Updated: Oct 28, 2022
Being authentic means you act in ways that show your true self and how you feel. Rather than showing people only a particular side of yourself, you express your whole self genuinely.
To succeed in being authentic, you first have to know who your true self actually is. This needs self-awareness and self-acceptance.
As children we’re moulded by our parents, teachers and society to fit in and we developed the beliefs, thoughts, behaviours and emotions that we were taught.
We fit in, we get along, we do as we’re told and we hide parts of ourselves that are seen as negative.
Becoming aware of this and questioning it is a good place to start.
How to be your authentic self
Being your authentic self can be tricky in our fast paced, modern world where we have access to more people. You’re on-show, trying to fit in, be liked, and be accepted.
As a result many of us have become presentations of who we think we should be and not reflections of who we really are. This can lead to us feeling like we’re wearing a mask and we can feel so far removed from our true self.
Authenticity is a cornerstone of mental health and it links to wellbeing, vitality, self-esteem, coping skills and determination.
In Bronnie Ware’s research on the top 5 regrets of the dying, number 1 is ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me’.
Steps to being your authentic self
1. Figure out your values
Your values are mega important as they act as your own internal compass. Take a look at my blog post (linked above) and my free downloadable values worksheet
2. Love all of yourself
Loving and accepting yourself warts and all, and having compassion for others, their warts and all
3. Release patterns and beliefs that are no longer helpful for you
Don’t hold onto the past. When you come across a thought, emotion, or action past or present that doesn't represent your authentic self, acknowledge it and let it go. Visualisation or writing it down can be good for this
4. Examine your beliefs and whether they represent "the authentic you" that you want to be today
5. Make decisions consciously
In this hectic world, we make decisions all day long. A lot of these decisions are made without proper thought. Slow down and make sure each of your decisions supports your authentic self
6. Speak your truth
When you speak your truth you show up as your authentic self, vulnerabilities and all. This builds trust with other people and telling your story is a big part of accepting yourself. The response from others is often positive and it builds connection, which helps make it easier for you and other people to continue being authentic.
If you’d like help working out who you are authentically, or how you can show up in the world as your true self, get in touch to find out how my coaching programmes can help you.
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