Learning to live your life authentically is a journey. It’s not something that happens overnight. It’s a process of self-awareness, self-acceptance, and realizing you have the power to nurture a life that makes you truly happy. Is it possible to live authentically without first discovering who you are?
Becoming Your Authentic Self
What does it mean to be truly authentic? And why is authenticity so important to cultivate and practice now? When you’re creating your life, authenticity is one of the most important elements. Very few people feel completely comfortable being their authentic selves. Your authentic self goes beyond your possessions, your job, or your relationships. It’s who you are at your core. When what you say and think aligns with your actions, your authentic self shines through.
“No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one.”
– Nathaniel Hawthorne
6 Steps to Becoming Your Authentic Self
- Getting to know yourself
- Giving yourself a self-concept makeover
- Accepting yourself
- Learning to love who you are
- Determining your life purpose
- Discovering how to live authentically
What it Means to be Your Authentic Self
“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” - Eckhart Tolle
5 Benefits of Living An Authentic Life
- Better Relationships
- Live With Passion
- More Optimistic
One study found that people who scored a higher number of authentic living also reported a higher level of happiness. Those who felt more authentic had more self-esteem and positive emotions compared to those being less authentic and true to themselves.
The journey to living authentically is a process. As you start to dig deeper and gain a better understanding of who you really are, you will begin to feel changes. You may discover your true passions and begin to finally accept and love the person within.
When talking about the ‘good life’ philosophers and psychologists are often describing a life existing of authentic expression, a good sense of well-being, and proper engagement in work and life. A large meta-analysis investigated the ‘good life’ It looked into authenticity, well-being, and engagement. Researchers found that overall authentically has a positive impact on well-being and work engagement.
Research shows that authentic people tend to be well-liked and benefit from many positive outcomes. Although being true to yourself can feel risky and scary at times, it can provide a sense of freedom you didn’t know you needed. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight. But how do you take the mask off and start to live a more authentic life?
“Every person's true identity is beautiful, and much of the ugliness we observe in others was put inside of them by external influences.”― Bryant McGill
How to Become Your Authentic Self
1. Get To Know Yourself
It’s impossible to live authentically without first discovering who you are. Self-awareness is crucial! Self-awareness illuminates the real reasons for past failures and challenges. We often dismiss our failures as bad luck or a lack of proper timing. But it’s also possible that we failed to perceive the situation, others, or ourselves accurately. It’s much easier to see the reason behind relationships, work, and other struggles when we can look at ourselves clearly.
Related: How to Stay Positive and Love Life
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” Carl Jung
2. Develop Self-Awareness
It’s awareness of your habits, emotional tendencies, needs, desires, strengths, and weaknesses. Having a high level of self-awareness is a powerful tool. It allows you to change your life more effectively, since you know how you tick. Those that lack self-awareness find life to be frustrating.
3. Analyze Your Personal Identify
Your identity plays an important role in your decisions and relationships. Thinking about who you are will strengthen the connections among your mind, body, and behaviors. Also, you can get a better handle of where you are in life as well as where you’re headed.
“I believe that most of us have false beliefs about our own nature, and our identity over time, and that, when we see the truth, we ought to change some of our beliefs about what we have reason to do.” Derek Parfit
4. Increase Self-Understanding
One method to increase self-understanding is journaling your thoughts and feelings. Writing bits and pieces of your life experiences can be an incredible journey. Once you start thinking about something that happened to you in the past, you’ll find yourself remembering another story, then another.
Related: 3 Powerful Life Transformation Tips
5. Discover Your Values
One way to truly know yourself is to get in touch with your own set of values. It's easy to get distracted by others' ideals and claim that they're your own because of certain pressures. However, it's vital that you have your own set of principles and morals so you can stand firm in your beliefs.
Your values are simply the things that are most important to you at the core. It's the unwavering belief in what you stand for. When you know your values, you can live an authentic life doing what's most important to you.
Living authentically is by no means a quick journey. To be true to yourself, love, and accept yourself can be difficult. Studies show that living authentically is a good way to improve your overall well-being, as well as benefiting your relationships and even your career. Being uncomfortable and challenging other people's perspectives could be just what you need to feel free and start living your life authentically.
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