The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are. – C. Jung
From an early age, we learn to put on a show. We put on various masks; cloaking our authentic selves under false layers of pretense for people to see. So afraid to show the real ‘us’, we create multiple personas for different situations and sometimes different people. Putting on an act and pretending for the world results in a war between your authentic and pretend self.
Leaders from all walks of life, and from all ages have advised that, and for good reason. The concept is not new, but it is a very important one.
In fact, it is so important that it can make a remarkable difference in the quality of your life, if you decide to implement it. You will feel more alive, free and will experience a newfound love for yourself. I’m sure you are well-aware of that little voice that says, ‘you aren’t good enough’ every time you want to speak up, do better, or add value. By practicing authenticity, you will observe that little voice quietening.
Coming back to the history of the concept of personal authenticity, it can be traced back to ancient Greek philosophy as proven by the widely known concept “know thyself.”
Knowing and understanding yourself is something nearly every religion has put emphasis on, sometimes linking it to knowing God himself. From Greek philosophy to Buddhist tradition to Islamic mysticism, knowing the “self” is a concept not only widely emphasized but also considered to alleviate the self spiritually, physically, and emotionally.
It goes without saying that knowing yourself is the first step towards authentic living, self-improvement, and well-being. Living authentic life and being your most authentic self is not a destination, rather it is a process and a journey.
Here are some reasons you need to find some quiet time every day, and listen to yourself, learn about who you are and what makes you you. Appreciate your uniqueness. This is the first step to being your truest, most authentic self.
You are your life’s work
You only get to live once. The content of your life is you yourself; not how much money you have, not what you did for a living, not how successful you are. All of the good things in life are the by-products of what you become in the process of achieving them.
Who you are as an individual is the true extract of your life’s work and no matter what you achieve in life and how far ahead you go in your career, at the end of the day, it boils down to who you are.
You attract the energy you exude
By being authentic you emit positive and clean energy to the universe; energy devoid of negativity and pretense. By being your most authentic self, you not only attract people of similar energy in your life, you also inspire people already in your life to live at a higher level, free from hypocrisy and duplicity. You allow yourself and the people around you to achieve their full potential in life.
You give yourself the gift of being yourself without fear
Most of us wear masks and create false personas because we fear rejection by others. These could be the people we love, people we work with or someone you have just met. Our insecurities and our inability to accept who we are, are reflected in our actions and we try to be someone who we aren’t to gain approval and appreciation.
This behavior is rooted in our fear of being abandoned or disliked. However, the truth is, if you have to pretend to be someone you are not for people to like you, then you need to rethink whether you should be around such people at all.
You will lead and inspire
Almost all the leaders and people of influence have one trait in common; authenticity. The charisma and charm they exude is because they practice authenticity. They admit their shortcomings without ever fearing rejections. In the end, they are far from being perfect, but they are perfect at being themselves. And this is one big reason why they are able to lead and inspire others do better too.
You will live a happy life
Authentic people are far more happy and content with whatever they are doing in life because they are being true to themselves and living their own truth. Their inner selves aren’t at war with themselves. Their inner truth resonates with their outer being and they don’t waste their energy on pretending and falsifying their lives.
By choosing to live an authentic life they have let go of external forces that controlled their lives. Embracing their own truth liberated them and that is the start of living a life that is worthy of living.
How to begin your journey to being your most authentic self?
To begin your journey towards your most authentic self you need to answer these three questions:
Then think about:
You can start being your most authentic self by holding the intention of being true to yourself. Focus on being the self that truly resonates with your truth and your vision while letting go of parts of your behavior that are incongruent with the person you truly are and who you want to be.
By making a clear intention and remaining mindful of your actions and behaviors, you learn to hold yourself liable. The practice is a self-editing process where you do more and more of the things that are more like yourself and less and less of things that you do to please or gain approval of others.
Choose to hold yourself accountable for your life and do your best to live the life you know you deserve without any fear of judgment and rejection. When you accept your true self without any reservations, the people around you will start doing the same.
Decide to live an authentic life and discover the authentic self; the self who you know yourself to be.