More often than not, we’re swarmed with messages about authenticity. We are told to be the most truthful versions of ourselves. ‘’Be true to yourself.’’ Might be a phrase that is far too familiar to you.
Whether it be through social media, conversations with loved ones, self help books or catching someone else’s conversation on a busy train, we all seem to be inundated with the same message.
Despite this message reaching us in our daily lives, very few of us really know what it actually means to be true to ourselves.
We live in a world that puts things into categories. Good and bad and right and wrong.
As diverse as the world may be, it’s not always the best stomping ground for self exploration. So, it’s no surprise that very few people actually have an understanding of what personal authenticity means.
Being true to yourself ultimately means different things to us all.
But, overall, being true to yourself and living authentically, despite what the status quo may say, means that you get to live the life that is meant for you. A life that doesn’t ask you to shrink or fit in the box. You make the rules and the rest will follow.
In this blog we’re going to explore why being your most authentic self is so important and then we’re going to take a look at 6 things that you can do to begin living a life that is true to you.
The importance of being true to yourself
Before we get into the importance of being true to yourself, it’s important to remember that authenticity and living within your personal truth is going to be different for everyone.
To understand what that truth is for you as a person, let’s first look at the definition of truth.
The oxford dictionary defines as ‘’that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.’’
When truth is viewed with this definition, it helps us understand that being true to yourself is subjective instead of being a list of rules that you can adhere to. You are the only person who can know what living in a way that means you’re able to be true to yourself looks like.
If you could be exactly who you wanted, without the noise of the world and outside influences changing your mind, who would you be? How would you dress? What would your relationships look like? What kind of life would you lead?
Once you’re able to answer those questions, you’ll begin to be able to paint a clear picture of what living authentically and in a way that is true to yourself looks like.
So, why is being true to yourself important?
Being honest with yourself about who you are allows you to be honest with others
In order to live a life that is truthful, you’ve got to get really honest with yourself. You need to understand what it is that you yearn for on a cellular level. When you have done this, you will find it easier to be honest with the other people in your life. Once you are aware of the benefits of being honest with yourself, you’ll no longer feel comfortable being dishonest with others.
The best relationships any of us will ever have are built on honesty and integrity. Being true to yourself is important because it aids you in creating healthy, happy relationships. Which in turn improve your new, truthful reality.
You don’t worry about the opinions of the masses
When interviewed about their lives and the things that they regret, many older people say that one of their biggest regrets is listening to the voices and opinions of others. When you have your ear to the outside world and not to yourself, it can easily influence the decisions that you make.
You may find yourself dressing, acting or speaking in ways that you know don’t align with you, but appease others. Being true to yourself means willingly cutting out the noise. When you focus on what is for you it becomes easier to say no to people, places and things that don’t serve you. Leading you to an authentic and peaceful life.
It creates a ripple effect for every part of your life
When you have actively made the choice to only accept and engage with things that encourage you to be exactly who you are, you’ll soon find that it creates a ripple effect to the other parts of your life. Your relationship with self and others will improve, you will become more confident and you’ll stop staying in places that don’t allow you to be true to yourself.
Life becomes more fulfilling
As humans, we sometimes forget how short our time here on earth really is. So, it is of the utmost importance that we don’t waste it. Being true to yourself is important because it will be your guide to living a life for yourself. A life that is fulfilling and is filled with all of the things that make you joyful and allow you to live a life of purpose, whatever that looks like for you.
You allow yourself to be seen for who you really are
Have you ever had an intimate conversation with a loved one or friend and been completely, totally honest about what you’re feeling? Although it may feel scary at the time, there is something liberating about being seen for who you truly are.
When you make the decision to be true to yourself, this freedom will follow you wherever you go. Those around you can take you at face value and whether they like it or not, you are living for yourself and that is what counts.
6 things that you can do to be true to yourself
#1. Learn from the people that you admire
We all have people that we admire and look up to. When we admire someone for something, it’s usually because they display some traits or attributes that we would like to emulate. Take stock of those people and figure out what it is that you admire about them.
Is it their work ethic? Their confidence? The way they speak in front of a crowd? Dedicate some time to working out what it is that you admire and get to work! The version of yourself that you have in your mind’s eye exists, you just have to pull it out.
#2. Let go of things that are no longer serving you.
Sometimes we keep ourselves in places, relationships, friendships and jobs that don’t serve us anymore because we’re comfortable. Or, because we are holding on to the way it made us feel when it was the right choice for us. There are a wide range of reasons why you might still hold on to something that no longer serves you.
Whatever they may be, there will be an internal knowing that tells you something is off. Listen to it! In order to live a life that is truthful, you need to sever all ties with things that aren’t working for you anymore. Even if you might have loved it at some point. Even if you still do. The benefits of authenticity are awaiting you on the other side.
#3. Solidify your identity
Being true to yourself means having a crystal clear picture of who you are. What do you love or hate? What would you stand against the world for? What do you believe?
That coat that you’ve always wanted but didn’t buy because you think everyone else would hate it? It’s time to put it in your basket. Get that piercing. Dye your hair. Go to your favourite artist’s concert alone. Find ways to express yourself and establish your identity. It’s all about you and the world is your oyster!
#4. Trust your intuition
We all have a little voice inside of us that leads us to the things that are meant for us. Your intuition can be your best friend but only if you let it! Many of us have become quite comfortable with ignoring our inner voice because the noise of the world and the opinions of others are too loud.
Start listening to your intuition with the small things. Don’t have a good feeling about something? Don’t do it. Unsure about that person? Create distance. It may feel hard at first. But there is not any other way to live more authentically than to listen to your own intuition.
#5. Do what is best for you
In a world full of roles, responsibilities and expectations, this one can be hard. Sometimes what is best for you might not be best for other people. That can be a tough line to walk along. However, making decisions to please other people and to think of their happiness and comfortability before yours is a sure fire way to betray yourself and your desires every time. Get comfortable with other people being uncomfortable if you know that you need to make a decision for you.
#6. Be intentional
Be intentional with absolutely everything that you do. When choosing jobs, friends, romantic partners, even where you’re going to eat on the weekend. Get yourself back in the driver’s seat and stop being passive. We all have different wants and needs from all of these things. But, by being intentional and using your discernment to only welcome things into your life that you want to be there, you’ll feel like you’re living your truth sooner rather than later.
Time for the truth?
We all deserve to live a life that is authentic. A life that excites us, fulfils us and brings us joy. In this blog we have covered the importance of being true to yourself. Now, you have 6 tips that you can begin to use in your life that will help to lead you to a life of authenticity.
If finding your personal truth is your jam then Bevy White has a brilliant TED Talk all about discovering your authentic self at any age which you can find here.
If you want to take it a step further, we have a range of workshops and courses that would aid you in your journey to living a life that reflects who you truly are. Visit us at https://itsnlp.com/all-upcoming-programmes-workshops/ and let us help you get there.