06 Aug Are You Living An Authentic Life?
I used to think that I was authentic. I used to think that I was being real, being myself in all aspects of my life.
I got up every day and went to to work doing a job I thought that I wanted to do. I had friends who I adored, I had an active social life, volunteered and a healthy lifestyle.
But I was kidding myself.
What Does It Mean to be Authentic Anyway?
“Authenticity,” as defined about 13 years ago by psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis, “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.”
Or as I like to say, authenticity is letting your soul become visible and shine through.
At its root, authenticity requires self-knowledge and self-awareness. And to begin to climb that mountain, it takes a shitload of uncomfortable personal questioning and probing at your life choices. From the moment, I asked myself, “Are you living an authentic life?” I knew in my gut the answer was NO. But I backtracked and determined what questions would I be asking myself in years to come to keep me on this path.
1. Whose Life Are You Living?
Is this the life I want to live? I had to take a week to tap into my inner truth. In fact, the only reason I was able to identify that I wasn’t living the life I wanted was because I was now self-aware.
I had done 2 years of intensive self-work – I mean the whole spirituality, personality and professional assessments, therapy, crystals and all things ‘woo woo’.
Trust me, it took alot of courage and to acknowledge both the light and darkness within myself. I made significant changes to my life. I rid myself of toxic people and situations, adopted a new heath regiment, changed eating habits, changed my personal style – a complete Analise overhaul and after it was all said and done, I came to grips that I still wasn’t living an authentic life.
It’s never too late to honestly ask this question. It’s scary, but it’s never too late.
2. Are You In Love With Yourself?
You know when you first meet someone and there is instant chemistry. You are just grinning when you see the person and you think that they are absolutely wonderful? Yea, that’s how you should feel about yourself. Now notice, I stated self-love and not arrogance/narcissism. Huge difference! (to be discussed in a later blog).
Without self-love, you cannot truly love another. Thanks Buddha.
How do you honour yourself every day? How do you show love to yourself every day?
Daily acts of self-love for me can be as simple as going to spin class or taking the time out to read 2 chapters of a book. It can also mean fabulous spa days or indulging in a decadent piece of chocolate cake. But most of all, it means being thankful and complimenting me every day.
Self-love is how you choose you to show yourself, unconditional love.
3. Are You Living In Regret and Guilt?
Carrying around guilt is a very heavy burden and I know this struggle all too well. I was carrying guilt from my childhood and teenage years well into my 20s and couldn’t forgive myself for what I thought were grievous acts.
Regretting about what I did and didn’t do in the past only served to dull my light and it only served to keep me back from reaching my highest potential.
To get me over this hump, one of the mantras that I repeat to myself every day is “My feeling guilty would not change the past nor would it make me a better person.”
4. Are You Living Your Passions?
I answered this question with a resounding no. Sure I was involved in pleasant social activities eg partying and Carnival but these activities don’t make me soar.
Life is too short to have my passions on the back burner. My passions may not be my career, but it is important that my life is fueled by them.
You may be thinking, “But Analise I don’t know what my passions are.” Well, the truth is we really do know, we do have the answers, but the self-work has not been done. Some people know from an early age what they are, some of us have to do the soul searching.
Feed your soul with activities that make you joyous.
So that’s it. My making sense of an authentic life. I hope that you join me on this scary but invigorating journey of discovering our gifts, stepping into the spotlight and embracing an authentic life.
Have a courageous day!
P.S – Do you have a family member, friend or colleague who needs to hear this message? Please share it with them – they’ll thank you for it 🙂 🙂