Do you have a desire for authenticity? How do you live with true authenticity and does it have anything to do with emotional authenticity? Well, it’s pretty simple really; just be yourself. The world needs not only like-minded people, but it also needs, from time-to-time, people who are different from one another. We all have our own unique talents, gifts and passions that make us special. When we express these things authentically, we become a source of inspiration for others.
Make sure you aim to live your life with integrity. Make decisions based on what’s right rather than what’s popular or easy. Live every day as if it was your last, because one day it will be.
Just Be Yourself in Any Situation
Authenticity is something we’ve been taught since childhood. We’re told it’s important to be honest and open about ourselves. But what does authenticity really mean? Is it simply being truthful and real? Or are there deeper layers to our authentic selves?
In her book “The Art Of Being True,” author and spiritual teacher Sarah Jeanne Browne explores this question through stories of people she met while traveling around the world. She shares how each person became more authentic, even though some had experienced great tragedy or loss.
Browne explains that authentic people don’t just tell the truth; they live by their values regardless of the situation. This can also help to improve your mental health and well-being and your ability to achieve personal goals. Think about who you know that lives with authenticity and how they form meaningful relationships. If living by your instinctive desire to be authentic doesn’t come naturally, then try to incorporate it into your daily practice. Try to integrate authenticity with enthusiasm into your daily life.
Why? Because when we are authentic, it feels good and that feeling sticks with us. When we’re fake it may make you feel better, but only for the moment. We know that there are times when authenticity is hard to come by. We might feel like we don’t know what to say or do. Or maybe we’re afraid someone won’t like us. Maybe our friends aren’t really into us anymore. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to hide behind a mask. But when we do, we miss out on opportunities to connect authentically with others and make strong relationships that are good for our soul.
Authenticity isn’t about perfection. You don’t need to be perfect to be genuine. Being authentic doesn’t mean you’ll always make the best choice or say the smartest thing. And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to put up a front. However, it does mean that you show up fully and without pretense. So whether you’re trying to find love, build relationships, grow your career, or simply enjoy life, here are some tips that can help you stay authentic:
1. Be yourself
You already know this one. But sometimes it helps to remind ourselves of it. If you’ve been hiding behind masks for too long, it might take practice to remember that you are unique and special. Even if you’re shy or awkward, you still deserve to live a full life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
2. Say what you mean
If you want people to think well of you, speak honestly. People appreciate honesty because it makes them feel safe. They trust you because they know you care about them enough to be honest.
3. Show your heart
We can often get caught up in thinking about what other people will think of us. But showing our hearts means letting go of worrying about what others think. Instead, focus on connecting with others on their level. Let them see your heart.
4. Speak from your soul
Your soul is your truest self. It’s where you feel most connected to God, Source and the universe. It’s also where you feel free and happy. When you’re speaking from your soul, you’re not worried about what others think. You’re expressing your truth.
5. Listen to your body
Your body knows what you need before you do. It tells you when you’re tired, hungry or stressed. Pay attention to its signals so you can take care of yourself.
6. Live in the moment
It’s easy to worry about tomorrow. But today is all we have. Focus on living in the moment instead of planning for the future. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy every day as it comes.
8. Surround yourself with positive people
Positive people lift us up. They inspire us to be better. They encourage us to keep going. They give us hope.
9. Take care of yourself
Take time to relax, exercise, eat right, sleep well, laugh, play and breathe deeply. These things nourish your spirit.
Identifying the Inner Critic
The inner critic is often referred to as the inner judge. This person judges us based on our appearance, actions and speech. They tell us we aren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, rich enough, etc. We internalize this judgment and start believing it ourselves.
To identify the inner judge, ask yourself: Who am I listening to? If you’re judging yourself unfairly, then you’re probably listening to the inner judge. You might hear something like: “I’m fat,” “I don’t look good today,” or “She doesn’t know how to act.”
Once you’ve identified the inner critic, try replacing his/her words with positive affirmations. For example, “My body is perfect just the way it is” or “I look great right now” or “She always acts nicely.”
The inner critic is actually a part of ourselves that exists within each person. This voice helps us navigate life’s challenges and obstacles. However, sometimes this voice becomes distorted and begins to criticize us without reason. When this happens, we become critical of ourselves.
The inner critic is like a bully that runs around saying negative things about us. We hear our inner critic say things like: “This isn’t my style; I’m not creative.” Whatever it might be, we often believe what the inner critic tells us. This is why we feel guilty about doing things that make us happy. Because deep down inside we know that we shouldn’t do those things. If we did, then we would let ourselves down. But we still do them anyway. Why? Because we want to please others. And we think that if we do something different, people won’t like us anymore. So we keep trying to change who we are. Until one day we realize that we’ve been chasing after happiness outside ourselves. We haven’t found true happiness within ourselves. Then we finally let go of the guilt and start living life the way we really want to live it.
Discovering Your Defenses
We often think we have to protect our hearts and minds. We don’t want people to see us as weak, vulnerable or imperfect. But what happens when we try to hide our vulnerabilities? Do we end up hiding parts of ourselves? And does it really matter how we show up in front of others? What matters most is how we show up for ourselves.
When we try to hide from others, we can end up feeling ashamed of who we truly are. We may even begin to doubt ourselves. In fact, some people develop eating disorders because they feel so bad about themselves. Others turn to drugs or alcohol to numb out. Still other people get depressed and isolate themselves.
