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How to Be Authentically You

mindset purpose Nov 30, 2018
Woman standing out

I have a question for you. Are you yourself in all situations?

If you’re like most people, you’re 90% yourself when you’re with close friends, 50% yourself with casual acquaintances, and hide from strangers.

Why?

Because being your true self in all settings and situations is scary. It requires vulnerability, transparency, and integrity. It opens you up for judgment from others. As much as we may say or think we don't care, we are pack animals and value what others think.

However, when we can be our true selves, it's an empowering and liberating feeling.

Imagine the relief you’ll experience when you're no longer worrying about the perceptions of others and finally, just being yourself...comfortable, happy and satisfied. When we can learn to do this, we empower others to do the same.

As Marianne Williamson famously said, "As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."


Click here to download your Daily Authenticity Checklist


Here are ten ways you can live a more authentic life:

  • Meditate. Meditation quiets the part of you that judges and labels everything around you. Gain some insight into the real you by meditating regularly.
  • Tell the truth. When you’re truthful, you reveal yoursSo bef. Be honest about your mistakes and shortcomings. After all, it's a sign that you had the courage to try and step out of your comfort zone.
  • Celebrate your uniqueness. The true you isn’t like anyone else. What music do you listen to when you’re alone? How do you dress? Do you keep the unique parts to yourself or are you willing to share them with the world?
    • I saw an ad once that asked, "What part of you did you leave at home when you came to work today?" First, consider what you're hiding, shifting, or simply covering up because you believe it won't be welcomed or may prove detrimental. Then, ask yourself why and deeply examine your response.
  • Notice any crutches and get rid of them. Butter pecan ice cream? Mindless internet surfing? Binge-watching House of Cards? Using crutches to deal with boredom, anxiety or uncertainty is blocking you from doing the work of seeing the truth of who you are.
    • Sometimes we don't want to ask the questions because we fear the answer; therefore, we hide behind other thiFor example, dos. Do you have a crutch? What is the purpose of your particular crutch? Stop using it for a bit and discover what you're find. 
  • Examine the areas in your life where you know you're being inauthentic. When and where do you feel like you lack authenticity? Often it will be during interactions with strangers, first dates, new social experiences, and more formal occasions.
    • A lack of authenticity can also occur when you spend time with your parents and siblings. People who knew you when you were young often have a hard time seeing you as the adult you've become. It can seem as if they don't want you to change. Or when you get around them you "revert back" to what they remember. Watch if you're falling back into old roles and behaviors and what's triggering the change.
    • Think about the times you’re inauthentic and ask yourself why.
  • Spend your time on things you enjoy. What do you enjoy? Do you play in the softball league so you’ll fit in? Would you rather be taking ballroom dancing lessons? Spend your free time on the things that you’re most passionate about.
  • Do one thing you want to do but are afraid to try. The people at the office might laugh if you take up the cello or an improv class; or they may be secretly jealous or inspired by your courage to do something you love. So many people are stifled by the limitations of their mind and fear of what other's will think. You can rise above all of that by taking a leap out of your comfort zone.
  • Share your thoughts. Do you have a viable option to move a project forward at work? Speak up in the meeting. Disagree with someone's interpretation of an article? Share your thoughts. It's not about being right or wrong, argumentative or agreeable, it's about lending your voice to the conversation. You never know. Your truth could make a positive contribution.  
  • Align your outside with your inside. We learn through what we see. It's how we learned to from birth, while we were learning and searching for our words. So it should be no surprise that what you wear will communicate volumes to others, because it's what we see before you say a word. As a result, your wardrobe should reflect who you are authentic. Your clothes shouldn't be a reflection of a fashion magazine, blogger, or even a stylist...it should reflect you.
  • Strengthen your boundaries. Weak boundaries can smother your true self.  Jim Rohn said, "You're the average of the five people spend the most time with."  Are you hanging with Negative Nellie, Overbearing Opal, Lazy Lucy, or Fearful Freda? If s,o you may find yourself being too heavily influenced by their vib, preventing you from being your authentic self. Not to mention the high amounts of energy they're draining from you. 
    • Examine whose in your close circle of friends and do some weeding or create stronger boundaries to ensure they're not dimming your light.

Summary

I didn't always live an authentic or unapologetic life. It took almost 40 years of living before I began to figure out who I was and how I wanted to live my life.  Like many people [maybe even you], I grew up with a list of do's and don'ts and I drove myself crazy trying to follow a path that I thought I should follow or one that was designed for me.  I tried to go through my life dutifully following the "rules" but on the inside I was dying....slowly but surely. 

After spending more than a decade learning and exploring who I am and what I'm meant to do in the world, I now share that gift of understanding with others. Your life, career or business start with YOU. And if you don't have crystal clarity on who that is you're not truly living an authentic life.

So now I invite you to engage in a daily practice of self-reflection and check-in to see if you lived authentically today. 

Don’t wait for tomorrow or next year to step into who you're meant to be or what you're meant to do in the world. Instead, use the time you have NOW to lay the foundation for your future.

Wouldn't it be great to step into the year with clarity, confidence, enthusiasm and joy?



 

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