What is Authenticity?
Cambridge defines it as the quality of being real or true; psychology defines it as living in accordance with one’s values, their true self, despite societal pressures or norms. It’s funny then, that April 1st is April Fool’s Day where people around the world play practical jokes on each other and say things that are untrue. Add to this the myriad of filters and editing, how much of what we look at on the internet or in media is true?
In a world steeped with falseness, how can we cultivate more authenticity in our own lives?
10 ways to cultivate authenticity
1. Treat people with kindness
2. Be fully present (put those phones away)
3. Listen (and practice this as a skill)
4. Open your mind
5. Examine family belief systems (all systems, in fact)
6. Identify discrepancies between thoughts/words and actions
7. Explore your values
8. Foster self-compassion
9. Release patterns/beliefs that no longer serve you
10. Accept that building authenticity takes time
Easier said than done? Keep in mind that if you truly crave authenticity, it comes with challenges. To be authentic, we must care less about external influences and views and return to the self, shedding that which needs to go.
It is also not a “one time job”. It is a constant re-evaluation of who we are, what we want to do and how we bring that to life. We must be willing to shine a light on areas we need to work on and work through the sticky spots. Knowing what we CAN do and then actually taking action are two very different things. Being stuck in uncertainty can make you feel like you are swimming through molasses with a film over your eyes, unsure of where you are going and expending a lot of effort to get there.
“When you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there” – Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carrol
As we build our authenticity, peeling back the layers to our true selves, things will change. It will be uncomfortable. And in this metamorphosis, we will grow into ourselves, ever-evolving into who we are and who we are meant to be. This process requires help, a lot of it! Learning to ask for help, and actually take it, is critically important. We have to make decisions (our own decisions) and then learn from the outcome. Sometimes we win, sometimes we learn. We adjust, we start anew and the process starts all over again.
Even though this is something I help others with, I still need support in this area myself. I go to my mentors, my community, my coaches and my friends for help. I learn. I integrate. And then I take action. Healthy boundaries and a commitment to my daily practices to reset my energy help me get through the tough parts and rise again and again to face the day.
Are you ready to uncover your true self? Get in touch and let’s get started!