What does it mean to be your authentic self?The first word that comes to mind for me is truth. Subconscious truth. Living a life that not only looks good on the outside but feels good on the inside (a bit like what I wrote about cultivating true beauty from within - to be beautiful is to be yourself!).
The word 'authentic' means from the source or origin. It is about being real. Ironically it is about not trying. It's you. The word 'fearless' is not necessarily the absence of fear, but rather the mastery of fear. It is about living a life that is true to the values at the very centre of your core, regardless of what others may think or expect of you. This indeed is being fearlessly authentic.
I have always lived an authentic life. I follow my heart and do what feels right for me and my family. This is my gauge, despite how much time and effort it might take. After I sold my first business, Luken & May Biscuits, I traveled around the world with my husband and kids on a barge. Reconnecting with them felt right like the right thing to do after working so hard for so long.
On a smaller, day-to-day level, when I set aside my endless to-do list to take my kids out for a walk outside, that feels right. When I allow stress to fade away and tend to my herb garden. When I sit around a table of inspiring women and truly listen to what they have to say. When I'm sipping on my green smoothies and cooking food for the soul. When I formulate an entire lipstick product line based around holistic living, truth and integrity. When I decide to only use clean beauty brands rather than having my skin clogged and suffocated by synthetic chemicals. When I take time away from my business to see my mum. When I have really and truly followed my gut instinct and made sacrifices, ignored the voice of fear and have just gone with it. This has been me being at my authentic self, unashamedly.
It's amazing how we draw positive people and events towards us when we start to exude this kind of fearless energy. It puts so much into perspective. It makes your realise which parts of your life you weren't living truthfully. That's an enlightening (and sometimes confronting) thing.
So how do you know when you're being your authentic self? Or how can you get more in touch with this?
- Pay attention to what brings you joy. Write in your journal or create a mind map of things that set your soul on fire or make you smile.
- Pay attention to what doesn't bring you joy or depletes you/makes you feel off-balance. Choose to change, let go or limit these things. That nagging gut feeling is there for a reason.
- Set clear intentions about what you want to feel and who you want to be. This can help you change a career, relationship, way of thinking, or lifestyle in beneficial ways.
- Take responsibility. You are the only person who can find your authentic truth and create the life you love.
- Accept yourself as you are. The more you come to terms with who you really are at your core, the less energy you waste on worrying and negative thoughts.
- Express yourself. Try not to fear what other people think of your views and opinions. The right people will stick around in your life regardless of whether or not they agree with what you have to say.
- Learn from others around you - but don't get caught up trying to live someone else's dreams or compare yourself. Take a break from social media and/or mute certain people if they make you feel bad about yourself.
- Practice authentic living. If you feel your true self is not in alignment with the life you are living, then make some tweaks.
- Speak the truth when it's necessary. Sometimes, in order to be authentic, you simply do not need to say anything at all to prove a point. Be real, compassionate, humble and honest when the occasion calls for it. Let authenticity beam from you like rays of sunlight.
- Don't over think it. It should be natural, free-flowing. Don't force it. Just be. Listen gently to the whisperings of your heart. Learn how to discern the difference between truth (gut instinct, subconscious voice, moral compass) and ego (thought, anxiety, fear, overwhelming feelings). Be mindful of love all around you. Feel that love and roll with it. You'll be surprised where you can end up.
Authenticity is what is left over when the mind steps out of the way and lets the soul shine through. By pursuing the intention of being fearlessly authentic, you focus your attention on whatever resonates with your truth so you can live your best life yet.