What does being authentic mean? Well, the dictionary describes it as being genuine and original. It could also mean being true and trustworthy. Bottom line, anyway you look at it comes across in a positive light. Who wouldn’t want to be authentic?
Authenticity is actually a relational behavior. Meaning that to be truly authentic, you must not only be comfortable with yourself, but must also comfortably connect with others.
Has there ever been a time when you were young and exhibited your true thoughts and feelings only to have someone cut them down? Sure you have, who hasn’t? No wonder it’s scary to be authentic. It’s that age old fear of not being accepted, liked, or criticized if you do show the real you that has been lingering inside you just festering.
Face it. It’s that simple. The fear of not being liked, wanted, accepted is what is keeping you from being your true self. News flash, you’re ripping off the world when you’re not allowing your gifts to shine through.
You are already a unique human being therefore you get to be you. No pretending to be someone else. It’s all you. There is no script to follow. You make it up as you go along.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E. Cummings
It requires real vulnerability to be authentic. What if I show my true colors and people don’t like the real me?
The world needs us to show up and share our gifts. There is more risk hiding our gifts from the world than expressing them. Our unexpressed ideas, dreams and gifts don’t go away. They destroy our worthiness and confidence.
There is no shortcut to authenticity. It requires commitment and real inner work, dove deeply into our emotional mess and start feeling the pain we had repressed.
Make a daily commitment to take the following steps to be more authentic:
Forgive and love yourself.
Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Consider how you can learn from your past so you can do better going forward. Always be kind to yourself because you can only ever do your best. Be content with that.
Be willing to make a change and own your mistakes.
Commit to making a change. Get clear and admit why you hold on to your pain. Why do you think it serves you?
Create a daily practice.
If you feel disconnected or unable to speak your truth, identify which traits you need to cultivate in your life and create an intention to become authentic. Do the necessary inner work to reconnect to your truth and your authenticity will radiate through you.
Authentic people accept their life experiences and feel the emotions that arise. They don’t repress their feelings and let them fester up. Anxiety and guilt arise from not being present. If we doubt our ability to handle challenges in the future, we create anxiety. Guilt results from feeling bad about past mistakes or people we have hurt. Authentic people experience life challenges from a place of love, forgiveness, and gratitude.
Authentic people are impeccable when they speak to themselves, about themselves and others. They are mindful of the energy behind words and believe they are worthy of love and peace of mind. They have a healthy approach to life by knowing there will always be naysayers, and their opinions don’t matter.
Authentic people create their own rules based on the standards that resonate with them. They have the courage to live their lives based on what they believe is right. This type of empowerment gives them the inner strength to withstand temptation and build self-confidence. When you have the courage to share your shame and guilt, they no longer have power over you.
Authentic people don’t allow their fears to prevent them being themselves. If you are focused on being true to yourself in every moment, you are less concerned about the potential for rejection from others. Nothing is more liberating than being yourself as fully as you know how.
Being authentic is a daily practice. It is a moment-by-moment choice of embracing your truth and being fearless enough to share it with the world. When you have nothing to hide and you can freely be yourself with everyone, there is a profound peace and confidence you will exude to the world.