Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Are you always true to yourself?  Are you true to yourself even if you may offend other people in your life, or create a “stink?”

Let me tell you another true story.

A few years ago, I was living in Troutdale, Oregon, which is just east of Portland, Oregon, near the Columbia River Gorge.  I was out running one morning during the early wintertime and I stepped on a small rock on the street and rolled my ankle.  I had rolled my ankle many times in the past, but this time was different, I heard the bone snap.

I hobbled home and took a shower and went into the emergency room at a local hospital.  The doctor in the ER looked at my ankle and said he would bet me $100 that my ankle was NOT broken.  I shook his hand and said, “I will take that bet.”  An ER nurse took me in a wheel chair to the x-ray department to get an x-ray of my ankle.

I was taken back to the ER room to wait for the x-ray results.  When the ER doctor came back in, he said, “I guess I was wrong.  You DID break it.”  I already knew that I broke my ankle because I heard the bone break.  The ER doctor never did give me my $100.

I was sent to an orthopedic surgeon who put a cast on my ankle and told me the cast would be on my ankle for a total of four weeks.

Since I am a runner and running is my stress management, there was no way I was going to not do some type of physical exercise for a four week period.  Luckily, there was a health club right next to the building where I worked on downtown Portland.

I tried riding an exercise bicycle but it was very awkward trying to pedal with one leg, so my only option was a rowing machine.   To use the rowing machine, you would sit down on a seat, stretch out your legs in front of you and pull a handle attached to a cable with both hands.  The cable was pulled out from and retracted back with resistance into a rowing component with a screen that allowed a user to compete in a virtual rowing race against a virtual component.

I went to the health club seven days a week for the four weeks my ankle was in the cast to use the rowing machine.  If you have ever broken a bone and experienced having a cast, you will understand that exercising and sweating on a daily basis causes the cloth material inside the cast to develop some very interesting and very potent smells.

At the end of four weeks, I went back to the orthopedic surgeon who sat on a little metal chair with wheels.  He took out a saw to cut off my cast.  Immediately after cutting through the cast and separating it into two pieces a horrible smell, something I have never experienced before, filled the room.  The doctor’s eyes began to water and he quickly propelled himself to the other side of the exam on the little metal chair to get as far away from me as possible.  He said goodbye immediately left the room, coughing and gagging from the smell.  I am not exaggerating.  The smell being generated by my own leg was as horrible a smell I have every experienced.

As I was driving home from the doctor’s office, even though it was the middle of winter, I had to keep all four windows of my car open because the smell coming from my leg was so bad.  In fact, the smell was so bad I had to stop the car on the way home, get out of the car and throw-up since I could not handle the smell of my own leg.

When I got home I immediately took a long shower and scrubbed my leg with soap.  The smell did not change.   When I got out the shower, I rubbed my leg with some lotion and the smell did not change.  I took three more showers that day with the same results.  The strength of the smell did not change.  I tried masking the smell by applying some men’s colon, but the mixture of the original smell with my colon was just as toxic.  It took several more days of at least twice daily showers with continual scrubbing of my leg with soap before that horrible smell finally went away.

I am a runner.  I understood what I needed to do on a daily basis when my ankle was in a cast.  I was true to myself, even though I engaged in actions that created a horrible smell, stunk up the place and offended others.

William Shakespeare, said in the play, Hamlet, in Act I , Scene III,  “to thine own self be true.”  So what do you need to do be true to yourself?

  1. You Have a Clear Understanding of Yourself.  You know and understand what is best for you.  You must trust that personal knowledge, understanding and associated feelings.  You know what you need to stay balanced emotionally, psychologically and physically. You must trust your own intuition.  You trust yourself, even if the people in your life, your family and friends, question your motives or your sanity.
  2. You Take Responsibility for Your Own Feelings.  You do not blame others for what you are feeling.  You never engage in feeling like you are the “victim” of anything.  You are aware of your own emotional triggers and how you respond when you are triggered.  When you take responsibility for your own feelings, scientific researchers have determined that you can overcome negative cognitive biases you may have created for yourself.  A “negative cognitive bias” is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when you are processing and interpreting information about any negative feelings you may have and directly affects the decisions and judgments that you may make based on those negative feelings.
  3. You Take Responsibility For Your Own Actions.  To be yourself, you have to take responsibility for all your actions.  You and you alone are responsible for what you do. Scientific researchers have determined that responsible actions include actions based on at least six essential elements: honesty, compassion, respect, fairness, accountability, and courage. You express yourself through responsible, positive, empowering actions on a daily basis.  You take responsible actions to co-create and live the life you truly desire.

Being true to yourself helps you to create a positive impact in your own life and with other people in your life.

Out There on the Edge of Everything®

Stephen Lesavich, PhD

Copyright © 2020, by Stephen Lesavich, PhD.  All rights reserved.

Certified solution-focused life coach and experienced business coach.

If you would like to receive personal coaching by Dr. Lesavich, please visit his life coaching web-site for additional information.

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