This is my humble take on what it means to be authentic.
Authenticity – the latest buzz word on the speaking circuit. Be true to yourself, be authentic, be you!
What does it really mean. I am in the “know” and yet I felt mildly embarrassed not knowing exactly what it all means.
I have listened to many and hear what they say. This is one of my favourite talks in the world by Brene Brown. I hope you enjoy it.
Authenticity is definitely a word you will hear in the personal development world and well, I am going to give it a crack. I am going to give you my explanation of what I think it means to be authenticity and how I try to live.
To me it means being YOU.
Worts and all, people who are authentic echo a big “THIS IS ME”. Like it or not…It means not being fake, not laughing if you don’t get it and not pretending in any sense.
This is the wiki definition
This is what it means to be me to be authentic.
I made a decision to be as authentic and real and honest to everyone that I met and encounter a long time ago. To me this was the easiest way to live.
I felt at the time that I had too many potential skeletons that I didn’t want falling out of the cupboard at in-opportune moments destroying my current moment. The skeletons were varied – thoughts, beliefs, things I had done etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a villain but I am also aware that people judge. And it is this fear that ultimately gave me the courage to be transparent and live by what I truly believed in.
I wanted to be confident that no matter what the situation I found myself in, that I didn’t compromise myself or others. Whether I was drunk with friends, working in my clinic, being with my family or in front of a thousand people talking. I wanted some guarantee that I could trust myself not to slip up and reveal something about myself that I didn’t want others to see. I didn’t want anyone to see a side of me that I wasn’t proud of and I couldn’t defend.
I don’t wish to pretend to be someone I am not. I want to be loved, respected and admired for me being me.
I know at different times in my life I have portrayed someone I am not. But it is an effort and it is draining and I am always questioning my intent.
So being authentic, living my truths, doing things every day that were in line with what I believe is right, helps me stay honest, open and transparent.
I must say it’s also allowed me to explore and grow more. Bravado and ego just get in the way of getting to know people. It still happens sometimes when I find I am in a tennis match of egos… I am this, puff puff up goes my chest, well I am this and this… but I try to recognise it quickly and change the dynamic or walk away.
I can say, from the middle of heart that if you work out what you truly would die for and stand behind, and then live by these as a set of blue print rules, you will be showing the world your authentic REAL you. And people can then decided whether to hang out with you or not.
I urge you, encourage you to live as you feel. Make sure these things aren’t totally against societies rules but find your peace within the society rules in which you live.
If you need a hand on starting out to be authentic, from this day forward these steps might help… (get a pen and piece of paper and find a warm spot in the sun on your own to do this)
1. Write down what you believe is right/wrong, good/bad and these form your values. Eg I only eat healthy foods. (There is no need to extrapolate on the opposite value i.e.: I don’t eat junk food. Just focus on the desired behaviour).
2. Once you have worked out your values live by them, explore them. What do they mean in real life?
For example if you say “good nutrition” is a value, then be true to your word and eat well. Commit to eating at least 2 cups of plant matter a day. This is being authentic.
3. Brainstorm different actions that demonstrate your value to yourself and the world. EG good nutrition might require that you eat only organic, cut coffee down to one cup a day, stop drinking alcohol on your own, say good bye to sugar etc…
4. Cut out the rubbish in your life. Get rid of distractions, clutter and trying to please others.
5. Find time daily to reflect on your values, your dreams and if you are living truthfully and authentic. If you are not, or if you are feeling stress, find the courage to change the dynamic.
I hope it helps you work out who you really are and how you can be more authentic and vulnerable and not give a brass bazoo about anyone else thinks.
“If only we saw ourselves through other people’s eyes. We would never worry again.”
I believe we are all beautiful and the more authentic the more relaxed and beautiful you become.
Share away as so many people are missing this really important step to being happy – being authentic.