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Who You Are Isn’t What You Do — 3 Ways to Define Your True Self

“Inquiry naturally gives rise to action that is clear, kind and fearless.”
Byron Katie

Who you are isn’t what you do, does not depend on who you’re with, and isn’t judged by the amount of success you achieve or the toys you collect. So if you aren’t any of these things, then who are you, really?

Here are some healthier ways to start defining your true self, so you can get to the business of going for more joy.

Why the Hell did I decide to tackle the “Who are you?” question this morning? Cuz I could have chosen something a little easier, like “The Best Pumpkin Spice Recipes,” or “3 Ways to Make Sex the Best You’ve Ever Had.” (I’ll get working on that last one for you, I promise). For reals; here’s why I want you to think about who you are.

I hired a coach to help me create, develop and deliver my signature talk; my Ted Talk! Yes, that’s exciting and all, but here’s the thing — it’s way harder than you think, especially when you get the homework of looking through the timeline of your entire life to pick out the important moments.

So I’m sifting through this timeline, for like the tenth time since I started the homework, and it dawns on me; I’m trying to define my first twenty to thirty years of life by two things — the boyfriends I’ve had and the achievements I’ve made. Oh my God.

What’s wrong with that, you wonder? What’s wrong with it is I’m none of those things, especially not who I’ve decided to shack up with. Achievements? Just blips of good time management mixed with great self-motivational skills. My amazing achievements don’t make up the authentic, wild, sexy, ambitious, funny, joyful goddess I truly am.

This smacked me in the face this morning as I went on racking my brain to remember the important or exciting moments of my life. I went year by year and what started coming up were names; Ron, Jeff, Mike, David…Fuck. Well, not Ron. He was just my first kiss.

The healing journey I’ve been on, if it’s helped me do anything, has helped me realize I’m so much more than the roles I play here on this earth, or the people I’m with. It’s so much more than who wants or loves me, the things I do or don’t do, or the success or achievement I’ve accomplished. Who I am is a much bigger, very difficult to define, and much more magical, wondrous, miracle than any of these things I do, say or be on this journey.

A couple years ago I sat at a talk by Dr. Wayne Dyer in Washington D.C. We all stared at him, up there in his Hawaiian shirt and Birkenstocks on the stage, telling us who we were. “You are God,” he finally said. And the problem that day was that’s where he ended his speech. He left us with this amazing feeling; the feeling we were co-creators of our lives, a spark of divine creation and magnificence…and then he left us wondering. And for me, later doubting it.

If I was God, in other words, pure, embodied love and joy, then I had work to do. I had some serious self-love, responsibility, and creating to do. If I was a piece of God, then I had to stop doubting and start taking action on that super power. Really? I thought. I don’t know if I want all that, I started to think. Maybe it’s just good enough being a mom, wife and healer, I thought.

I had a lot of thinking, awakening and sorting out to do after that talk. Fast forward to me staring at my computer screen this morning realizing that my old boyfriends don’t make me who I am. That all my past mistakes, failures, trials, traumas and true fuck-ups don’t define me. That I’m so much more powerful, smart, loving, forgiving and joyous than those moments of my past make me feel.

I am love. I am joy. I’m a divine co-creator of my life. I’m positive, on-purpose, grateful and enthusiastic energy. I’m meant to discover this and then do great things with it. Including help you realize you’re all that too. So, here are three ways to start defining your true self, so you can relax and go for more joy:

  1. The way you feel is more important than anything. When you start waking up to who you are there’s a feeling — and it’s big. Begin to tap into the hugeness of this. It will inspire and overwhelm you in a good way every day. Stop doubting that feeling and start knowing you were meant for it. Practice feeling the feeling.
  2. The way you speak matters. When you start waking up to who you are there’s an awareness of the words you speak. Make them kind, loving, supportive, encouraging, complementary and inspiring, as much as possible. When you need to rage, write it out, speak your truth kindly, from a feeling place. Part of the voice we find on our way through healing is the one that discerns what feels good for you and what’s toxic. It’s okay to speak up for what matters to you. Use words that vibe high and lift people up. And that includes how you speak to yourself; especially how you speak to yourself. You’re speaking to God, mind you.
  3. The way you act is everything when it comes to who you are. And this depends on the way you feel — so that’s why number one is number one. The action you take with the feeling you feel will be the magic. When you align your feeling with your purpose and move toward it by taking action, you’re in the zone of who you truly are. Actions that serve, up-lift, inspire, love, spread joy, express gratitude, invite innovation, creation and imagination — those actions are filled with the truth of who you are and who everyone else is.

So to wrap up this little (big) talk about who you are, I’ll leave you with this: who you are is not what you do, who you’re with or what you achieve. Start knowing your worth from a much deeper place than that. And when you feel that huge feeling, somewhere in the center of your chest, about to bust it apart, then you’ll know you’re close. And you’ll know it’s time to take some brave action based on that feeling.

The first step is to start asking questions, like Byron Katie says — Inquiry. Question everything you were taught to believe.

Maybe part two to this will be, The True You in Action; the Real Way You’ll Change the World. But I may have to work on that sex blog first.

If you’re hoping for some more reading recommendations on this topic, a couple books that’ll change your perspective and awareness about your life and purpose are: Loving What Is, by Byron Katie. It’s where the opening quote came from. And check out Awareness; The Perils and Opportunities of Reality, by Anthony De Mello. These books might take two reads, but they’ll blow your mind in a great way if you’re deep on this journey.

Until then, happy hunting. For yourself, that is. I’m here to help as always.

Laura Di Franco, MPT is an intuitive writing strategist, holistic physical therapist, published author, poet and third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, with over two decades of experience in healing. Her programs combine the transformational tools of body awareness and therapeutic writing to help you learn the language of your intuition and gain the clarity you crave for your life and business. Laura’s the unapologetic, enthusiastic sherpa you’ve been looking for! Want a workshop that’ll give you practical powerful tools you can use to heal yourself today? Find them at where you can also grab your free copy of my eBook, 7 Badass Habits for Next Level Living. There’s more free inspiration on my Facebook page HERE.




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Laura Di Franco, MPT

Laura Di Franco, MPT

Your words will change the world when you’re brave enough to share them!

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