If we allow ourselves to be seen by others, we’ll find that we’re able to share our authentic selves with others. We’ll also discover that we’re able to connect better with others. The truth is, we all need connection. We all need acceptance. We all need to feel loved.
If you’re having trouble accepting yourself, here are some more tips to help you be more accepting of yourself:
1. Accept your flaws
Everyone has flaws. Even if you’re perfect on the outside, there will always be something wrong with you on the inside. That’s okay. Just acknowledge these flaws.
2. Accept your strengths
There are many things about you that you’re proud of. These include your talents, skills, abilities and personality traits. Don’t deny these qualities. Instead, embrace them.
3. Accept your emotions
Emotions come and go. They’re natural responses to life experiences. Feelings such as anger, sadness, joy, love, fear and excitement are all normal. Feel each emotion and then let it go. No one emotion will last forever. The important thing to do is to feel the emotion, accept it and to not hold onto it for too long and move on. This way you keep moving forward and don’t get stuck in one place.
4. Accept your body
Your body is unique. No two bodies are alike. Some people have big bellies, while others have skinny legs. Some people have long arms, while others have short ones. Each person’s body is perfectly designed for his or her own needs.
5. Accept your mind
Our thoughts affect our feelings. When we think negatively, we tend to become sadder. When we think positively, we tend to become happier.
6. Accept your past
Sometimes we have difficult memories from our childhoods. We may remember times when we felt hurt, rejected or unloved. However, we must learn to forgive ourselves for these events. Forgiving ourselves means forgiving ourselves for any mistakes we made at the time.
7. Accept your future
We can’t control everything that happens to us. But we can choose how we respond to each event. We can decide whether we’ll react with fear, anxiety, worry, depression or optimism.
8. Accept your present moment
Right now, this very second, you’re alive. You’re breathing. You’re thinking. You’re experiencing life. You’re connected to everyone else. You’re part of the universe. You’re a miracle.
9. Accept yourself
You’re beautiful. You’re wonderful. You’re worthy. You’re lovable. You’re important. You’re special. You’re unique. You’re perfect. You’re enough.
10. Remember that you’re not alone
If you’re struggling with self-acceptance, reach out to someone close to you. Ask for help from someone who knows you well, such as a trusted family member, friend or counselor.
11. Know that you’re never too old to change
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. But it does happen. And it’s worth the effort. You’re never too old to make a change. As long as you have air in your lungs, can think for yourself and move freely, you can make a change.
12. Remember that you don’t have to live in shame
You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You don’t have be afraid to express your real feelings. You don’t have do anything you don’t want to do.
13. Realize that you’re not defined by what happened to you in the past
You’re not defined by who you were before you became a parent. You’re not defined because you had a bad relationship. You’re not defined simply because you’ve experienced failure. You’re not defined just because you’ve been abused. You’re not defined solely because you’ve suffered loss. Remember, it’s often the hardships that propel us forward if we can identify areas for improvement and learn from past mistakes.
14. Learn to let go of guilt
Guilt is a useless emotion. Guilt only makes you feel worse, especially if considerable time has passed. If you did something wrong, then you need to apologize. But if you didn’t do anything wrong, then there’s nothing to feel guilty about.
15. Let go of resentment
Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. Resenting another person keeps you in a negative cycle and stuck in pain. Instead of resenting, try to understand why the other person behaved the way he or she did. Forgive them and understand they were probably in pain too. Free yourself from the toxic grip of resentment.
In the book “The Power of Authenticity,” author Brené Brown says that authenticity is at its core about telling the truth, and she explains why. She writes: “Being authentic requires courage because honesty is often uncomfortable.”
Brown says that we’ve been trained from childhood to be people pleasers, and that we’re told that telling white lies is okay. However, she says that “pretending — even if it’s pretty meaningless, even if it means protecting someone else — is a form of lie”.
And that’s where things start getting complicated. Because while we might think that lying is wrong, it turns out that sometimes we don’t feel much guilt when we lie. In fact, we tend to rationalize lying quite easily.
We justify it by saying that we didn’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. Or that we didn’t know better. Or that we weren’t trying to deceive anyone.
But, according to Brown, none of those reasons matter. If you’re doing something that makes you feel guilty, then that’s enough reason to stop.
Listen to Your Body
Author and speaker Brene’ Brown has spent years studying human connection. Her research shows that vulnerability is key to connecting authentically.
She says that when we’re vulnerable, we open ourselves up to others. And that means letting our bodies show us what’s true for us.
When we’re honest with ourselves, we become less defensive. And we’re able to connect with others without feeling like we need to hide parts of ourselves.
So, next time you find yourself thinking about whether or not you should tell a lie, ask yourself this question: Is my body pointing me towards the truth?
If so, then go ahead and speak from your heart.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Fear can paralyze you. But it doesn’t have to. Instead, use it as motivation to get moving.
It’s okay to make mistakes. We all do. So, instead of beating yourself up over them, learn from them.
Remember that every day brings new opportunities to grow. Take advantage of them.
Don’t try to control everything. Let go of the idea that you have to control everything.
And learn to let go of any guilt you may feel for not achieving your goals.
Remember that you’re never going to be perfect. No-one is. But you can always strive to live authentically. To be real. To be true to yourself. To be brave.
Because there will always be times when you’ll want to pretend. When you’ll want to put on a mask. But if you want to truly connect with others, you must first connect with yourself.