Did you know that exuding your authentic self is directly correlated to your happiness? There is an extreme amount of power in knowing, becoming and representing your most authentic self to those around you. When you are authentic, you do not allow a person or situation to change you, unless it is for the better. Listen, we already know that social media is full of people filtering who they are because of fear of judgment. This, in turn, creates a false representation of self for those on the consuming end. Very few people are being their authentic selves because they do not see the power that lies within it. Pure authenticity is the most unique character trait of them all. Who can do it like you?
Let me put this into perspective for you: how often does a person leave an impression on you? We both know that the answer is few and very far in between. Why? Everyone isn’t being their authentic selves by embodying their own uniqueness and identity. I find this to be detrimental because we have so many people online yearning for a sense of community, but not being taught how to look within first. In the 1950s, Psychologist Solomon Asch concluded that we have an innate desire to conform because we do not want to stand out. We are afraid of being disliked. So, here are five habits to become your authentic self.
1. Know Thyself
If you do not know who you are, then how will someone else? Let’s be clear, knowing thyself is a lifelong journey. However, tapping into your spiritual self is a fundamental process. As you journey through life and reach landmarks, ask yourself these questions:
What are my motivations? These are the basis of the “why” behind your decisions.
What am I curious about? This will point your toward your passions.
What is my temperament? If you are aware of how you make your decisions and the situations where you prefer to recharge, then you can gravitate toward where you will flourish. (Are you introverted or extroverted? Do you make decisions based on feelings or facts?)
What are the most meaningful events that happened to me in life? This is one of the questions that is often missed. It is one of the most key identifiers of your identity.
What are my strengths? Here you will form your confidence and self-esteem.
Now, accept yourself. So, that when someone else doesn’t accept you it will not matter!
2. Affirm Your Value
In order to be able to stand firm in who you are and what you bring to a business deal, friendship, lover and etc., you have to be aware of your value.
If you do not know and exude your value, then no one else will care about it either. Therefore, you must first leave an impression on yourself first.
Every day, you should be speaking to your higher self and starving the lower self. Remember, your self-talk is the seed to your growth. Let’s be clear, it will not be an easy task. Experts estimate that a person has 60,000-80,000 thoughts in a day. How many of those do you think are negative about one’s value and self? You have to be diligent when it comes to monitoring your thoughts of self.
You reap what you sow is truth beyond belief. If you think negatively of yourself, then you will produce said feelings. Hence the desire to seek validation through inauthenticity.
Begin each day with gratitude and mindfulness. In a journal, write down what you are thankful for and recognize what is on the agenda toward change. Weave Daily Affirmations into your routine and use Visualization Techniques to program your subconscious mind.
3. Cultivate Authentic Relationships
After you have completed the first two habits, it will become natural for you to want to be around those who are likeminded. Let’s be clear, there are dual sides to everything and everyone. However, every person you meet will either be a person that makes withdrawals or one that make deposits.
You can not judge this based on materialistic standards. What do I mean by that? If you are judging whether a person is making deposits based on their ability to buy and/or pay for things, then you are mistaken. A person can be greatly beneficial to you in many ways: spiritual guidance, mental advice, workout partner and more! However, your job is to find out which one your friend is of the two. This will allow you to engage with them more authentically.
Deposit: They are the people that have respect for us. They do not ask us to comprise our beliefs, morals, and values for their validation. Instead of using us for our gifts and potential, they want to help us nurture it. They invest in us beyond the social level. Value is added by them because they seek to put us in positions for our growth. You can expect them to be front and center to support you. They are apt to help you make sound life decisons because they care about your overall wellbeing.
Withdrawal: These are the people who barely, if at all, provide encouragement. They do not recognize nor respect your passions. They are too busy giving blanket false congratulations or ignoring your accomplishments altogether. Don’t ask them to take your craft and/or career serious because they will only support when they feel they are getting something out of the deal. Out of spite, they may show more support to another person because you are not allowing them to use you.
Be aware that it is the people that are typically the closest to you that feel entitled to treat you this way (withdrawals).
4. Express Your Feelings
Authentic people do not “go with the flow”. They express themselves.
Should you have the emotional intelligence to know when and when not to speak up? Absolutely. However, authentic people prefer not to lie to themselves, so in turn, they can not lie to you with a false agreement.
Authentic people are willing to live with the repercussions because they desire to stay true to themselves. In order to do that, they express themselves directly.
If you find that you have a hard time expressing yourself directly to others, then dig deep and ask yourself why and when that started to manifest. Typically, all behavior originates from childhood. If you had a narcissistic or absent parent, then you may have found yourself compromising your own feelings for their love and attention.
Start out by releasing the pressure slowly. Journal your feelings every day. If they are to a specific person, write a letter to that person, until you have built the confidence to confront. If you prefer to speak to a person, seek a therapist as a source of clean venting sessions.
5. Move Forward
In order to progress, you have to let go of what has already happened.
It is okay to look back and reflect on what has happened to you, but you can not allow it to define you negatively. Time is very much an illusion. All that matters is the now.
Do not allow yourself to get hung up on the past versions of yourself. You are a work in progress and being present in the now is all that you will ever have!
I struggled with accepting that I was a person that preferred to live in authenticity. I found myself trying to conform. It resulted in unhappiness. I am comfortable enough within my self to not care about being disliked for it.
This is not an overnight process. It takes time to make being your authentic self a habit. They say that it takes 21 days to make something a habit, but truthfully it takes more time than that. You have to be diligent about your personal growth and development. Therefore, your goals should be intrinsic. If they are not, then you will find yourself seeking validation from the withdrawals, which will leave you spent and bankrupt.
You are what you think and do everyday. You are your habits.
It takes a great amount of courage to buck the system and be yourself. Those operating out of ego may try to bully or ostracise you for having the gall to do it, but persevere!
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