Self-help and personal growth and development are one of the most popular genres of books, music, videos, and movies these days and people are searching for inspiration in everything because they live with a feeling that something is missing in their life. I know I’ve had my fair share of days where I don’t feel aligned with who I really am and there was a time when I wasn’t living my most authentic life either. When you suppress the real you and live for somebody else, essentially it is a betrayal of yourself and that really hurts.
We often hear the phrase “live an authentic life.” What does that really mean? How do you know you are living an authentic life and how do you know if you’re not? The best place to start is by defining your core values. What makes you who you are? If you were to describe yourself in 10 words, what would they be? These are your values, they come from your heart and they drive your behavior. On the other hand, a belief is something with the word “because” in it, such as “I believe ____ because _______ .” These are not who you truly are because they are usually imposed on you from somebody else like a parent, teacher, or society which can end up being self-limiting and disempowering. Values are never self-limiting, they expand and empower you.
For example, let’s say you value creativity because you are into music, writing, painting or whatever the case may be. You might be a high profile professional and feel like something is missing in your life and you’re right, there is. It’s your authentic self that’s being suppressed because the outside world might be screaming “don’t do that, it’s a waste of time, put your efforts into your work/family instead.” It might even be your gremlin inside your own mind saying “who do you think you are, pursuing something like this?”
Sound familiar? Yep. Been there done that.
To live an authentic life we need to learn more about ourselves by spending time alone and asking some tough questions that we need to know the answer to. If we don’t ask, we’ll never know, right? Living authentically is in constant motion which means it’s always shifting and evolving so you can find what’s real and then have the courage to live that way, despite all the judgments and criticism. Every time you look within yourself, a little more authenticity is revealed and your challenge is to find your power in a disempowering environment. Nobody said it would be easy but what’s even harder is ignoring your authentic self for the rest of your life. We need to let go of the fears of what other people might think of us if we decide to show our authenticity and instead we can choose to love ourselves unconditionally.
Fear always feels bad, insists on certainty and needs everything whereas love always feels good, accepts uncertainty and needs nothing. The more we can live with an open mind and open heart on a daily basis, the more authentic our lives will be.
The beauty of living authentically is the waking up without ever having gone to sleep.
Much Love ❤