Authenticity is not something we have to long for, or hope comes our way. It’s our essence. It’s always there within us. The work is about reconnecting with it. Re-discovering who we are and finding the parts we’ve forgotten or left behind.
So, how do you do this?
First, you need to know what matters most to you. Then, you need the courage to live that truth out in the world.
Try to think of authenticity in 3 ways:
1. Alignment – authenticity is living in alignment with your deepest nature.
You are accepted, known, and loved based on who you really are when you live authentically.
Isn’t that one of the hopes we all want? To belong and be in relationship with people who won’t abandon us when they see us, flaws and all?
When you are genuine, relationships are allowed to deepen and grow honestly.
Who you are to others is not changeable or misleading, or wrapped up in self-defeating attempts to please. You are no longer caught up in the rat race, competing with the Joneses, or moving up ladders you don’t really want to climb!
An authentic life requires alignment with your deepest self, your values, and the life you are living. No more minimizing or dismissing what matters most to you, for the sake of someone else’s opinions or desires.
Your feelings, wants, and needs matter. You can trust them to guide and sustain you.
2. Awareness – the desire to be authentic requires you to know yourself.
Pursuit of authenticity ask you to be clear on your values, what matters most to you.
To be true to who you are, you’ll need to ask yourself tough questions, and look at how and why you make life choices.
- What am I trying to avoid?
- How often do I hold back or refrain from honest expression?
- Where in my life am I living up to other people’s ideals or expectations?
- How much time do I spend regretting my decision not to speak up or choose differently?
- Why do I always feel “stuck”?
As you consider the answers to those questions, you’ll begin to get a picture of how limiting inauthenticity is.
Inauthenticity limits you and keeps you in situations you’d rather release. Constantly editing, and suppressing how you respond, chips away at your self-worth and blocks your ability to ask for what you really want.
3. Action – to become more authentic, you must take the risk to live out who you are in the world.
When your life is dominated by inauthentic thoughts and actions, it’s really hard to relate deeply to yourself and others. Your guard is up. You’re worried about making others happy, being rejected, getting hurt, feeling like you’re not good enough.
Authenticity is courageous because it risks all those scary possibilities to be vulnerable. It frees you to make changes and move through the world according to your deepest nature.
Save yourself from shortchanging yourself… and shortchanging the people who would love to know the real you.
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