Being the authentic you is a concept we hear a lot about these days. The idea is about being who you are. Dancing as if no one is watching. Standing up for what you believe in and living the life you love. But what does this all mean? What does it mean to be truly authentic in your life? Aren’t you “YOU” without having to work at it?
Yes, no doubt about it, you are you. However, we are all affected by our upbringing (were you celebrated or criticized?), our social context (did you fit in easily or struggle and adapt to be part of the group?), and our basic personality traits (some women are born confident while others need a boost!). Somewhere along the way, we lose a bit of ourselves or transform so that we’ll fit in. We might even forget parts of who we are. But not to worry, our true whole being is just tucked away, waiting to be uncovered.
The first step to unearth who you are is to be aware of how you react in relationships and social interactions. Do certain exchanges make you feel uncomfortable or relaxed? Be aware of what feels right for you and what feels a bit off.
The next step is to observe yourself. Ask these questions:
• Where am I in my life right now, and where do I want to be?
• If something isn’t quite right about my life, what’s off?
• Am I being true to myself?
• Am I able to speak my truth and be out there in the world in my full authenticity?
This work is a process. As we age, and learn to feel more comfortable with ourselves, we are able to shift things around. We can expand ourselves to accept our true essence.
Each and every one of us contributes our specific talents, strengths and inner beauty to whatever we do. Nobody can do your work the way you do it. It is normal to lose sight of this perspective and compare our skills and our actual selves to others. Thinking less of ourselves is clearly short-changing our value and overall being. Being YOU, being authentically you, is of value to this world and should never be compromised.
Some Tips on how to be MORE of who YOU are:
1. Get to know yourself in an unfiltered way. Keep a journal. Ask yourself important questions and answer them honestly. Some examples: What do I want? Am I living an authentic life? What do I want more of? How am I contributing?
2. Cultivate relaxed confidence. Make it a discipline to learn new techniques that are focused on grounding yourself in self-esteem and joy. Read books and magazines, listen to recordings and watch videos on the topic. The more confident you are, the easier it is to be the true YOU.
3. For relationship management, be aware of your connections with others. Ask yourself: Am I sticking with my true views or shuffling to the dance of others? Am I giving away my power/energy to others or keeping clear, healthy boundaries?
4. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Of course with kindness and sensitivity, you can never go wrong. When you stand in your power and speak your truth, life is easier and far more joyful.
Take your place in the world, and you will bring your goodness to yourself, those around you and the world at large. This is what authentic living is all about. Each and every one of us is a delight, and bringing that light to the forefront is what BEING FULLY YOU is all about.