THE IMPORTANCE OF
24th July 2019 - 3 min read
If you were 3% more authentic today, what would be different?
Give yourself a moment to sit with that question. 3% might not seem very much but it could be the difference that makes the difference between having a mediocre day or a great day.
So what is authenticity? There are many different aspects to being a truly authentic person but by definition, authentic people have a realistic perception of reality. Authentic people are able to speak out about what they believe in but with absolute conviction behind their beliefs. They are able to accept themselves and others around them without judgement or envy. Opening yourself up to accepting who you are, warts and all and being willing to make changes that can help you get to that point could be the key to becoming a happier and more fulfilled person.
Learning who you are, truly and completely and without any comparison to others can be difficult to do and something which might not come easily. Psychologist Erik Erikson theorised that children go through different stages during their development and between the ages of five and twelve years old they begin to compare ourselves to others around them. In this stage children will seek approval for developing skills or accomplishments and if not encouraged by parents or teachers, they will begin to feel inferior and will doubt their abilities. This can form a narrative that runs through life.
The good news is, we can change our narratives. By pinpointing and acknowledging our thoughts and beliefs we can make the conscious decision to make change. Let’s rewrite your story.
Ask yourself the following and write down your answers:
- In what environments do I feel I can be my most authentic self?
- In what social groups am I my most authentic self?
- In what environments do I feel I am not being authentic?
- In what social groups am I not being my most authentic self?
- What do I do that is authentically me?
- What do I not do that is authentically me?
Were the answers what you expected or were your surprised by what came up? Are there any patterns or connections between the environments and the social groups that are causing a block in being truly authentic? Think about what you can take from this information and how you can make a change.
Change does not need to be drastic or dramatic or huge. The most valuable change will occur slowly over time, making smaller steps towards change will help them to stick and spread throughout your life. So start small, if you were 3% more authentic today, what would be different about your day? If you were 5% more authentic next week, what would that bring you? What one thing could you do today that would mean you were being authentic to yourself and with others?
Take it slow, do not rush and keep asking yourself the above questions over time. If you like to journal (or would like to start), ask yourself these questions on a weekly basis. By doing this you can refer back over time, see what has changed, what has stayed the same. Try to notice if there are any situations in particular that bring up difficulties for you or that you are finding hard to shift. By writing down your answers it allows you to pinpoint patterns in your behaviour that arise over and over again.
Learning to reflect on yourself and your behaviour is the first step to making a positive change in your life. In my book ‘Getting to Know You’, I provide guided journal questions in order to direct you towards making healthier decisions and create a new narrative for a more authentic way of being. I also go into more detail about the benefits of being authentic, building a sense of purpose into your daily habits and much more. The first step to feeding your happy is to ask yourself what happiness means to you. Learning more about who you are, what you like and dislike and what is important.
Becoming the true, authentic you. Take that step today.