“When you stop living your life based on what others think of you real life begins. At that moment, you will finally see the door of self-acceptance opened.” – Shannon L. Alder
The ‘authentic self’ is quite a fashionable thing to prize. The term is now in our common vernacular, despite is being a pretty young phrase. But what does this really mean? What does it me to be your authentic self? Who is that person and how to you find them?
The term ‘authentic self’ is nothing more than a rebrand; a fresh twist on the age-old encouragement to simply be true to yourself. To discover the fundamentals of who you are and what makes you happy, and to embody those things that make you who you are. Sometimes it is difficult to get to the bottom of your true self, the reason being that there is so much noise and influence around us, it can be hard to distinguish between how we are told to be and who we really are. We can often get so caught up in wearing the right clothes, having the latest technology and eating the coolest food, that we forget to take time to reflect on these things and think, ‘is this really what I am all about?’
Being yourself can be scary, it can be quite the risk. But ultimately, if you wish to live well within your own skin, then self-discovery, self-acceptance and self-expression are all vitally important. So, how do we go about seeking out our authentic selves?
1. Your Dreams
You may believe, as an adult, that you do not have time for dreams, or that they seem frivolous. Not so. Dreams, goals, ambitions… whatever you want to call them, should be part of your life. Think back to what you wanted to be when you grew up? Where do those dreams sit within you now? Are they still part of who you are, or are they not? Are they dreams you put aside that you feel you might be missing? I guess the question is, are you spending your time on this Earth doing what makes you truly happy?
2. Do Your Clothes Make You Feel Good?
Clothing is important; and not just because it would be inappropriate not to wear them. Sure, you might be wearing the latest fashion, but how do your clothes make you feel? You clothing should make you feel energised, confident, comfortable and impactful. But most of all, the way you present yourself tells a story about who you are. A huge part of authenticity is being open about who you are to others… and the way you dress, a superficial as it might seem, is a huge part of this.
3. What Do You Love to Do?
Work is one thing, but what about your free time. Your free time is yours, and yours alone. Do you spend that time nourishing your interests, feeding that inner child that loved to play so much? Finding activities that allow you to take your guard down, and that create a space where you don’t have to edit or filer yourself offer an essential release. Even if there are parts of your life in which self-editing is needed, well spent leisure time, being yourself, will make the rest of your life so much easier to manage.
4. Easy Company
Who, in your life, can you be yourself around? We are social animals; therefore, a safe social life is key to our happiness. With that in mind, is important to recognise which of your friends and family are the easiest company. Which of those people love you as much for your triumphs as your flaws? I’m not saying that you should cut out the trickier people in your life… but it is good to recognise how the people close to you affect the visibility of your true self.
By Chris Thomson
A great way to set yourself up for a day of being your best self, is by getting a great, mindful morning routine in place. Like this one… Mindful Living: De-Stress Your Mornings
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