Living an authentic life is key to your success and overall emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being.
Your answer to the following questions will let you know if you’re living one.
Have you ever felt restless, like there’s something you’re supposed to be doing, but you can’t figure out what it is?
Have you ever felt like pieces of you got lost in the shuffle somehow and no matter how much you try, you can’t seem to find them?
If you answered “yes” to one or both of these questions, you haven’t been living an authentic life.
The words “Authentic Life” have been thrown around a lot in the last few years, yet not very many people know what the term means.
Some baby boomers see the words, roll their eyes and think, “Ha! More new age crap!” Some millennials see them and think, “Me! Me! Me!”
Neither is right.
So, what is an authentic life, and why is it so important that we live one?
If you read my welcome to Blogutopia, you saw that I mentioned my CRAZY mid-life crisis.
Well, it started with a simple question self-help guru, author and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, asked on one his CDs:
“Who are you?”
My reaction to the question was quite dramatic. I even blurted out the word “Shit!”
For conservative, church-going, people-pleasing me, that was a major taboo. But what I realized about myself that day was worse than my excited utterance.
I was a mom, a wife, a career woman, a great friend, and I was and still am very proud of carrying those titles.
But who I was at the core, my authentic self. I didn’t know who that was.
Like most everyone else, I was molded and shaped into someone else’s idea of who and what I should be.
I was handed over an identity, which I took on because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do, and lived it out.
But What about the still small voice?
I didn’t know how to listen to it.
I pretty much became what others said I should be.
As a result, I was sad, miserable, unhappy, and depressed for most of my life.
An unauthentic life is no life at all. That’s why it’s important to live one.
Here are 10 ways that you can begin right this minute to live an authentic life.
1. Listen to that small voice inside of you. It’s your internal compass. It’ll always lead you on the path you’re supposed to be on. It tells you what’s comfortable and what’s not comfortable. What’s acceptable and what isn’t.
2. Don’t let anyone put out the fire burning inside of you. That fire is your authentic self letting you know that something inspires you, makes you feel alive, and motivates you to reach higher.
3. Pay attention to what doesn’t feel congruent. If it confuses you and doesn’t bring you peace, chances are great it’s not for you. Don’t second guess yourself. Just because someone else thinks its right for you doesn’t make it so.
4. Establish clear boundaries. If something or someone doesn’t serve you well, remove it or them from your life, or establish clear parameters if you’ve no choice but to interact with it or them.
5. Give yourself permission to be vulnerable. Cry if and when you need to. Don’t ever allow anyone to tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel about an issue. Your emotions are yours. No one has a right to try to regulate them for you.
6. Nurture and care for yourself. If you’re happy and healthy spiritually and physically, you’ll be better equipped to interact with, and take care of family and friends.
7. Don’t be afraid to go against the flow. Be willing to compromise, but not to sacrifice your values or beliefs to please or appease others.
8. Be comfortable in your own skin. Hold your ground. Say what you mean without saying it mean.
9. Keep a journal. Make it a habit to write something in it daily. You’ll be surprised how much direction you can derive from your writing, and how much you’ll say, “Who the hell is this person?” a year after you start journaling.
Last but not least…
10. Honor yourself. You are unique, special, talented, intelligent, beautiful and so deserving of good things in life, first of which is giving yourself a chance to live your most authentic life.