When I was growing up, I was the child who was considered rude, cheeky and outspoken. This label stuck with me throughout my life, making me feel different, but never less than anyone else. I was lucky and the reason for this was my amazing dad who nurtured my self- esteem with his love and parenting and gave me the armour to withstand criticism. Now in my 40’s, I have the insight and wisdom to understand that I was always Authentic, which is why I never fit in and was out of sync with the world. Speaking my mind, being true to myself, having principles and standing up for myself was who I was.
When I read Brene Brown’s book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection,’ I realised that my Authentic self was compromised by my Perfectionist self and in order to completely embrace my authenticity, I had to confront the aspects of myself that I didn’t like but needed to accept. The challenge was to figure out if society is still dictating to me, or to trust and follow my inner compass.
In Carley Hauk’s article, 4 Questions to Foster Your Authentic Self, she explains it as follows :
“Did you know that authenticity is inextricably linked to happiness? To be authentic is to feel at home in your body, accepted into a particular group, and to feel true to our sense of values. It is a kind of confidence that doesn’t come from attaining something outside of ourselves, but knowing deeply we are enough whatever our particular feelings, needs, or skills are and that we add to the greater whole of life and matter. We can be true to our own personality, spirit, or character despite external pressures.”
There is a deep sense of peace and fulfillment that comes from embracing your authenticity. However, it does come at a price! You may lose friends, even family ties when you live your life wholeheartedly, because they become afraid your soul searching mayexpost their fake facades. Hence, you are at ease with asserting yourself and not fearing rejection. Make no mistake, being authentic is difficult and like a new muscle must be trained, practiced daily to strengthen it.
I guess you wondering how do I become Authentic? Or why bother, it sounds like new age nonsense! Many of my clients are lost, disconnected from their true selves or in limbo because they were told as children, teenagers and young adults that who they are is not good enough. Finding your authenticity takes you back to your true self, if you have the courage to begin this journey.
1. What am I afraid would happen if I shared my experience right now with this person?
2. How will feel if I don’t share what I’m thinking and feeling?
3. If I weren’t afraid, what would I most want to say to this person right now?
4. How can I share this with even more vulnerability?
She further lists 8 Ways to Be True to Yourself
• Maintain alignment between what you feel and need and what you say and do.
• Make value-based choices while taking into account intuition, research, and the bigger picture.
• Do something each day that reflects your deepest needs, wishes, and values.
• Speak up for yourself and ask for what you want.
• Don’t put up with abuse of any kind.
• Give up designing your behavior by the desire to be liked (be imperfectly perfect and yourself!)
• State and maintain your boundaries, especially about the level of energy you can handle being around or taking in.
• Offer your fear loving-kindness and compassion.
I hope this post highlighted key aspects to being authentic and opened your mind to reconnect with your heart!