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.
Being authentic is a practice everyday–it’s a choice you make of whether or not you are going to let yourself be seen. It’s also a practice in letting go of what others think of you (I know that can be hard to do.)
A simple way of looking at it is this: Perfectionism is just a cover for fear. Authenticity is letting go of that fear and letting people see who you really are.
I have given talks in the past on changing eating habits and how to incorporate a healthier lifestyle into everyday living. As I would talk about superfoods and the rainbow of fruits and vegetables that can heal the body, I could feel the doubt surface from the participants. Everyone resists change and who wants to hear about how vegetables can alter your life, anyway?
I would then proceed to confess my love for doritoes and cherry coke. Yes! The health coach eats junk food. By telling them about my favorite guilty pleasures, I gained their trust because I became relatable.
Being authentic draws people in and creates a connection.
You can tell when you’re being authentic because it feels good. Sometimes you may feel bashful about showing yourself (we’re all shy to an extent), but ultimately when you let yourself be seen and 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.
We are all meant to express ourselves. Through this expression, we build awareness and are able to dig in deeper to our true essence. And as a result of connecting with this true essence and being authentic, showing up more sincerely in life becomes easier.
Seeing others and allowing yourself to 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 do_________________.
- What do you spend your daydream time thinking about?
- What is something people complement you about?
- How do you dream spending your retirement years?
Pay attention to those answers that gave you a light and buoyant 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; Perhaps it’s time to start exploring these avenues.