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There is nothing more YOU, than the topic of authenticity. In our digital culture where personas can be created from pictures and captions alone, authenticity has suddenly become a topic of conversation and ultimately a choice each of us has to make.
So, what is authenticity? In short, it’s about being “real” and having our actions align with our values and beliefs. Research has even found that authenticity is actually tied to our success. So, we shouldn’t overlook it and instead focus on how we can make sure we are operating from our most authentic selves.
The following four (4) suggestions will get you one step closer to putting the REAL you out there!
#1 -Start with Self-Awareness
The first step is always awareness. If you are serious about being more genuinely you, it is critical you realize how close you are to that right now. Take stock of where you fall today on the authenticity scale. Take time to dive deep into what you truly believe and compare that to how you are living today. Once you can be honest with yourself, you are closer to being more honest with others. This awareness will help you take action and make decisions every day that are closer to the values you want to live from.
Don’t rush this step. Get to know yourself again. Especially if you are feeling like you have taken a detour away from the real you.
#2 - Live in the Now
Sometimes things that you’ve experienced, and choices that you’ve made keep you stuck in those emotions and attached to the person you were in those circumstances. It may sound cliché, but letting go of the past can help you reconnect to the real you. Being present allows you the clarity to stay aware of your actions in the moment and take the steps necessary to break old patterns that are not, and probably never were, the real you!
If living in the moment is difficult for you, you are not alone. According to the National Science Foundation, 95% of our thoughts every day are repetitive. WOW! Consider a meditation or mindfulness practice, because if you can take a step into the present, you will be much closer to that authentic life you’re looking for.
#3 - Trust Your Intuition
This is just a fancier way of saying, “Trust your gut.” If you’ve been pleasing others way too long, you may no longer hear that inner voice that guides you. The loud voice, however, that asks, “What will they think? Are you sure? What if you fail?”, that voice tends to be loud and clear. Being aware and staying present will help you get acquainted with this voice again. Let’s face it, even if you can’t hear it, you know it’s in there screaming, “Nooooo” as you are shaking your head, “yes.”
Silence the voice of fear and listen for your intuitive voice that will guide you safely to the next step in your journey.
#4 - Try New Things
Once you are able to trust your intuition, this step will be a lot easier. Afterall, an authentic life doesn’t mean a boring one, or a predictable one! Don’t get stuck thinking that living authentically is “going back” to who you once were. It’s about making choices today that align with what feels right. Trying new things may actually help you discover more about the real you than you realize, because the real you, is NOT the old you.
Stretching your comfort zone may be just what you need right now, especially if you feel like you’ve gotten derailed, complacent, or stuck. You may be surprised at what you’re capable of.
One more thing…..this isn’t a race, it is a journey. Enjoy it!
Gaiam. (n.d.). 5 Ways to Live an Authentic Life. Retrieved from https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/5-ways-to-live-an-authentic-life.