The Most Authentic You
In a world where conforming is the norm how do you stand out from the crowd? Do you relay the authentic you to others? How we act in and around people tells everyone who we are. Don’t believe it that statement? If you act one way around people and a different way by yourself then the authentic you doesn’t shine through. We’d stifle our authentic selves to fit than embrace the talents we were born with such as our creativity, our ingenuity, and learning how to become self-aware.
Most of us are afraid to be who we really are because of fear. Fear of others not liking us, fear of people making fun of us or even fear of rejection. Though these may feel like valid reasons they are really only words in our heads and don’t do us justice. We end up walking around with all of these invented selves.
Schools have starting to teaching diversity but the hidden agenda forces people to think inside the box and be part of what’s trending instead of real inclusion. If you think differently you are labeled a troublemaker. If you have different beliefs you are labeled a hater. True diversity adopts authenticity and praises it. True diversity builds leaders not followers.
When we talk about the authentic person what we are describing is not how others see us but how we see ourselves. Who were you created to be and are you exercising that creation? Dr. Phil defines it as, “The authentic self is the you that can be found at your absolute core. It is the part of you not defined by your job, function or role. It is the composite of all your skills, talents and wisdom. It is all of the things that are uniquely yours and need expression, rather than what you believe you are supposed to be and do.”
Becoming The Most Authentic You
The key to becoming the most authentic you is based on three keys.
- Know your values
- Know your strengths
- Align your heart with your actions
These three things may sound harder than they really are but they do define where we go in life, how we act in life, and how aware are we of what we are doing with our lives. For my entire life, I’ve always wanted to write. I love children and writing stories for them was a never-ending quest but instead of actually writing those stories I gave myself excuses. My heart was burning inside because I thought it wasn’t “cool” to write those stories but when I joined a writer’s group I found the courage to start writing those stories. After writing over twenty children’s books I see how fear paralyzed me.
I also loved music and played in a rock band so the thought of a Rock “N” Roller writing children’s books didn’t fit my image so until I came to grips with my authenticity I lived a life of lacking. Are you living that same type of life? Are you lacking something important and don’t know how to take that next step?
Reconnecting With The Most Authentic You
Dreams make up a large part of our authentic self. What do we long to be and are we taking the steps to become that person? Too many people are under the mistaken impression that you have to “fake it till you make it” mentality and that holds them back. Reconnect with the younger you. Remember the dreams you had? The ideas you wanted to bring out to the world? Where are they in your life today. Do you still hold the dear to your heart or have they become just pleasant memories?
Habits… the word brings to mind robotic movements that we become trapped in but habits can change. They are apart of us but they don’t define us. The authentic self is completely opposite. It is something that has meaning to your life and is worth doing and putting time in. The idea is to make places in your life that has meaning and act upon those things. Eliminate those things that you do because you think you have to not because you want to.
We are told to constantly work hard reach our potential or we’ll lose out on the great things in life but how do you reach your potential if you don’t know your authentic self? Throughout our lives we’ve had challenges and how we deal with them goes a long way in determining who we ultimately become or in the very least, what part of us reigns supreme, our authentic self or the self we let others see? It would be nice if they were one in the same but here’s a quote by Bernice Johnson Reagon that puts it into perspective. “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
Discovering The True Self And Putting It Into Action
Living the authentic life takes some getting used to but we all need to look deep inside and see ourselves for who we really are not how others perceive us. That’s a pretty intense statement but one that holds the key to being an authentic person.
Here are some action steps that you can take to bring authenticity back to your life
- Embrace Happiness – Don’t wait for happiness to come but make your own brand of happiness. Be open to finding your passions and then enjoying them. Don’t just dream but do. When action starts good things happen.
- Work On Doing Good In The World – Nothing is better for the soul than knowing what you are doing is making a difference in someone’s life. Giving is always better than receiving and it’s been medically proven that doing good changes our brains and in the end we find peace which is a big part of our authentic souls.
- Accept Yourself – If you can’t love yourself then you will never find the authentic you. You will always be searching always be looking for acceptance. Many of the world’s problems are based on us not accepting ourselves and taken to extremes we try to force others to accept us. Accept yourself first and others will come to accept you. You cannot force others to do your will. Instead, love unconditionally and give with your heart and soul. The real you will do what’s right, what healthy and what’s fair.
- Make God The Most Important Things In Your Life – God has a funny way of getting our attention. Most of our lives are spent looking for things that don’t exist yet the true self is found in loving God. Searching for the true self can take all your life but looking towards God for guidance, love and happiness can be found squarely in his word and finding the authentic self leads to our true purpose on earth. Without that purpose or mission, our authenticity cannot breathe.
How you serve God says a lot about how you serve yourself. When you live a heart-centered life, authenticity flows from your veins. It’ seen in your actions, your words and your character. Don’t try to force it… just let it be. Pray about what God wants from you. Embrace your purpose and live it out with conviction. When others see you living this way they will respect the real you not the you that think they know.