What does it mean to be your authentic self? A lot of times authenticity is confused with perfection and those are two very different things.
Being authentic is not who you are, it’s what you do.
We can be authentic by practicing it everyday–it’s a choice we make of whether or not we are going to let ourselves be seen. It’s also a practice in letting go of what others think of us (I know that can be hard to do.)
And it’s not about being perfect: Perfectionism is just a cover for fear. Authenticity is letting go of that fear and letting people see who you really are, warts and all.
I used to give talks on changing eating habits and how to incorporate a healthier lifestyle into everyday living. And as I would talk about superfoods and how the rainbow of fruits and vegetables can heal the body, I could feel the skepticism and doubt creep in to the room. Everyone resists change and who wants to hear about how vegetables can alter your life, anyway?!
So in an attempt to be authentic with my audience, I would then confess my love for doritoes and cherry coke. The horror! We all have our guilty pleasures. By telling them about my favorite snacks, I gained their trust because I became more real.
Being authentic draws people in and creates a connection.
How do you know when you’re being authentic? It feels good. It’s hard to put yourself out there at times (we’re all shy to an extent), but ultimately when you let yourself be seen + heard for you who are, it creates ease in your life and you can feel that deep in the pit of your belly or the flutter of your heart. Others will respond to that.
Self-expression is vital to our well-being! Through this, we build awareness and are able to dig in deeper to who we really are. And as a result, showing up more sincerely in life becomes easier.
Allowing yourself to truly be seen? That’s authenticity.
Here are some questions to think about to help you dig in to the parts of your life that will bring out your authenticity:
- What do you love doing when you have some time to procrastinate?
- Fill in the blank: If I knew I could do anything and not fail, I would _________________.
- What do you spend your daydream time thinking about?
- What is something people compliment you about?
- How do you dream spending your retirement years?
Pay attention to those answers that gave you a light and happy feeling. You can tell you’re heading in the right direction when you feel a sense of ease and excitement.
The answers to these questions are a great peek into some of the things that inspire your authenticity; maybe it’s time to dive in and see where they lead you.
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