What does Authentic mean to you? The dictionary says authentic is not false or copied; genuine; or real. Are you being genuine and real with others as to who you are? Or are you showing one side that you think everyone wants to see instead of the real you?
The things you do in each given day do not define who you are. They are just hats you wear and roles you take on in your life, such as parent, spouse, employee, and in some cases even friend. We act out what we think others want from us as we wear each hat or do each role in our lives. That does not mean we are being authentic to ourselves.
When we are being authentic to ourselves we tend to be happier, feel more fulfilled, make better decisions, do things on our own terms, do what we love, do what we really want, are truthful to our self and others, increased awareness, have a sense of purpose, satisfied with fulfilling needs, prioritizing how we live our lives and are aligned with our goals and dreams.
There are a few things we do that don’t make us feel or believe we are authentic to ourselves. See if any of these apply to you: Constantly compensate for who you are with apologies, clarifying actions, beat yourself up when you make even the slightest mistake, think about your flaws and them turning to feelings of disgust or anger, cling to people who see the best in you but then you have a tough time believing those positive feelings when they aren’t around, tell yourself that you’re being selfish when you consider meeting your own needs, repeatedly doing self-destructive things or choices that don’t respect or value yourself, don’t consider your needs a priority and always find a reason to talk yourself out of your dreams as if you don’t deserve them.
To be your authentic self you have to take a few steps to first figure out who that person is.
1. What values are important in your life? Choosing what drives you, what you enjoy, what inspires you, and what you would like more of creates a life that is more meaningful and satisfying. Our values also change over time as we become more aware of the things we want and make us happy. Not to mention life experiences that happens throughout our lives.
2. Choose up to 10 words that resonate with you and make you feel good. These should be values that you want to live in your everyday life. Here is a small list of sample values. Pick the ones that speak to you or add those not on it that speak to you and build your value list: accomplishment, authenticity, balance, beauty, boldness, calm, compassion, confidence, contribution, courage, creativity, determination, excellence, freedom, friendship, family, fun, growth, happiness, harmony, health, honesty, independence, integrity, intuition, joy, kindness, learning, listening, love, loyalty, optimism, orderliness, passion, patience, peace, productivity, respect, self-esteem, service, simplicity, strength, thankfulness, tradition, trust, understanding, wisdom.
3. Make a list of 5 to 10 activities you love to do and 5 goals you want to achieve. Examine the work you do and the relationships that you have. Do your values that you have chosen above align with what you want to do? If not then you must make the necessary changes to incorporate them into your life. Just as you have to add values you may also need to delete some that rob you of your time or misdirect you from achieving your goals or dreams, they act more to sabotage you. Knowing the values that cause negative change allows you to alter your life towards the positive ones to make you more your authentic self.
To be authentic you have to recognize that there are things in your life that you cannot change. They are out of your control and no matter how hard you try to keep them in your control it will never happen. The things you can’t change you need to not focus on or spend time dwelling on, as it’s a waste of energy and time. Begin focusing on your strengths and the values most important to you and begin moving out from there.
An authentic person chooses things like wisdom, beliefs, purposeful actions, trust, placing needs before wants, treating others with respect, accepting blame, being realistic, being creative, generous, cooperative and rational. Ask yourself why you can’t be your authentic self around others. Your true friends and family will accept you as you, no matter what they think you should be doing. So be yourself and the true authentic self you were created to be.
Isn’t it time that you were happy with the life you are creating? Be your authentic self and you will have more joy in your life overall. Please share this with others that you think needs help with being their true authentic self. Let me know how you maintain your authentic self in the comments below.
Thank you for reading. Have a blessed week.