What it really means to be your authentic self.
In today’s world, we hear a lot about “being real” or being your “true self”. The big question is: what does it really mean to be your authentic self? Does it mean that we don’t consider others and their feelings? Does it mean a complete disregard of what’s acceptable in our respective communities? Does being authentic give us license to harm others in the name of “being real”? If not, where is the line between being your true self and violating societal boundaries? How do you balance being authentic while still respecting the sacred rights of others?
Renowned research professor, author and public speaker, Brené Brown had this to say about authenticity: “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
As with anything in life, authenticity is all about balance.
Yet, this is different for everyone as we all have our own unique gifts and areas of challenge. Let us explore the most important concept to finding that balance so you can choose what it looks like to be authentic, for you.
I believe, deep in our souls, we all wish to feel comfortable being ourselves. Almost every cause of pain and suffering in this world is on some level connected with this desire. Although we often seek this acceptance from others, we will never fully feel accepted until we accept ourselves.
A common misconception in the world today is that acceptance and validation must come from outside of ourselves. Many people search for this acceptance from their peers, coworkers and significant others. Although the acceptance of all of these people is important in our lives, it can never replace our own self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance is our greatest asset in life and plays a huge role in our ability to be truly authentic. Therefore, evaluating this in our day to day words, thoughts, and actions is key to finding the authenticity that will provide us with inner peace, fulfillment, and happiness.
Self-acceptance has nothing to do with other people and everything to do with you.
Everyone wants to feel accepted and appreciated by others. This is human nature and that is perfectly okay. The problem arises when we find ourselves using the approval of others to accept ourselves.
When you need someone else’s permission to feel accomplished or worthy, you are validating yourself through other people. And this is an endless maze that leads only to exhaustion, confusion, and unhappiness. You are the only one who has to accept your decisions.
If your motives are clear and your intentions are pure then nothing else matters. In the end, you are the one who gets to decide what that looks like. This doesn’t mean that you cannot seek guidance and wisdom from others as this is a huge asset in spiritual and emotional growth. What it does mean is that your acceptance is enough, if you only let it be.
If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also enjoy reading another one called ‘‘Life is Short, Live it Now’
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Previously published on Medium at https://medium.com/@helenbarry/how-do-i-know-if-im-being-authentic