I am sure you are familiar with the phrases “be you,” “beYOUtiful,” “the real you,” “be an original” and the like. They all imply to be inspired by, but resist trying to copy others. I agree that it seems to be good advice; but, what does it really mean to be the unadulterated unedited version of you? The you which is mostly influenced by your own passion and purpose. Warning, it’s challenging. Living authentically involves a higher state of being which requires a deep connection with your inner self, soulful living.
Authentic living can be viewed as simultaneously desirable and yet unattainable. How do you live authentically in a world that capitalizes on you wanting to be anyone except you? Moreover, with everyone sharing their opinion about you, how do you even recognize if you are living your authentic life?
The best place to start is to share what authentic living isn’t. It does not hold you hostage to what you do not want and leave you questioning your ability to manifest your dreams. It is not continuous unrest and constantly feeling at odds with yourself. It is not living incapacitated by fear. Authentic living is not merely “doing,” in absence of enthusiasm, because you are good at it––or told you were. It is not establishing your life based on your families legacy if it does not align with your personal aspirations. The bottomline is authentic living does not mean to forsake yourself!
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences.”~Timothy Leary
Now that you know what authentic living isn’t, you may still be trying to come to terms about what it looks and feel like in your life––it’s ever-evolving. However, these seven signs are a general guide. You are living your authentic life, when…
- you can do it afraid––whatever “it” is.
- you are concerned less about the opinions of others and more about yours.
- you become the author of your own story including defining your success.
- you acknowledge that everything you need to be you is already within you.
- your life is enough––this does not mean you do not have ambitions, but comparisons will be a thing of the past.
- challenges are just pauses––regroup and get back at it.
- you can quickly notice inauthentic living.
When I wasn’t living my authentic life, I felt a persistent internal struggle. The life I really wanted and the life I thought I had to live was always at battle. I was mentally and spiritually exhausted. It took a lot of energy to just get out of bed and put my feet on the floor. It was as if I was unengaged and disconnected from my own life. Everything was a task. It was not until I made the conscious decision to be my authentic self that I felt alive again! My suggestion to you is to be free to wear the hairstyle you like best, the clothes that make you feel beautiful, travel to your favorite destination, go after the career which makes your spirit leap…intentionally be you!
When I discovered what it meant to be authentic, my life changed. I felt like a two-year old discovering a treasure of choices. I was unbound, liberated, and attuned to me. I no longer needed a stamp of approval to live because within my purpose, there is already permission. Happiness became tangible and peace was not extinguished by obstacles.
Embracing authenticity gives you the courage to get off the virtual merry-go-round that circles around your ideal life and awaken to vast possibilities. Research has found “authentic people are happier, more exuberant, more empathetic, and more secure. They have higher self-esteem and are more accepting of their own weaknesses.”
Each time you do not live according to your heart, you are being unfaithful to yourself. When you drift from your true self, you and the universe are deprived of the incredible riches that can only be deposited by you. Authentic living waters the seeds planted within you and allows you to blossom into the unique person that you were born to be. “Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close…” GO LIVE YOUR AUTHENTIC LIFE!