In my line of work, the most common question I receive is – “how can someone live authentically?” This is always a tricky question to answer because I want to be considerate of the person on the receiving end of my response. There is never going to be a “one size fits all” approach to authenticity. That would defeat the point! We are all different and need to find ways to best put forth our uniqueness and navigate the amazing journey we are on. That being said, it can be difficult to know where to begin on your authenticity quest! Below are some helpful points that can get your started.
1. Slow Down: This is by far the largest part of beginning your journey. In today’s world, we are all in a state of constant motion – scheduling every moment of our day with obligations and activities. Being busy has somehow become the new norm and individuals are judged on how much they can squeeze into their day. At first, slowing down can feel excruciating – like something is wrong. But when you push through that discomfort an amazing thing happens – you have the time to examine the motivation behind your choices in life. Are you satisfying the “shoulds” of the world or do you genuinely believe in the decisions you are making?
2. Block Out the Noise: If you examine a single day in your life – how many times have you encountered an expectation that society or those in your immediate circle have placed upon you? We are constantly bombarded by the opinions of others and what is considered “normal” behavior. Instead of celebrating everyone’s unique qualities – we encounter daily pressure to conform. But what ends up happening is you sacrifice your happiness in order to blend in. Instead, take time to block out the noise (such as social media) that is swirling around you. This will make it much easier to hear yourself think so you’re able to decide what you truly believe!
3. Take Small Steps Toward Change: Once you can hear yourself think and have identified the changes you’d like to make in your life – start small! Many people jump into the deep end when it comes to creating change in their lives. They key is approaching change at a slow and steady pace. Remember, this is a marathon not a sprint and you could be undoing years of inauthentic living! Pick one area of your life you’d like to change and start there. Set small, attainable goals – ones where you’ll see a high rate of return on your emotional investment. For example – can’t stop comparing yourself to others? Start writing a daily list of positive statements about YOU! Review them weekly so you’re able to stay grounded in your uniqueness and authenticity!
4. Forgive Often: There will be times that you stumble, second guess yourself or revert back to old habits. Adjust your thinking so you can see these times as speed bumps and NOT roadblocks. Change is difficult and living authentically – especially if it’s against social norms – can be hard. Treat yourself with compassion. Respect that with each bump in the road comes a learning that can be applied to your journey.
5. Be prepared for greatness: Living an authentic life is not easy. But remember – the reward of waking up each morning, knowing your true motivation behind each decision – is an amazing way to live! Your relationships will change and you will begin to attract those that are open minded and supportive. You’ll feel empowered and inspired to create the life you want!
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