Cops. Judges. Parents. Teachers. Clergy. Chiefs. Experts. Administrators. Gurus. Leaders. Presidents. Politicians. Soldiers. Scientists. Robert DeNiro.
These are the authority figures we’ve been taught to show respect TO and take advice FROM.
Now, for the most part, I don’t disagree.
The only stipulation I’d suggest is that you add one more person to your list of authority figures:
HERE’S WHY: The word authority derives from the Latin word auctoritas, which means, “Advice, opinion, influence or commands from a master, leader or author.”
What’s more, an authority figure is defined as, “a person whose real or apparent authority inspires or demands obedience and emulation.”
What if you did that for yourself? What if the advice and opinions and inspiration you acted upon … came from within?
Let’s look at a collection of practices for becoming your OWN authority figure:
1. Believe in the availability of your own answers. Expectation determines outcome. So, expect your intuition to be there for you. I learned this a few years ago when I started reciting the following incantation several times daily, “I am richly supported. I trust my resources.”
Since I started meditating on that, my ability to become my own authority figure has skyrocketed. I wonder what would happen if you regularly reminded yourself that every answer you needed lay within. What do you say when you talk to yourself?
2. Unintimidate yourself. When you see a cop car in your rearview mirror, you tense up. Or slow down. Or hide your drugs. The point is: Authority figures are intimidating. And if you plan to become your own authority figure, you can’t be. I read an excellent article from Students Helping Students on this very topic:
“Don’t intimidate yourself, however intimidating the situation might be. You didn’t get there by luck – but because you’re smart and good enough to be there. Feeling intimidated often translates into acting intimidated, and acting intimidated is not what you want to do. Believe in yourself. Understand your strengths. Focus on them. And learn to talk about them well. This won’t always lead to success, but you’ll be maximizing your chances rather than sabotaging them.”
Remember: If you intimidate yourself, you can’t put your best face on and won’t show up strongly. Are you beating yourself with your own inner billy club?
3. Try some vitamin Z. In Eric Maisel’s book, Sleep Thinking, he walks you through a system for uncovering answers while you sleep. One of the techniques I use regularly goes like this: Get into bed. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Then, repeat the following mantra silently until you fall asleep: “I wonder what I don’t want to know about myself.”
When you wake up, write down your thoughts immediately. You’ll be amazed – and potentially terrified – at what you learn about yourself. Remember: When you let your heart ask the questions, your life will provide the answers. How are you using sleep as your problem solver?
4. Formulate and memorialize your own decision-making system. If you truly want to convey a thorough understanding of yourself, if you honesty desire to create a good working model of your own identity, and if you sincerely want to maintain consistency and alignment of your actions, you need to consider how you decide.
A life-changing exercise to do is to create a governing document for your daily decision-making. I just stumbled upon this process about six months ago myself. And I assure you it’s one of – if not thee – most powerful exercises I’ve ever executed for creating becoming my own authority figure.
Remember: The only thing in this world you have ANY control over … is your choice. Map out how and why you make those choices. Doesn’t it make sense to start asking yourself, “W.W.I.D?” or “What would I do?”
5. Establish a daily internal dialogue with yourself. Ideally, by writing Morning Pages, the trademark technique of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. It’s simple: You sit down, first thing in the morning, and just PUKE. For three pages. No edits. No deleting. No thinking. Just writing.
I promise if you try this for a month, the following things will happen: You’ll develop honesty in your relationship with your words on the page, which will fuel you with the courage to stand up for yourself in the world. You’ll create mini gripe sessions where you work out your grudges. You’ll feel a greater sense of stability and intimacy with your own opinions.
What’s more, you’ll learn how to take accurate stock of your life, examine all aspects of your experiences and gain newfound inner strength and agility. You’ll learn to approach your challenges from an emotionally neutral or positive stance. You’ll teach yourself what you like and don’t like and move your closer to your authentic selves. You’ll get current, catch up on yourself and pinpoint precisely what you are feeling and thinking.
And finally, you’ll miniaturize irrational worries and underscore legitimate concerns in a sorting process. That sounds like someone who acts as her own authority figure to me. What did you write today?
6. Be open to ideas from everyone, but deliver the ultimate verdict yourself. You have to, as my friend Chrissy Scivicque says, “Eschew the judgments of others and do what makes YOU happy.” My suggestion is to fully become your own partner. To employ only the approval of your heart. To learn to rely on your own counsel and to take resourceful refuge in your inner teacher.
And, to muster the courage to abandon external instructors and find out things for yourself. Do you have the courage to follow your inner guide even if you look like an idiot and risk alienating those who don’t understand?
7. Get out of your head and into your heart. First, identify the angry voice of your ego that is making it difficult to hear the subtle voice intuition. Second, dive down inward, lower the veil and await the truth. Third, listen up. Consider yourself data. See, it’s not that your intuition doesn’t exist – it’s that you’re not listening to what it’s whispering you. Finally, decide in the solitude of your own consciousness. Whose opinion are you bowing to?
In conclusion, I’m reminded of the wise words of the great philosopher, Eric Cartman, who often remarked, “Respect my authoritah!”
I challenge you to modify that to, “Respect YOUR authoritah!”
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you your own authority figure?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “26 Ways to OUT Brand the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!
* * * *
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
Watch video lessons on spreading the word!