First, let’s look to one of the ‘experts’ to get a better idea of what authenticity actually is.
Brene Brown says…
“Authenticity is a daily practice. Choosing authenticity means:
Cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, to set boundaries and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable: exercising the COMPASSION that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle and connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit; nurturing the CONNECTION and sense of belonging that can only happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.”
What are the benefits of authenticity?
I believe that expressing our authenticity is a necessity for a life of fulfilment and connection. Since expressing more of my own authenticity in the world, I have experienced an increase in my self-esteem and it has absolutely increased the quality of all my relationships.
How can I be more authentic?
Are you talking about the weather when you’d rather be talking about your passions? Are you nodding in agreement out of politeness? Are you telling people how you REALLY feel?
I think everyone is secretly craving more authenticity but perhaps we are unsure about how to go about it. Whatever your starting point you can always be more authentic, you can always reveal more of yourself, but perhaps you are feeling scared and overwhelmed at the thought of being seen by the world or feeling terrified at the thought of exposing your tender heart.
Here’s some tips to get you started:
1. Listen to yourself and speak from the heart. Listen to yourself more than you do anyone else, and I mean ANYONE. Talk about the stuff that actually matters to you. Talk about what excites you and what scares you. Express your full self (especially your ‘imperfections’).
2. Self-reflection and self-awareness are fundamental. Why not write about your experiences in a journal. Observe how you feel when you are talking to people? Ask yourself ‘did that feel natural and nourishing?’ or ‘did that feel forced and draining’. Take note of what are you learning about yourself and others? What progress are you making?
3. Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Honour yourself and any difficult feelings that may arise. This is perfectly normal and it gets easier. I promise. Eventually.
4. Authenticity is a journey not a destination. Celebrate every small step forward to becoming more authentic. You won’t get it right first time, you’ll mess up, you’ll say the ‘wrong’ thing or you’ll say the right thing in the ‘wrong’ way, but ultimately you’ll learn and you will grow.
5. Community is important. Perhaps you are growing and those around you are not. I know how hard this can be, and I can offer support when things get tough. I created a space where you could reach out and realise you are not alone. Why not join our Authentic Connections Facebook Group, or if you live in Glasgow, Scotland why not join our meet up group. I also offer one to one coaching and please always feel like you can reach out.
6. Just try it out! Don’t wait until you feel ready, you probably never will. Just speak from the heart and shine your beautiful and imperfect light.
I am always here for you. You are not alone.