Living an authentic life
Photo by Amos Bar-Zeev on Unsplash
There are plenty of gurus out there spouting the benefits of living an authentic life - according to life coach and success powerhouse, Tony Robbins, the key to authenticity is to live more spontaneously. He believes that allowing yourself to respond more spontaneously to life, rather than how you think you should, is the key to being in the moment and being your authentic self. But what does this actually mean and how do we become our most authentic selves?
What does it mean to ‘Live Authentically’ Being authentic is being self-congruent with your individual values, beliefs and motivations. It means living life in a way that is true for you, not based on fulfilling someone else’s or society’s expectations of you.
So, with that in mind, it assumes that you already know what is true for you, which brings us to our next point…
The keys to the castle. To live more authentically and more in line with your true self, you must first really get to know yourself, which really is a lifelong journey. Get to know what blows your skirt up in life, what you value most in different contexts and what is really important to you. Get to know what you would like to be able to say about your life when you’re 90 years old – what you would like to be able to look back on. Get to deeply know the sides of you that you’re too scared to show to anyone else – because weirdly, these aspects of you, that you so habitually try to cover up, are human.
6 Keys to living an Authentic Life
When it comes to living authentically, you have a few tools in your toolkit that will help you on your merry way:
Know your values. This goes hand in hand with self-awareness. Get to know what you want and what makes you tick. Perhaps more importantly, get to know what you’re scared to admit you want to those around you. Therein lies your most authentic self.
Be open minded. As a human, you are a process – not a static being. So being open to discovering new things about yourself on a daily basis is key to living a life in line with your authenticity.
Rediscover your intuition. It may sound a little new age but getting to know when your intuition is telling you something is not right for you, or is a mistake, can help steer you in the direction of a life more authentic to you. (That doesn’t mean you’re the new John Edwards BTW.)
Let go of behaviours and relationships that do not serve you. This is a big one – some of the relationships that do not serve you may be with the people you’re closest to in life. So, take stock of who encourages and inspires you, and who criticizes and deflates you. Same goes for your own personal habits. If you are prone to self-sabotage in some area of your life, time to get real with yourself about why you are doing that and what value you get out of that behaviour.
Speak your truth. Find your voice and don’t be afraid to use it. Allowing yourself to say ‘no’ when something doesn’t resonate with you or voicing your personal perspective can be a challenging thing to do. But it’s like a muscle, the more you train yourself to speak your truth the stronger this habit will become for you.
Embrace yourself. Finally, perhaps the most important thing of all – embrace yourself. Accept yourself for who you are and embrace that uniqueness. Know that you will have different opinions and values to those around you and that is perfectly ok. In fact, that is what keeps life interesting.