In some form, in varying degrees, many people struggle with being authentic.
This all happens for good reason.
Maybe there’s a fear of how others will react: their disappointment or anger.
Being rejected, or losing the approval or love of others are also powerful motivators for hiding the parts of ourselves that we think are upsetting to others. In the context of a person’s life, this makes sense.
Whether you were raised in an environment with roles and expectations, or if you were just trying to survive, then you learned to be what others wanted in order to be safe, accepted, and loved.
Here are 3 questions from James Hollis, Jungian analyst, that help reveal where you are not being authentic.
Where in your life:
- are you not saying how you really feel or expressing what you think?
- are you going along with things you don’t really want to do? Or don’t necessarily believe in?
- are you stuck in unhealthy relationships or situations?
As you can probably tell from your responses to these questions, creating an authentic life has it challenges.
You may have to deal with the anger and disapproval of others.
You may have to make difficult changes.
You may have to work through your fear of change and the unknown.
But there are definite benefits. When you are living authentically:
- symptoms like depression and anxiety begin to lessen and even disappear.
- you can release behaviors and beliefs that do not sustain or nurture you.
- you have the freedom to make choices aligned with who you really are
- you are better able to cope with difficult situations.
Creating an authentic life means you are becoming who you were meant to be. This is a process and it will not happen overnight, but you can start now with baby steps.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Begin to express your true thoughts and feelings.
- Agree to things you really want to do and believe in.
- Begin to untangle yourself from unhealthy relationships and situations.
- Find out what matters most to you and begin to align your life according to who you really are.