I recently posted a new photo on my Facebook personal page, one that says: “Hi, I’m here in all my glory and gifts!” I would not have posted a photo like this 5 years ago, because I did not believe I was gift and could not see my gifts or authentic self at that time. As I’ve grown, flexed, expanded, warped, and expanded again, I’ve come into more and more of who I am, of what is possible, and what I can share. And what allows me to do this is a knowing of my true self, and an honest love for myself.
According Wikipedia, “Authenticity” is defined as: the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite the pressures or influences of society.
Why do we conform to society? Because we believe we won’t be liked or loved if we don’t, we fear we’ll be judged, and we don’t believe in ourselves enough to move past these fears.
Why does it matter if we are authentic or not? Because inside we know that when we are authentic, we are living our truth, we are more at peace, we are in flow with our life, instead of doing or saying what we believe others want us to do or say. When we speak our truth to someone, we are actually helping them, not hurting them (they may be hurt initially, but can move past it), and we are helping ourselves, instead of hurting ourselves. We find more joy and contentment in being our true self.
So how do we be authentic? Try these 5 steps (they are not linear):
1.Get to know yourself. Know who you are, what you like, what you don’t like, what has meaning to you, and what doesn’t. Be aware of your self-criticism or judgment, dive into your dreams and shadows. According to author Mike Robbins, “As we’re willing to really go within ourselves, know who we are and make peace with ourselves, we can create what we truly want in life.”
2. Step into your fear. Notice when you are fearful of saying something – is it a tightness in your chest, a knot in the stomach? Breath into it, and look right at it. Visualize yourself saying what it is or doing what it is you know is true for you, whether it’s saying a truth to someone or dancing with all of your heart in a room of people because that’s what your heart wants to do.
3. Notice and be your own coach. Notice your behaviors that don’t serve you. Instead of the voice inside that says, “don’t say anything, they won’t like you if you do.” create the voice that says, “Speak your truth, you know what you want or need, and say it from your heart, that is you.”
4. Celebrate who you are. Practice loving yourself. Say in the mirror every morning “I love you” even if you don’t believe it at first, just keep saying it. Write down what your gifts are to the world, what you are good at, and how big your heart is (you have endless love inside to give, we all do).
5. Choose. Choose over and over again to be the authentic person you visualize inside. You are already that person, you just need to peel away the layers of beliefs and habits that cover that. By choosing to be different or react differently, to speak your truth, to step into your fear and be real, you are choosing an authentic way of being, you are choosing your true self!
For a great website on authentic living click here
According to Victoria Reynolds, power found within spreads positively outward:
“Being authentic is the ability to be true to oneself. Living an authentic life requires the ability to be true to our own wants, needs and desires and not live our lives by the opinion of others. Being authentic is the ability to make self-honoring choices and stand firmly in who we are in our core. Being true to ourselves gives us the insight and compassion to see others for who they are, not who we expect them to be. It frees us up from the judgment of ourselves and others and it gives others the freedom to be themselves as well.”
Categories: Meditation & Mindfulness