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Being authentic - reclaiming your authenticity


What does being authentic mean to you?

 


In the fast paced modern world that we live and through being drawn into consumer culture we often lose sight of our true selves or feel we are unable to live from a place of truth. Our truth.

 

From the moment we are born, we enter into a family where although often well intended, our parents/carers have fixed ideas about who they want us to be and the path we should follow. Parents/carers want us to be successful, to follow in family traditions or career paths that give us status. On the opposite side of the spectrum some parents/carers do not have the time, energy, patience, emotional intelligence, understanding or money to nurture what is inherent to our unique nature.

 

It can be a real challenge as we move through the various life stages: the early years, primary school, secondary school, college, university, work and relationships to be in situations where we feel we can be authentic. At school, home or work we are expected to follow rules and not deviate from them or there will be consequences. In friendship circles we risk not being liked or fitting in if we are seen to be different in any way. In work settings there is a culture we must adopt and if we do not follow it then we often find our face doesn’t fit, so we either move on or are somehow released from our role.

 

In relationships we are not always able to express ourselves fully for who we are. Due to insecurities or risk of being dominated we hide parts of ourselves as we fear we might be rejected or no longer be loved. We go along with things to keep harmony, suppressing our true voice in order to do so. We do not follow our dreams, we follow those of our partners out of fear of the relationship ending, so we can do things together or to avoid appearing needy or not being supportive. This saddens me.

 

I am also saddened by the expectation placed on people or that we place on ourselves through social media. Following the latest trends, being forced into marketing practices that do not align with our true nature. People go along with this because that’s what the marketing gurus say we must do to generate business, to stand out and increase our presence and income. This of course is false! When we continue to do this and go along with what doesn’t feel authentic to us we end up with social media fatigue and wish to withdraw or we are drawn into only showing a particular side of ourselves and the rest is hidden from view. The good and the bad, the light and shadow parts of ourselves. We are only showing a highlight of our life. This fails to serve us and also fuels the public perception that our lives needs to look a certain way so we lose touch with ourselves and our own authenticity and fuel a false sense of reality in terms of what life is or looks like.

 

It can take us a lifetime to peel off the layers that mask who we really are at our core. We can feel pressured to become someone or something, when all we really need to be is ourselves, true our unique nature and to what is calling us. This can be hard for all of the reasons I’ve mentioned.


I am reminded of the book written by James Hillman, 'The Soul’s Code, In Search of Character and Calling' (a great book if you haven’t read it) about how we are all born with a unique character that needs to be lived and we should be given help to support this in unfolding. Even if this isn’t explicitly nurtured it can just happen anyway. What can seem like negative experiences or being forced down a path you are not interested in can actually end up leading you to what you do love. Eventually you may decide to break free and follow what is important to you. So all is not lost if you think you were not given the opportunity for your unique character/soul expression to come forth. There is always still time and opportunity for this to happen.

 

I’ve always admired the people who show up and be themselves. Even if they are not perfect they show all sides of themselves so you know where you stand and get to know the real person. People who are authentic like this are not trying to impress anyone with status symbols, following crowds or trends. They are laid bare for all to see. I like people like this it helps us to have authentic genuine relationships with them and inspires others to drop the facade and do the same.

 

If we can be brave and bold, not feel shame, be ok with taking a risk, embrace vulnerability and not see it as weakness then we can begin to live authentically in our lives, in relationships with ourselves, others and the world. Brene Brown talks about being vulnerable in her book ‘Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead’, another great read I would recommend.

 

Being authentic to me also means live with integrity, which is something I will discuss another time. Having space to discover who you are at your core, your purpose, your soul and all the things that make up you is so important for your health and wellbeing. We can do this informally through conversations with our friends, family and support groups. We can read books, take training courses, educate ourselves, follow our hobbies or connect with nature for inspiration. If you feel you don’t always have this opportunity or feel lost in how to figure this out then life coaching is a great way to do this. When working with a life coach they provide a safe confidential space for you to work through things and help you to identify and bring to the surface your authenticity and help you tap into your unique nature. Working with a life coach you will not be judged or feel as if you do not belong. It can help you get to the heart of who you are so you can take steps towards living an authentic life and finding your true purpose and passion, your soul's calling!


So please please help to make the world a more authentic place by tapping into and reclaiming your authenticity. The world needs you and your authentic self.

 

If you are interested in life coaching sessions with me I offer these for women in person in Suffolk and online. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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