It feels good to be around authentic people. Whatever their individual personality and temperament, they come across as honest and genuine. They don't pretend, and they don't hide behind a contrived, artificial image. Instead, they show up with a commitment to being their true selves, allowing you to see them as they really are, In a world where so much of what we see and experience is highly contrived and manipulated, authenticity carries extra value. It comes across like a breath of fresh air.
While authenticity comes more easily to some of us than others, we can all work on developing our authenticity muscles. Here are 5 ways to be more authentic in how you live your life.
1. Don't Apologize For Who You Are
It's completely appropriate to apologize when you become aware that you've dropped the ball or hurt someone needlessly. But you should never apologize for who you are and your existence. Even at your lowest point, you bring something unique and special to the world. If you do find yourself feeling the need to apologize for who you are, take some time to examine where those feelings are originating from. Once you identify the underlying thoughts and beliefs that are fueling those feelings, you can work on cultivating new, healthier beliefs and thought patterns.
2. Accept Yourself With Your Imperfections
A commitment to growth and self-improvement is great; it's exciting to know you're continually growing, developing, and evolving to become your best self. But we all have weaknesses and imperfections, and we always will. Addressing your weaknesses shouldn't feel as if you're trying to change the very essence of who you are. If it does, try shifting your focus to how you can leverage your strengths, and work on adopting a more positive approach that builds on your unique gifts and experiences.
3. Get to Know Yourself
There's enormous value in knowing yourself: who you are, what you like, what motivates you, what you value, etc. Self-knowledge supports authenticity, as you can draw on this self-knowledge for guidance when you have difficult choices to make or you're faced with a tough decision. In doing so, you're able to honour your own true self, and you'll avoid being led astray by the opinions and values of others.
4. Make Self-Care a Part of Your Life
Taking care of yourself isn't selfish; it gives you the strength and energy to be your best, so you're equipped to offer more to others. Attending to your own self-care puts you in tune with yourself and your needs. Acknowledging your own needs honestly, and taking personal responsibility for attending to those needs, is essential for living authentically. Otherwise, you can find yourself caught up in the all-too-common scenario of neglecting your own needs, resenting it, blaming others, and then trying to cover it all up with an artificial smile – hardly an authentic way of being!
5. Express Yourself Truthfully
It's possible to be considerate of others and tactful with your words, while also expressing yourself truthfully. That doesn't necessarily mean that every thought and opinion you have in your head needs to be spoken; many things are better left unsaid. But when you do speak, strive to be genuine, sincere, and truthful. You'll experience the satisfaction of being authentic in your communication, and the people you interact with will notice it and appreciate it.
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