Updated: May 10
“I’ve always loved the idea of not being what people expect me to be.” Dita Von Teese
Not everyone is always in enough luck to wake up one day and realize that they live their authentic life, but it's possible to get there. However, you might not recognize the signs if you aren't looking for them. Talk to anyone living the life they want to live, and chances are they will tell you it didn't happen by accident.
Simply put, they decided to be true to themselves and live the life they always wanted to live.
Below are five keys on how to practice authenticity.
Know Yourself - The First Steps to Being Authentic
If you had to describe yourself in one word, chances are it wouldn't be "perfect." That is why the world doesn't need another perfect person. (Don't take that as an insult, it's a compliment!) We put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect.
We spend all of our time trying to figure out what we're supposed to do, who we're supposed to be, and how we're supposed to look. But, when you realize being imperfect is the most beautiful way to be, everything changes. You can be who you are.
Knowing your authentic self is the most crucial step to being true and genuine to yourself, and that requires you to know who you are, what you value, and your interests. You'll want to make sure you are comfortable with what you bring to the table regarding your personality, skills, and experience.
Knowing yourself helps you set your self-standards. You get to explore your limits and see what you can excel at. By realizing how far you can go and how far you have come, you appreciate the effort you put in every day, which is a good sign of growth. Knowing your ability, you won't feel ashamed saying that's beyond my reach.
By exploring and being confident of your abilities, you no longer have room for pretense. Knowing yourself helps you lead an authentic life by minimizing your failures and maximizing your success since you are sure of your potential.
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Who Are You? Pondering Your Identity.
You should understand the difference between your authentic self and your ideal self. Your authentic self is who you really are, and your ideal self is who you want to be.
Your ideal self is what you strive to be. You should be able to differentiate between these two things.
You should be able to consider your authentic self when you’re writing.
If you ask yourself questions like “what am I really passionate about?”, “what do I like to do for fun?” and “what are my hobbies?”, you can start to see your true personality traits.
Who are you really?
To understand the answer to this question, it may help to consider where your thoughts and emotions come from. The answers may surprise you.
Questions to ponder your identity
What makes you happy?
What are my core values?
What do you like about yourself?
What would you change if you had a chance?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What are your priorities?
An authentic person appreciates what it is that makes them happy and tries to do it repeatedly. They are aware of what does not make them happy and therefore avoid it entirely. Self-esteem arises from realizing what is good about themselves.
It becomes easier for a person to know their strengths and utilize them to better their lives and hide their careers' weaknesses. In any profession, certain things matter more than others, and the issue of priority arises.
Being fully authentic means fixing priorities by focusing first on what is important and then addressing the rest. This strategy keeps things simple and clear by not juggling too many things. This lets you concentrate on the most important thing at hand and minimizes distractions.
What do you really want to focus your life on? What is your authentic goal?
Discovering Your Personal Set Of Values
As we begin to use our values to guide our behaviour, we feel better about ourselves. This happens because values represent those things we believe are essential and that usually connect to a sense of purpose or vocation.
Values can be thought of as moral principles that guide our decisions about how to act in different situations. They help us decide what actions we should take in any given circumstance.
Every person has a specific set of rules that they consider suitable or reasonably acceptable. It becomes much easier to follow these rules if they are self-generated and do not appear to force by one power or the other. People who lead authentic lives live by a code of conduct that they carry themselves.
This code of conduct always the distinguishing factor between them and the general public. What makes the code even more beautiful and desirable is that it is intrinsic, entirely by choice. Authentic people know who they are. It is a decision from within to become unique and different from the norm. It becomes a habit and a personality that is noticed and appreciated by many.
By becoming more aware of ourselves, we can identify our strengths and realize areas to improve. Although we are not capable of doing everything, we are capable of achieving a lot. So spend your time focusing on these.
Understand your negative emotions and how to manage them.
Take a moment to reflect on how you respond to things.
Take your time before responding to everything.
Understand what brings you happiness.
Do not misjudge your mood based on good or bad feelings.
One of the most desirable characteristics of authentic people is the way they handle unexpected situations. Understanding why you are having negative emotions and design ways to manage them is a great skill. This skill is built because our feelings can only hurt us if we allow them to.
Self-awareness leads you to identify weaknesses and design strategies for dealing with them. It is through self-awareness that you realize your weaknesses and come up with better ways to deal with them. It gives you a better appreciation of what helps you be happy, and you can decide without being distracted by joyful bliss. Mastering one's emotions is an essential sign of self-authenticity.
So just remember, “If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.” Anonymous
Write Your Affirmations
You've probably heard of affirmations. If you haven't, you've undoubtedly heard of positive thinking. Affirmations are an effective way of thinking and applying positive thinking in your life. Affirmations are a great way to reinforce your belief in yourself so that you can cultivate your authentic self.
Positive affirmations can help you shift your negative thoughts into positive ones. Affirmations are declarations you can make to go through your thought patterns consciously. When you write down the affirmation or say it out loud, you remind your brain of the positive thought, which leads you to form positive emotions.
Start with me - so you are making it personal.
Keep it present - so it feels natural. When you focus on the future, your subconscious mind views you as having not yet achieved that goal.
Use motivating verbs or phrases and repeat - Repetition of positive affirmations you enjoy can help your brain remember these positive emotions and help you feel them more strongly.
Keep it short - Make your affirmation specific, but keep it short. This skill will give your affirmation more impact.
Examples of affirmations
I know myself, accept myself, and am true to myself.
I am a unique and deserving individual.
I am patient, understanding, and compassionate, including with myself and others.
I am true to myself, and I will live a fulfilling life.
Your life should take on a whole new perspective when you are true to yourself. Being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do. Our most meaningful moments in life come about when we are authentic.
Change does not necessarily mean changing everything in your life. You do not have to quit your job or move to another country. If you realize that you are not living the life you want, you're not the person you want to be. The greatness within you can take you to places and times that you never imagined possible.
It does not matter where you start; it matters where you end up. Be your authentic self each day, and you will thrive.
We all have a little bit of "soul" inside us. Let me help you find yours.
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