story before and after it leaves Nena & Co. HQ, we hope that with these 10 tips you can authentically create your own one of a kind story.
We love and appreciate each person who carries our bags and hope that it serves as a reminder of just how one of a kind you truly are. Are you new to Nena and interested in finding your own One of a Kind bag?