One of my core values is being Authentic.
As part of my coach training, we were asked to list down our values. While doing that exercise I realized most of the values that I listed were those that I had acquired as an adult and as a deliberate creator. Not as a child following instructions given by my parents, society, teachers and the world at large.
In fact my values at present are very different to the ones that were taught to me as a child.
And one of those values, is being authentic.
I appreciate authenticity in others and try to be as authentic and genuine as I can be.
The dictionary describes authentic as "of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine"
My values are important to me and it dictates how I am as a person with others and with myself.
It is the framework around which I operate and live.
There is a lot of pressure in our society to be someone that can fit in, that is accepted by society, that is loved by others even if it's at the cost of us not loving ourselves.
We tell our children to say their thank you's and pleases more often than we tell them about compassion and empathy and being real or being in touch with their emotions.
I would like to invite you to think about what being Authentic means to you and how often are you aware, if you are operating from this space of being your self, your unique, wonderful, precious self.
When we live our lives being what we are expected to be and what will get us appreciated and get us the nod of approval, we pay a huge price by sacrificing the most important relationship, the one that we have with ourselves.
Know that when you are being authentic, it feels fantastic, it feels easy, it feels liberating.
But if you are rarely being yourself, your true self, then it could seem really scary to show up in the world being your real self. You see you are so used to being what others expect out of you, what the situation demands you to be and what is appropriate that it can seem scary to step out and be yourself. You might worry if you will be appreciated or if you will upset the people that you love or you might fear you will be treated as an outcast.
These feelings are all normal and natural. You see if you have been conditioned for a long time to be someone that is not the real you, then you might have started believing that , that is the real you.
You are no longer in touch with your authentic self.
Now the only way you know that you are being yourself or not is, by tuning into how you feel.
If you feel free and liberated and joyful then you are being true to yourself.
On the other hand if you are feeling suppressed, stressed, pressured, angry, frustrated or just plain sad then that could be a sign that your inner being is nudging at you to step up and be yourself.
And even though initially when you start showing up as your authentic self, people around you could get upset, you need to remind yourself that feeding into their expectation of how you should be is of great disservice to not only yourself but those you love. Because not being yourself is not sustainable and will eventually cause resentment and a break down of those relationships.
For me being authentic looks like this
I stand up for what I believe.
I speak up when I feel the need to.
I love with my whole heart.
I embrace my strengths and weaknesses.
I let people know if I feel I am disrespected or hurt by them.
I set healthy boundaries that allow me to honor myself.
I say no when I don't want to do something especially when I strongly feel unmotivated to do that thing.
I do not accept or allow others to treat me badly or with disrespect.
I sometimes don't wear make up if I don't feel like.
I don't buckle under the pressure to conform to society's pressure to - Straighten my hair, to dress in a certain way, to speak in a certain way, to behave in a certain way.
Having said that, I love wearing gloss and makeup, I do blow dry my hair to enhance my curls, I do always have my nails painted and I love dressing up. But I do all of this for me. Because it makes me happy. Because it makes me feel good irrespective of what impression I make on others.
Now, being authentic doesn't have to do as much with what you do or not do , but more with how you feel with how you are showing up as a wife, husband, son, daughter, or whatever role you are in, in your life.
So when you wake up tomorrow , it's a brand new day and a brand new chance for you to choose to be authentic , be the real you, believe in yourself, hold yourself in high regard and when you do that everything and everyone around you will be compelled to treat you with the same love and respect that you show yourself.
That's how energy works.
I hope you are inspired enough to pause and think before you act and ask yourself
" Am I doing this because I really want to, or because I am expected to"
Sending you lots of love.
Share your stories and experiences with me at firstname.lastname@example.org