How do you know when you are being your authentic self? What does it mean to be authentic?
When I am being my true self, I know it because I feel ease in my mind and freedom in my body. I am neither anticipating what’s next or belaboring what came before. I am present. I am energized.
We know when we aren’t being authentic. Even if we don’t know it in our minds, our bodies give us tons of clues. Sometimes the beat of our heart will tell us or how we “hold” our body or even the aches and tensions we feel in our bodies let us know that something is out of alignment. And if we dig a little deeper, we may find that we were trying to be something different than who we are…and the authenticity meter that lives in all of us goes beep beep beep. Ok, maybe it doesn’t actually making a beeping sound, but it lets you know in it’s own way.
What makes expressing our authentic selves so challenging?
Being authentic requires courage and vulnerability, without allowing others perceptions or perceived judgments shape our actions. Being authentic means showing our genuine, honest insides to the world, regardless of if we are accepted or rejected…if we are welcomed or excluded, if we are loved or despised.
When we are being authentic, we jump in, not knowing what will happen and that’s super scary! However, the alternative isn’t so easy either. Our minds and bodies take the toll for trying to shape us into something or someone that we aren’t. You have felt it. You know just what I am talking about.
Note: This doesn’t mean that to be authentic you have to disclose all your personal “stuff,” but rather that you stay aligned with your core values — and that you don’t say or do things that aren’t an expression of what you believe or who you are.
By the way, have you noticed how good it feels to be around people who are being authentic? For me, it’s a visceral experience, much like the experience I have my mind and body when I am being authentic. This makes sense, because:
Authenticity begets authenticity!
Here’s a wonderful example of a woman who oozes authenticity. People want to be her friend, work with her, hire her, even BE her after meeting her for only a few minutes because of her authenticity (I will admit that her intelligence, humor and accent help!). All kidding aside, her authenticity makes people feel good inside (and your authenticity does too!). Check her out here on video: Yes Yes Marsha. I also love her posts, because even her writing conveys her vulnerability and honesty. To see a recent post by Yes Yes Marsha that includes a life-changing program we are both currently enrolled in through the Good Life Project called Immersion, click here.
The next time you notice that you aren’t fully being “you” – check in with your body. Or better yet, take a moment now to proactively anticipate typical situations that tend to lead to you being anyone other than your beautiful self. Once you’ve got your “high-risk-for-lack-of-genuineness-situations-list,” use it to be prepared. Just before entering your listed events, situations, or interactions, take a moment pause and enjoy at least 5 deep, present, centering breaths. Then, upon entering into the situation, take moments to do a body scan and notice what your authenticity meter is telling you.
Each moment is new opportunity to express your true self in the world. When you really think about it, isn’t that super exciting?!