A few years ago, I was not living life authentically. There were days I could hardly get dressed due to depression caused by living an unhappy life. With some deep soul searching, and a few tears, I was able to break through my fears and become my authentic self. I had not been living life on my terms and decided it was time to make a major life change. That decision led me to the happiness I currently enjoy today.
The big question is, what does it mean to live life authentically? I believe it’s living life on our terms with no worry of judgment; being confident in what we do and in who we are. Taking ownership of all aspects of our lives and being true to ourselves by living our truth. I believe we are authentically here on earth to enhance it with our uniqueness not mask it with someone else’s idea of who we should be.
How can we manifest authenticity in our lives? What steps can we take to break free of societies idea of who we should be? We can start with the following six suggestions and build upon them as we become more authentic in our everyday lives.
1. Let go of things we cannot control
We cannot control someone else’s behavior or feelings but we can control our reactions, thoughts and feelings. Take ownership over your reactions. It is a freeing and empowering practice to realize you have absolute control over one person, YOU.
2. Advocate for ourselves
This is a very self-empowering step. Question everything. We have the right to express our concerns and feelings especially where health and emotional wellbeing are concerned. Hand-in-hand with this; you have the right to be heard and listened to. If you feel you are being overlooked there’s a reason you feel this way. Listen to your inner voice. You are just as important and valuable as the person you are speaking to.
3. Communicate your wants and needs clearly and effectively
No one is a mind reader. Sometimes we may think, “well they should have known.” The majority of people are not inconsiderate. They honestly may not have known what it is you may have wanted or needed from them. Many conflicts can be avoided when we clearly explain our expectations to others by speaking to them.
4. Don’t assume
This is conjunction with communication. Ask if you’re unsure about something. Don’t expect a certain response based on assumption of the past, present, or how well you know someone. Be courteous and ask. No question is the wrong question. If you never ask, you’ll never know. This will alleviate stress for both parties involved.
5. Take ownership of your life
Make no excuses for yourself as to why or what you choose to do or not do with your life. You do not owe anyone an explanation or details. This is a healthy boundary. It lets others know, this is how I feel, this is what I want, please respect my decision. People know when you’re not being authentic with them. Most people will appreciate your honesty rather than a detailed excuse.
6. Be honest with yourself
There’s no better way to be more authentic with yourself than to be honest with yourself. Be honest with yourself about how you feel, about who you truly are, about what serves you best, and about what may need to change. If we can be honest with ourselves we can become who we are truly meant to be. Then all things around us will change.
This article by Barbara Ann Bruno was originally published on ProfessorHouse.com