When we talk about being authentic, people often jump at the opportunity to share how genuine they are.
“I’m the friendliest person in the office.”
“I’m always polite and friendly to strangers in the supermarket.”
“Give to charity? Sure, every time I’m asked.”
These are just some of the ways people assume they’re being authentic. But, while these are all positive behavioural traits, authenticity points to something a little different than being genuine and kind.
What does it mean to be truly authentic?
Authenticity is the level at which someone behaves according to their values and beliefs, regardless of how society expects them to act.
Truly living authentically will improve overall health, reduce stress and provide endless opportunities personally and professionally. It’s also one of the first and most essential steps to define your purpose and walk in alignment with your internal energy.
Here are seven steps to live authentically and help you reach your true potential.
1) Speak your truth positively and with kindness
True authenticity requires you to speak openly and honestly to those around you. Yes, even when your opinion isn’t the popular one! It’s OK to disagree with the general consensus (in fact, encouraged) but be kind about it. Always speak your truth with love and a good heart and without confrontation or the need to prove yourself right.
2) Make choices based on your beliefs and values
If you’re a strict vegetarian, taking a job as a butcher because you need the money isn’t living authentically. We understand that in today’s modern world, it can be difficult to make the choices you want, but living authentically requires you to do so.
This might need a change in mindset at first, but once you proactively take steps towards living in alignment with your values, you won’t look back.
3) Set genuine boundaries
We’ve all had friends or family members who refuse to respect boundaries. Of course, we know you like to give to others, or you wouldn’t be here reading this, but boundaries are still a crucial part of a genuine, authentic relationship with yourself.
If boundaries are crossed or not respected, you’ll start to feel resentful towards others and you’ll fail to honour yourself. If you have problems instilling boundaries, consider adding a few of these sentences to your vocabulary:
“I’d love to help, but I can’t today. Can we plan a time next week for me to help you?”
“I understand how you feel, but on this occasion, I don’t agree.”
“Thank you for your concern about my relationship. I’ll take your opinions on board and deal with it from here.”
Setting boundaries is an authentic act for yourself but be prepared they won’t always be respected by other parties. You can read more about setting boundaries here.
4) Make genuine connections
To live authentically, you must surround yourself with those who feed your soul and increase your positive energy. This involves genuinely listening to others during a conversation rather than waiting for your turn to talk.
In today’s busy world, we’re always going to come across people who make our day a little more challenging. But in everyday life, we must encourage you to surround yourself with those whose energy aligns with yours putting you on ‘the same page’ where it matters.
If you don’t know where to start, acknowledge how you feel when you’re around certain people. If you feel defensive or less confident than usual, you’re likely around people whose energy doesn’t align with yours.
We’d love to help you delve into this a bit more, contact us here.
5) Follow your passions
Again, we understand it’s not always easy to quit the nine-to-five grind when you have bills to pay and a family to support, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start small. Start by pursuing a hobby in an area that lights you up and take small steps from there. Once you’re living a passionate life, your purpose becomes clear, and so does the path to get there.
Meditation and other mindfulness practices help define your true values and turn them into actions. Focussing on your inner voice and energy and drowning out the noise of the world is an essential step towards your more authentic self.
We understand that in your busy life you might not have time to meditate but start small with just 60 seconds a day and see where that takes you. If you’re looking for more meditation tips, we have a free guided seven-day meditation challenge here.
7) Be vulnerable
Learn how you feel, and don’t be afraid to share it. Not everyone is used to sharing emotions but opening up and showing vulnerability helps create genuine connections and really become aligned with your authentic self.
Once you learn how to live in true authenticity, your health will improve and the potential for your future is limitless. To find out more, contact us today.