“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” – Brené Brown
How difficult is this for you?
Society is becoming more accepting of and willing to celebrate human differences. But, it is still challenging to live authentically daily because of our willingness (or lack thereof) to confront our fears. People I serve often fear if they showed up as they truly are – expressing their feelings, saying what’s on their mind, and taking action on things not everyone will like – the people around them will shame them, ostracize them or not engage them again.
May I offer a few pieces of advice?
Let go of who you think you are supposed to be. Embrace who you actually are. Develop the ability to be okay with making mistakes and learning from them. Be vulnerable and openly share your life’s ups and downs. Find personal harmony through setting appropriate boundaries. Live your personal mission. Leave a unique legacy.
If you choose to live authentically, you may be happier, feel fulfilled, satisfy your own needs faster, be guided more by your intuition, live life confidently on your terms, invest time into experiences that recharge you, have a deep sense of purpose, prioritize time more effectively, be aligned with your personal mission, and more.
To live authentically, consider practicing these habits daily.
1. Reflection. What challenges occurred? How did you respond to them? What wins did you have? How can you create more of them? What are you grateful for? Your goal here is to identify patterns and shift your behavior towards activities that benefit you and more closely align you with your life’s mission.
2. Self Awareness. Reference your communication preferences, motivators, values, languages of appreciation, and life’s mission. These serve as important guidelines to help you make difficult decisions that you won’t regret later.
3. Generate Value. Listen actively (with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply). Deliver a random act of kindness. Show appreciation to someone in the way she wants to receive it. Humans have a deep need to contribute to a cause bigger than themselves. Do this in such a way you make those around you feel heard, accepted, and empowered.
4. Learn. Whether a YouTube video, podcast, book, talking to a subject matter expert or through personal experience, invest the time to integrate new-to-you knowledge. Then, teach it to someone else.
5. Uphold Boundaries. It’s okay to say no to activities that extract your energy. It’s okay to not spend time with people who don’t support your mission. It’s okay to (respectfully) speak your heart to those who have offended you. Feelings bottled up have incredible consequences on your physical body.
When you practice these habits, you purposefully tune into what authenticity is for you. Doing this in the midst of external influences that are often in the opposition to your intuition may be challenging. You may need to set calendar reminders, find an accountability partner or carry a journal. Happiness, fulfillment, satisfaction, confidence, and purpose come to us in life’s most ordinary moments… not only when extraordinary goals are accomplished.
I’ll leave you with another Brene Brown quote. “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
By practicing the above habits in 2019, you won’t be weak. You’ll be an authentic badass.