How to Be Loyal to Yourself 100% of the Time
Loyalty and Lacking Initiative
When we think about loyalty, we mostly think about how we can be loyal to others. But first, we must be loyal to ourselves. Like the Greek philosopher, Socrates said, "To move the world we must first move ourselves." and to do that we must have initiative. Merriam Webster defines initiative as an introductive step. If you do something on your own initiative, you do it because you choose to, not because someone has told you to do it.
Five Reasons we lack initiative:
- We're in denial about the consequences of not taking initiative and responsibility for ourselves.
- We wait until others motivate us instead of motivating ourselves.
- We are waiting for everything to be perfect before we act.
- We fantasize about tomorrow instead of focusing on today.
- There may be other issues that prevent us from taking action.
The key to being loyal to yourself is to know what makes you happy and to draw these things to yourself.
How We Sabotage Our Own Loyalty
We live from day to day sabotaging our thoughts and actions in such a way that it is impossible to be loyal to ourselves. We spend time with people who pull us in the wrong direction. If the people close to you are dragging you down then it may be time to make some changes.
If your friends are critical and negative this isn't good for you and it may be time to go out and find new friends. Choose your friends wisely because that is the direction you are heading. Seek people that motivate you to be the best version of yourself.
Another way we sabotage our own loyalty is with guilt We begin to feel guilty when we want to say no. We leave our door open ready to give up our time until we are burnt out. The end result is we are dog tired and no good to anyone including ourselves. Still, we feel guilty.
My Dog Jeep Was a Brave Example of Loyalty
I was eight years old living in " The all-American City" of Lynwood, California when my family found a ragged half-starved little dog with big brown eyes. We couldn't resist this little fellow, brought him home and he soon became the center of our family. We named him 'Jeep' though I'm not sure why. Jeep went everywhere with us and loved riding shot gun in the family car.
One beautiful, warm summer day Mama announced that we were going on a road trip to "Holy Jim Canyon." This was a beautiful mountain area we loved to visit and Daddy drove the old car with mama sitting next to him. We three kids were piled in the back seat with Jeep.
The minute we arrived at our destination we all jumped out of the car, along with Jeep, and started up the familiar trail. About halfway through the hike, daddy called out for Jeep but our little dog had disappeared and was nowhere to be found. My little brother, sister and I cried all the way home and so did our parents.
We prayed for our little friend at every meal, bedtime and countless other times. We asked God to keep him safe and thanked Him for watching over Jeep."Please send Jeep home", we cried.
Weeks went by, followed by months and we continued to pray for our little dog. We missed him so much and each day without him was like an eternity.
Then, one afternoon, I heard the voice of my little brother shouting at the top of his lungs, " Jeep! Jeep! Hey everybody Jeep is home!"
We all hovered around our little dog taking turns sharing kisses from him. He had returned and it was indeed a miracle.
This story is an example of courage and loyalty. I will never know or even begin to comprehend what it took for this sweet and determined animal to find his way home.
Do you know how to find your way home even when insurmountable obstacles are before you?
What is the driving force behind living a loyal life and do you consider yourself to be a loyal person? Is it possible to be loyal without first being loyal to ourselves?
Being True to Yourself, the Cornerstone of Your Character
William Shakespeare gave us this great message in his play Hamlet. " This above all: to thine own self-be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
How powerful this message is. You might even say it's the cornerstone of our character. When we fail to be true to ourselves, it always catches up with us. So often we ignore the "voice within." which is accompanied by our 'gut feeling." We usually end up saying "oh, I wish I had listened to my gut feeling."
The path to living in peace and harmony is to give yourself permission to be yourself.
If you use your (own) initiative, you decide for yourself what to do instead of waiting to be told by someone else.
" To thine own self-be true" is to have the courage to be who you truly are. In order to do this, we must know ourselves.
Check List of 20 Character Flaws
Certainly, we are going to get angry but we don't have to blow up and say hurtful things that may damage our relationships.
Your character can protect you as long as you keep it strong. This is a must for being loyal to yourself. Take a look at the following list of flaws and make a note of the ones you need to work on. Remember that by discovering areas in your character that have holes you can patch them up and be who you truly are - a magnificent diamond!
This may hurt a little and we all have different degrees of weaknesses but pull yourself up by your bootstraps and see how you rate.
Identifying Weak/Failing Character Flaws:
- The Green Eyed Monster - jealousy
- Blaming Others
- Lack of Self-Discipline
- Lack of self-control
- Belittle others
- Provoke Others
- Unable to forgive or hold a grudge
if you'll start feeding peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, humility and self-control you will soon see these character traits developing in your life. They will become your habits and they will greatly develop your future.
Which of the following is your best character trait?
You Are Worthy of Self Loyalty
To be 100% worthy, you must believe and know you are worth it. Live each day in such a way that you are being your best self. How much is your self- worth to you? I hope your answer is everything.
Marianne Williamson wrote a wonderful poem, (used in Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech), that begins:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Very few of us fulfill our true potential in all areas of our life. One reason is we lack loyalty to ourselves.
Which Character Trait Needs Improving The Most?
The Size of Your Character
From John C. Maxwell's book, " Talent Is Never Enough," I quote the following:
"Character is the pedestal that determines how much weight a person can sustain. If your character is the size of a toothpick, you can only sustain a postage stamp. If your character is as thick as a column, you can sustain a roof."
Think about this. Meditate and pray about this. Then begin living in such a way that you too can "sustain a roof" because of your character and values.
Loyalty: The Best That Is in You
Don't you just love this phrase, " The best that is in you"? What thoughts come up for you when you hear words like this? Perhaps you "paid it forward" recently or made a decision to be more positive about a tough time you're going through. Maybe you are practicing meditation for the first time or keeping a gratitude journal.
The best that is in you stems from your core values. These are principles that you live by every day. They define what we believe and how we live. These values should be a clear beacon we use each day to guide us. Being loyal to ourselves builds a shelter against a rainy day.
It takes courage to stand for what you believe in. It takes integrity to be trustworthy. It takes character to weather life's storms. At the same time, adversity develops character.
Every time you face adversity and come through it with your core values affirmed and your integrity intact, your character becomes stronger.
Recognize the best that is in you then be that way. Step out of your shadow and begin to shine.
Summing It Up
Learning how to be loyal to yourself 100% of the time is a magnificent journey. Is it an easy one? Absolutely not. Can it be achieved? Well, I think it can if we make it a priority and are willing to work hard. And even if we don't reach the 100% mark - even if we only improve by 10% - what an achievement it will be.
We've talked about the lack of initiative and how the lack of it affects loyalty. We sabotage ourselves from our own loyalty by choosing friends who pull us down. We say 'yes' when we want to say 'no.'
Begin now to live by Shakespeare's words "To thine own self-be true." Your life will change for the better. This is the way to be loyal to yourself. Know that you are worthy of your own loyalty. Work on your weaknesses and glorify your strengths."Sustain a roof" with the size of your character and be the best that is in you.
And for the record, I will have to work harder on all of this than any of you. I lost my beautiful adult son to cancer and I was not with him when he died. I should have been with him. I struggle, even now, with a voice within me that keeps repeating the words, "I'm so sorry."
Resources and Helpful Links
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.— Oscar Wilde
Thank You For Your Time
I hope you've enjoyed this article and have found it to be informative. Please leave your comments below and if you like this I'd really appreciate your sharing this with your friends.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Audrey Hunt