Mark Matousek is all about transforming your life by telling the truth. When he was younger, he left a life that everyone would love to have for one that he knew he needed to have. Now, he’s helping other people discover their truths. When it comes to the story you tell yourself, he can help you understand the truth about yourself and discover your authentic self in the process. If you feel like you’re not being authentic, or if you feel like something is always off about your life, then following are 9 quotes from Mark Matousek – taken from a course he did on Mindvalley – that might inspire you to start seeking the truth about yourself.
1. What You Were Taught You ‘Need To Be’ Influences Your Story
If you are taught that you need to be a doctor or a lawyer or a housewife… you end up aspiring to that story. That story is leading you as opposed to asking who am I, what is it that I want, what’s true for me, and where am I being guided in my life.
My parents never told me I needed to be a doctor or a lawyer or a housewife, but growing up, I was taught that I needed to get a college or university education and a career that would last me throughout my life. My parents both were educated and had life-long careers, and the value they placed on this process was high.
That led me to go to college 4 times! I felt like I needed to get a college education, graduate, and get that career, but I wasn’t passionate about any of the subjects I took.
Eventually I figured out that writing was my passion, and once I broke the story of needing to go to college to get my career, I was able to pursue a business that did (and still does) very well for me.
Mark Matousek’s point is that you are told how you should be instead of asking yourself what your soul needs. You spend your life trying to please the people around you, thinking it’s how you are supposed to act, and that keeps you from living your authentic life.
He mentions that so many people try to do everything to please their parents and then when their parents die they are left with a life they don’t enjoy. There is no one left to say ‘This is how you should be,’ so the feelings of uneasiness and falseness start to take over, and that’s when most people make some big life changes.
2. Discovering Your Truth Is An Ongoing Journey
As a memoir writer I’ve spent the last 30 years trying to figure out who am I and what is true for me. But, what I’ve discovered is that it’s an ongoing journey. It’s a journey of two steps back, one step forward.
So, it’s not going to happen overnight. Mark Matousek says that you need to have patience with the organic quality of getting to know yourself. It’s a gradual process. In fact, it’s a life-long process.
Moreover, what is true about yourself today may not be true about yourself tomorrow. Things change all the time as we develop new beliefs from new experiences.
If that sounds exhausting, know this: you can spend your life living a lie or consistently spend your life acknowledging your truth and living according to it. That’s much more rewarding that living a lie, and it is beyond worth the effort of discovering your authentic self.
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3. You MUST Experience Failures And Wrong Roads
We have to take roads that are not best suited for us to find the road that works.
What I got from this was to stop complaining about all those wrong roads that I took.
When you get a certain age or reach a certain mindset, regret sets in. You think about all the wrong roads you took and equate it to wasted time. But, as Mark says, the wrong roads help us find the road that works, and that’s a thought to hang onto when regret starts to set in.
You couldn’t be where you are without knowing where you don’t want to go.
4. Sometimes It Takes A While To Figure It All Out
Folks often get into middle age not understanding… why don’t I feel passion in my life? Why do I feel so disconnected from my source? Why don’t I even know what I want?
Most of us have spent our whole lives trying to please other people. We’ve tried to conform to what other people want.
We lied to ourselves and told the truth other people wanted to hear.
And, then, we spend all our time wondering why we don’t feel passion or connection, or have a clear direction in our lives.
When I was young, I didn’t understand the saying, ‘Youth is wasted on the young’. I do now. I’m sure most people with 20-50 years of the wrong roads behind them would like to go back and do it again.
But we can’t.
So we need to accept that sometimes it just takes a long time to figure it all out. And, I think that as long as you start discovering your truth and stop living in the lie, it’s never too late. Some people never attempt to discover who they truly are, and that’s the real shame.
5. Your True Story Doesn’t Unfold Overnight
To know your true nature – to have a sense of who you actually are – takes work. It takes practice. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Mark Matousek says it takes a lot of self-inquiry to start to know your true nature. This is why he’s created books like Writing to Awake: A Journey of Truth, Transformation, and Self-Discovery. He knows that when you start to ask the right questions, you can progress in ways that you didn’t even know you needed to progress.
6. How To Start Speaking from A Place Of Authenticity
As an adult, if we are coming from a firm base of compassion, clarity, and mindfulness, we are aware of what needs to be said and how to communicate it.
If there are three areas to work on for authenticity, compassion, clarity, and mindfulness, would be them. They help you see things clearer and have a better conversation with yourself and with other people.
7. How Can You Tell Whether You Are Being Authentic Or Not?
The body doesn’t lie. You can feel when you are deceiving somebody. It feels like being separate in some way from oneself.
Have you experienced this? I have.
I’ve experienced it on many different levels. Sometimes it was just a twinge in my stomach or tightness in my throat. But other times it was a complete disconnection from myself, where I didn’t even feel like I was in my body. I felt fake.
After I started admitting some truths to myself and discovering some lies, I start to become more aware of when I wasn’t being authentic to myself and around other people.
Mark Matousek says that it’s much easier to feel your body when you are coming from a place of emotional well-being. This may explain why in my twenties – full of struggle, tears, and upset – I could not pay attention to my body. I was too busy focusing on external issues to listen to my inner self.
I also found that after taking courses that forced me to pay attention to myself, like Energy Medicine by Donna Eden, I was more in tune with my body and what it was telling me.
8. Some People Don’t Want To Tell The Truth And Be Authentic
If I tell the truth, I’m going to have to make different kinds of choices. I’m going to have to take responsibility for what I want. It’s a lot easier for some people to hang out in a half-truth place.
Living a lie sucks, but it can be easier than having to change. If you start to tell the truth, then you know that changes will need to be made, and many people will stick with the lie to avoid those changes, even if it makes them unhappy.
It’s interesting to note that Mark Matousek thinks people who are aware they are lying to themselves are happier than people who don’t know they are lying to themselves. He says that people who don’t know they are lying have a feeling of disconnect and sadness, but people who know they are lying to themselves understand that they are choosing to stay in situations that make them unhappy, which hurts a lot less than not knowing why they are so miserable.
But, in the end, being truly happy and fulfilled means telling the truth, making the changes, and being authentic.
9. When Will You Want To Start Being More Authentic?
For me, it was the good fortune of a lot of bad things happening that gave me my life.
Mark Matousek says he wouldn’t have thought as deeply as he did – and made a positive transition towards growth and authenticity – if a lot of bad things hadn’t happened to him. It was those bad things that made him take a look at his life and what he was doing with it. It was either that or go down a rabbit hole of misery that he might not have come back up from.
He says that you need to remain open in the moments of loss for what has yet to be revealed.
So, if you are going through a negative time in life, it may be your time to shift your focus, stop living a lie, and start discovering the truth about yourself.