Authentic Living: Becoming More of Who You Are

Being the authentic you is a concept we hear a lot about these days. The idea is about being who you are. Dancing as if no one is watching. Standing for what you believe in and living the life you love. But what does this all mean? What does it mean to be truly authentic in your life? Aren't you "YOU" without having to work at it?

Yes, no doubt about it, you are you. However, we are all affected by our upbringings (Were you celebrated or criticized?), our social context (Did you fit in easily or struggle and adapt to be part of the group?), and our basic personality traits (Some women are born confident while others need a boost!). Somewhere along the way we lose a bit of ourselves or transform so that we'll fit in. We might even forget parts of who we are. But not to worry, our true whole being is just tucked away, waiting to be uncovered.

It takes guts to do the work and reveal who you truly are. It takes courage to be the full you, unfiltered.

The first step to unearth who you are is to be aware of how you react in relationships and social interactions. Do certain exchanges make you feel uncomfortable or relaxed? Be aware of what feels right for you and what feels a bit off.

Next step is to observe yourself. Ask these questions:

  • Where am I in my life right now and where do I want to be?
  • If something isn't quite right about my life, what's off?
  • Am I being true to myself?
  • Am I able to speak my truth and be out there in the world in my full authenticity?

This work is a process. As we age and learn to feel more comfortable with ourselves we are able to shift things around. We can expand ourselves to accept our true essence.

From a business perspective, spring is the perfect time to be thinking about growth, change and being more of who you are. Carrie Wilkerson, featured in this month's cover story, commented in one of her wonderful videos, "Nobody can do it the way you do it."

This speaks directly to the value of being authentic. Carrie is correct that each and every one of us contributes our specific talents, strengths and inner beauty to the work we do. It is normal to lose sight of this perspective and compare our skills and our actual selves to others. Thinking less of ourselves is clearly short changing our value and overall being. Being YOU, being authentically you, is of value to this world and should never be compromised.

Some Tips on how to be MORE of who YOU are:

  1. Get to know yourself unfiltered. Keep a journal. Ask yourself important questions and answer them honestly. Some examples: What do I want? Am I living an authentic life? What do I want more of? How am I contributing?
  2. Cultivate relaxed confidence. Make it a discipline to learn new techniques focused on grounding yourself in self esteem and joy. Read books, magazines, listen to recordings and watch videos on the topic. The more confident you are, the easier it is to be the true YOU.
  3. For relationship management, be aware of your connections with others. Ask yourself, am I sticking with my true views or shuffling to the dance of others? Am I giving away my power/energy to others or keeping clear, healthy boundaries?
  4. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Of course with kindness and sensitivity, you can never go wrong. When you stand in your power and speak your truth, life is easier and far more joyful.

Take your place in the world and bring your goodness to yourself, those around you and the world at large. This is what authentic living is all about. Each and every one of us is a delight and bringing that light to the forefront is what BEING FULLY YOU is all about.