Living Authentically In 2019
Have you ever felt that icky feeling when you're being inauthentic?
Maybe you're working in a job or a role that you don't align with.
You're in a relationship with someone you don't feel the same way about anymore.
There is something not quite right, but you can't put your finger on exactly what it is.
Inauthenticity is acting in ways that aren’t congruent with our values, preferences, and abilities. We feel out-of-sync and out-of-sorts, even if things on the surface appear to be ideal.
So on the flip side, what does it mean to be authentic?
Authenticity by definition is "the unimpeded operation of one's true or core self in one's daily enterprise.”
At its root, authenticity requires self-knowledge and self-awareness. Authentic people accept their strengths and weaknesses. They are accountable. They are connected to their values and desires and act deliberately in ways that are consistent with those qualities.
Authenticity is about being genuine and real. It allows us to connect deeply with others because it requires us to be transparent and vulnerable. It allows us to be liberated from the pressures of always trying to be something else, always trying to be perfect.
Self-awareness is key to being authentic.
Authenticity starts when you set the intention to be genuine. Then, there must be an awareness of what that looks and feels like, and a willingness to act in accordance with your genuine nature even when it feels vulnerable.
When you live with this kind of self-awareness, decisions are easier because you are free to choose things that move you closer to your values. You are able to stand in the presence of your imperfections, because you can accept your humanity. You can also embrace your talents and abilities.
Authenticity may also require you to make unpopular decisions or to acknowledge aspects of yourself that you’d rather hide away, but in the end it allows you to live a more open, honest, and engaged life.
If you're feeling unhappy, bored, stressed, stuck, or uninspired, it could be a sign that you aren’t acting authentically. That’s something you can change right now!
Here are five ways to get started on creating an authentic life:
1. Redefine your values...
It’s hard to behave in an authentic way if you do not know what you value and desire. Often, we hold tight to the same values we grew up with, when we need to reevaluate what feels right to us now and align our actions around those things. Get clear on what you care about and authenticity will take hold.
2. Have an open mind.
Authenticity flourishes when we experience the world wholly, from every perspective. Rigid, good/bad thinking keeps us trapped in judgment and limitation, which causes us to shut down our vulnerable, authentic self. Challenge yourself to look at all sides of the situation. Be open.
3. Fill in the blank: If you really knew me you’d know this: ___________.
This prompts introspection and allows people to reveal essential aspects of themselves, it also builds trust, credibility and confidence with the person you are sharing it with. Authenticity does sometimes feel scary and vulnerable, but it also builds intimacy.
4. Notice when you are being inauthentic.
Pay attention to those times when you are insincere in your speech, or when you are acting in a way that doesn’t align with your core values. Then explore the fears and beliefs that may create those barriers to your authenticity.
5. Trust your intuition.
Often, we feel out of sync when we are acting inauthentic. Things just don’t feel right. Pay attention to those hunches, physical sensations, and impressions. They can be your instincts telling you that you are not being genuine. When you are on track and authentic, you’ll feel that too.
I would love to support you in bringing authenticity into your life this year.