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November 15, 2020

Living an authentic life; authenticity defined

The topic of self love and the meaning of authenticity keep presenting themselves throughout my day to day. These conversations are happening at parties with friends, at the dinner table, over coffee dates and with clients. And I figure it’s time to dissect and share some thoughts about authenticity.

As we walk through life we are faced with moments of stress, conflict, sadness and big decisions. And it is in these moments where we can choose to be authentic. There are people who are naturally authentic and there are people who have to work at it, like me. I am constantly checking in because I can very easily find myself in a moment where I am about to ignore and even offend my heart. How we respond in these situations is habitual, really. Wanting to respond more authentically requires patience because being true and real is hard work.

The more I explore and learn about authenticity the more I realize it’s actually more work to be untrue. Because walking a path of untruth and denying who you are results in leaving a trail of shit behind you. Sacrificing you for other people isn’t worth it. Who are you serving in this situation? You are serving everyone around you … you are serving everyone but you.

Brené Brown breaks down the meaning of authenticity beautifully …

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.

Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving – even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.

When we choose to be true to ourselves we will very likely “upset the apple cart”. And as Brené Brown says … “I think we should be born with a warning label similar to the ones that come on cigarette packages: Caution: if you trade in your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” Upsetting the apple cart is about self growth and about embracing honesty. And with honesty comes the infamous mirror that reflects our truth.

And although I subscribe to being authentic on the daily – the holiday season is a great time to start to reflect on this. I am not suggesting that it’s the best time to announce your truths … but be mindful … look around … listen. What do you want to see when you look in the mirror? What do you want to hear when you turn and listen to what’s within? What do you want to feel when you wake each day? What does being authentic look like to you?

If you embrace your truth you will likely feel some resistance from loved ones … but with a little patience and open, real conversation they will see that you being authentic leaves you hovering in joy and self love. This gift that you give yourself will rub off on your loved ones because self love breeds self love.

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