When working towards living your best life, a big aspect to look at is whether you are living authentically with and toward yourself. What does ‘authenticity’ mean in context of this post? Well… it’s the level and depth of honesty you have with yourself and whether the movements you are making within and externally of yourself reflect how you truly feel. It’s being ‘real’.
Being real with yourself about whether or not you’re actually happy with the state of your life, requires you to have the courage to be vulnerable with yourself. Are you walking around in the outside world wearing armour that protects you from being hurt by others, and going around saying you don’t need anyone in life, but then in the middle of the night when you’re laying awake with yourself, are you yearning to be loved and have deeper more rewarding connections with others?
Are you really happy at your job, or are you just in a comfort zone going through the actions daily because you have regular amounts of income coming in and you don’t want to give up a lifestyle you’re living beyond your means?
Is your relationship truly fulfilling and are your needs being met, or are you just complacent because a part of you is scared to be on your own, despite being completely unhappy with your partner?
There are so many examples of where we are not being authentic with ourselves, and even more so in day-to-day life where we apply various filters to our personality to get through our day in whatever role we’re playing to make money.
There’s also the filters we put on our personalities to fit in and be accepted by our peers, and to protect ourselves. I still sometimes catch myself being caught off guard by a situation and reacting in the moment in a way that is not in alignment with what I have chosen deliberately, and there is a sense of long-term conditioning that still sits in my ‘muscle memory’ of times before that similar situations have unfolded and I behaved in a certain way to get through it. After these moments have passed and I reflect on the situation I ask myself why I responded the way I did when I knew what my deliberate choice was for myself. It’s important at that point that I don’t beat myself up about it, and remember I’m only human and that each time this happens is an opportunity for me to remember who I am at a core level and have the courage to fully be me in the moment.
When we are brave enough to be our true selves, we give ourselves permission to live our best lives versus conforming to what society or others expect from us just because it’s considered the norm. What chance of authentic fulfilling happiness do we have in life if we are not living life on our own terms? This is not to say we need to fight for it in each moment. We can express what is true for us with compassion, kindness, and grace. If we’re going around imposing our strong opinions on others it can look and feel more like arrogance and obnoxiousness more than authenticity.
Check in with yourself during the day and see whether your responding to the moments with how you truly feel about situations. I always like to say that the only things I can promise people is respect, authenticity and transparency. This includes moments where I am not okay with certain things, and moments when I am angry. I feel it’s important for people to know exactly where they stand with me if something affects me more than usual. I am authentically and transparently happy some moments. Other moments I am authentically and transparently not okay with what is going down. Life can only respond to us on the same level we are meeting it. If we’re going to be inauthentic and carry ourselves in ways that doesn’t reflect what we really do want for ourselves, we’re going to get the same in return.
Life can’t give us what we want if we don’t have the courage to be fully ourselves and let it know what we need, what works for us and what doesn’t work for us. And that’s as simple as it can be expressed really: “Hey human, this isn’t working for me, could we please open a conversation and see how we could improve the situation?” More importantly, to have that conversation with yourself is paramount. How can you shift things around in your life or make changes that do fulfill you in the long term?
This is how you start to live deliberately: By being honest with yourself first, and then making choices that support what’s best for you in the long term versus instant gratification in the moment. I’m not saying it’s easy… I, of all people, still suffer with FOMO because I’ve pulled myself apart from the crowd to do what’s best for me while they’re all still merrily trying to fill the void inside themselves and gain approval from outside themselves. There will be a certain amount of ego dissolution that follows putting yourself front and center as a priority. If you knew me at all, you would know that my ego is upset everyday that it’s not a ‘cool kid’ anymore while I watch from the outside all the people I used to party with still continuing along the same path. I know how much fun they’re having and I miss it completely, but I also know how terrible the hangovers are and that it’s not worth having full sunny days written off because I don’t get out of bed and haven’t done anything constructive with my time.
It’s bitter sweet, but it’s worth it. When I do go out, I still have a great time out, but I engage with the festive environment in a way that’s much healthier towards myself because I know I’d rather not get to the point where I’ve thrown my values out the window because tequila.
Spend time enquiring with yourself how you really feel about certain aspects of your life. Spend time getting to know yourself. And then have the courage to be who you are in front of everyone else. Chances are, not only will you truly be happier, you’ll attract people who are on the same frequency as you, and also give others permission to be authentic in response too.
The odds of people opening up and relating with you are higher than you think. There have been so many times where I have had people express appreciation for my presence and authenticity because they just never get to have ‘real’ conversations with the other people they know and meet.
Authenticity is rare in today’s world. It’s also so refreshing to meet not only other people in this way, but also yourself.
If you don’t know what an authentic conversation with yourself or another person looks and feels like, let me know, I can show you the way to yourself.
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