In today’s society where conforming is the norm, having the courage to be your authentic self is admirable. Being your authentic self means being true to who you are, embracing your individuality and uniqueness, and standing by your values and beliefs even when they might be unpopular. Authenticity is all about being genuine in all aspects of your life.
Unfortunately, many people try to change us and dictate who we should be and how we should behave. From society in general, our parents, our friends, to our significant others. And while it might be easier to conform and give in to other people’s demands and want to meet their expectations, you will not be doing yourself justice if you allow yourself to lose your authenticity while trying to please others. To live an authentic life means that you are the author of your own story, and your actions are not dictated by anyone other than yourself.
Everyone has something to offer this world, and by becoming your authentic self, you can discover your purpose in life and unlock your potential. In this post, we shall discuss how to be your authentic self and the benefits of being real.
Let’s dive in…
10 Ways to Be Your Authentic Self and Unlock Your Potential
- Discover who you are
The first step in finding your authentic self is to discover what makes you who you are; For instance, what drives you, what makes you happy, what you are passionate about, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. You can request any of your trusted friends to help you identify more qualities that you might not have noticed about yourself. Discovering everything that makes you who you are can help in unlocking your authentic self.
- Live your life by your own rules
Some of the main reasons people are not authentic are either because they conform to other’s expectations or make decisions influenced by worries about what people will think. In the process of living up to other people’s expectations, you will most likely have to put your own dreams and goals in the back seat. Doing this could lead to dissatisfaction and regrets later in life when you realize how much time you wasted pleasing others and not being true to yourself.
Learning to own your life and live by your own rules is one of the best ways to be your authentic self and unlock your potential. You will no longer have to please others, only yourself. When you become your authentic self, you decide what is best for you and only live up to your own expectations.
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- Define your values and set boundaries
Do you have values that you cannot compromise for anything? If you don’t have them and you want to become an authentic person, you will need to define your principles and set boundaries for what is acceptable and unacceptable in your life. Being your true authentic self involves standing for your values even in challenging situations and sharing your opinions even when they are unpopular.
Other people don’t have to agree with you, but because you stood up for what you believe in, you will inspire respect, and this might give some weight to your opinions and ideas, increasing the chances of their consideration.
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- Find your purpose
Knowing your purpose in life is one way of finding your authentic self, and everyone has their unique purpose that cannot be fulfilled by anyone else. While conforming to societal expectations and trying to be just like everyone else, you might lose sight of your purpose and who you are.
Separate yourself from the crowd and look for the meaning of your life. When determining your purpose in life to be your true authentic self, ask yourself these questions;
- What are you interested in?
- What are some of your best qualities and talents?
- What has made you the happiest while you were doing it?
- What are your goals in life?
- What would you like to do if you didn’t care what people thought?
- Practice self-love and self-acceptance
The reason you might want to hide behind façade and not want to be your true authentic self could be because you have low self-esteem and a low sense of self-worth. Why would anyone be interested in knowing the real me? What do I have to offer?
Whether it is because of your imperfections or you think you are weird, you can still be your authentic self by practicing self-love, self-respect, and self-acceptance. When you love and embrace all aspects of yourself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
- Show the world the real you
Pretending to be someone you are not can be exhausting. One of the benefits of being your authentic self is that you no longer have to hide who you are, what you like, or your flaws because of fear of judgment. By becoming your true authentic self, you embrace everything that makes you who you are and present that to the world. If anyone doesn’t like the real you, that is their problem.
Learn to be unapologetically yourself. If you like doing something that everyone else frowns upon, do it if it makes you happy. If others think you are weird or too quirky, that is their problem. Their opinion about you or your life doesn’t count when you learn how to be your authentic self. You just do you.
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- Connect with your inner self
To discover who your true authentic self is, you need to connect to the inner you. You could do this through meditation to calm your mind, quiet all the chatter, and focus on yourself. You can discover a lot about yourself when you pause to reflect and connect with your inner self.
Using affirmations and mantras is another technique for finding your authentic self through connecting with the inner self. When you tell yourself something often enough, you begin to believe it. You can say things like, I am my own person, I am unique, I embrace all that I am, or I am becoming more and more myself every day.
- Be present
Constantly thinking about moments and past mistakes can affect how you behave and view yourself now. However, who you were back then is not who you are now, and your past shouldn’t define you. When learning how to be your authentic self, you have to let go of the past. Focus on being in the present instead and define yourself by the person you are now.
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- Don’t rely on external validation
Another way to be your authentic self is to impress yourself first and make yourself proud of your achievements instead of trying to impress someone else. Your dreams and definition of success don’t have to be acceptable to anyone other than yourself. So go ahead and follow your dreams and remember to celebrate your small victories along the way.
- Cut off toxic people from your life
The people we surround ourselves with influence our actions as we try to fit in and how we feel about ourselves. To be your authentic self, you will have to get rid of toxic people in your life. Whether it is the overly critical friend who makes you doubt yourself or the bad influence that makes you do things you otherwise wouldn’t, cut off any toxic people that threaten you becoming your authentic self.
Instead, surround yourself with people who support and accept you for who you are. You might notice that the people who will stick around when you become your authentic self are probably also true to themselves.
Before we get to the benefits of being yourself, here is a quote from Oprah on finding your authentic self and why being real is so important, and why you should start living authentically as soon as possible.
I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.Oprah Winfrey
10 Benefits of being authentic
Being your authentic self is what differentiates you from everyone else and makes you stand out. By embracing your true self, you will enjoy the many benefits of being real such as,
- Improved self-confidence
- Living an authentic life helps you build better relationships and friendships
- Improved health, both mental and physical
- Increased self-love and self-acceptance
- Less internal conflict, thus better decision making
- Living authentically boosts your resilience
- Freedom for not having to live up to anyone else’s expectations
- Inspiring trust and respect from others
- Living authentically promotes personal growth, and
- You become happier and develop a sense of fulfillment for following your dreams.
To sum it all up, if you want to learn how to be your authentic self and reap the benefits of being real, you have to know yourself, own yourself, be yourself, and act like yourself. Failure to do this will mean that you will always be lost until you devise ways of finding your authentic self.
Although people might look at you funny when you embrace your true self and no longer give a sh*t when they think you are weird, becoming your authentic self is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Never change or pretend to be someone you are not to be acceptable. You are who you are, and anyone who doesn’t accept that should not be in your life.
Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self by Sarah Ban Breathnach
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