We hear people talk about it. It’s a popular meme on social media. The word runs rampant in metaphysical circles. We all want it. But how do we really get it?
Authenticity is the ability to be real, genuine, free, and original. We give a lot of talk to instilling these values in our children and ourselves, but do we?
Our country itself is labeled the land of the free. So why do we all feel so stuck and so trapped?
In a word, FEAR.
Fear of rejection, most specifically. Connection is like air to our psyche and our soul. Without it, we physically and psychologically cannot thrive and possibly even survive. Thus, we learn to do whatever we need to do to connect even if we have to hide, edit, or deny vital parts of ourselves.
Enter- the “shoulds” as they shape our very identity.
What we should wear
What we should say
When we should speak and be silent
What we should be
What our bodies should look like
What we should desire
Who and how we should love
How much space we should take up…
All the “shoulds” are like water to the flame of authenticity.
“Don’t think you’re on the right road just because it’s a well-beaten path.” ~Unknown
To be authentic means we will walk a path no one has yet walked. It is a path unique and right for us, and it does not have to make sense to anyone else. Authenticity is the rebel, the maverick, and the genius within us. It is the spark of inspiration born from out-of-the-box thinking. It is the freedom that comes when we align with our most inspired selves. It is not just about being real but embarking on the quest to find real in our lives.
It is time to celebrate your uniqueness. Summon your inner rebel. Connect with where freedom resides in your life, and likewise, locate all the places you quench its fire. Ask yourself where fear of rejection holds you back from honest expression of your truth. Find the “shoulds” and bury them.
Tips to claim Authenticity:
1. Practice radical self-awareness and acceptance– To be authentic you must know who you are. You must be aware when you shapeshift into past patterns or replay the past in the present. You must also know your values, your strengths, and your faults and be willing to look at those shadowy places within.
2. Trust your intuition– Authenticity is not found in the head but the heart. (For more on intuition, listen to the Holistic Health Hour Series Understanding Intuition)
3. Tell the truth (to others and especially ourselves)- Integrity is such a huge part of authenticity. It is about our actions and words being in alignment with our own values and truths.
4. Claim you inner rebel- Often authenticity asks us to push against something to claim who we are. In fact, you’re not doing it right unless you’re making at least one other person uncomfortable.
5. Question everything– Especially the stories you tell yourself.
6. Assert yourself- There are two parts to this practice. One: speak your truth from clear honesty and not passive or active aggression, and two: let go of the other person’s need to like it.
7. Notice where you give it away– Watch where you edit, hustle, “should” yourself, control, or defend. Be aware of where you fear rejection and what needs to heal within you to find a grounded sense of self.
8. Change your mind- A lot. You have a right to change your mind about anything at any time.
9. Set boundaries (inner and outer)- Setting boundaries is a radical act of self-care and a way to love yourself and others. It is a way you keep your power without giving it away.
10. Be Flawsome– Flawsome is a divine mix of awesome and flawed. Perfection is overrated, impossible, and a misguided form of control. Embrace the whole you!