This thought-provoking authenticity quiz and activity will help you identify whether you are living authentically, pinpoint the areas that you could improve and offers practical advice to guide you there.
We’re all so busy living our hectic lives that most of us don’t have time to stop and question whether we’re living authentically or just surviving on autopilot. So, for this part of our masterclass, we want you to take some time to stop and really focus on how you feel, react and respond to all the stimuli and elements around you. Our quiz, created by bestselling author and psychologist Kelly Weekers, will help highlight any areas of your life where you might not be as authentic as you either think you are or want to be.
“Let’s start by taking a step back and taking a good, critical look at our lives,” says Kelly. “It’s something we don’t do nearly enough, as we’ve become accustomed to living on autopilot. Days, weeks, months and, sometimes, even years fly by without a moment to reflect on what we’re doing, or on how we feel about what we’re doing.
“Day in, day out, we’re playing the same tune on repeat, never on rewind. Many of us are stuck in a rut and find it hard to get unstuck because we just don’t give ourselves the time to do exactly that. Or, if we do, we fear really taking action and doing something differently,” notes Kelly.
“The trick is to reflect on what you’re doing. To look in the mirror and ask yourself some honest questions:
- Do I like my job?
- What in life gives me energy and what is energy-draining?
- Do I have enough me-time?
- Do I have enough time for my friends and family? Or maybe too much?
- Am I in a healthy relationship?
- How often do I do something I really don’t want to do?
“Asking yourself these questions is a quick, insightful, method to reflect on your life. Only when you take some time to listen to your own feelings will you be able to figure out what really makes you happy. Maybe you’ve been asking too much of your body but aren’t sure what the biggest energy drainer in your life is? Is it your work, something personal, your relationship, or maybe it’s the inner perfectionist? There’s nothing wrong with finding out you aren’t super happy in a particular area of your life,” Kelly reassures us. “What’s not okay, however, is not making any changes when you can. Living an authentic life is only a few decisions away. Take some time to listen to your own feelings by answering these questions and by doing so to figure out what truly is YOU and what brings you joy.”
And you know what, it’s okay to realise that you might not be content in certain areas of your life. What’s crucial is discovering where you can improve and implement change. As Kelly says, “change things now so you still have enough time to reap the benefits of those positive steps.”
That’s why we have devised a quiz and task. The quiz will help you discover how you truly react and feel in certain environments and the task will arm you with the tools to implement change.
Part 1: Take our authenticity quiz
“The following questions are designed to make you think about how you truly react and feel in certain situations,” explains Weekers. “Answer them honestly without thinking what is the correct or ‘better’ answer.”
Answer yes or no to the following scenarios.
1. When you’re out in a crowd of people, do you look around and immediately hone in on the person you think is more attractive than you, better dressed than you and who looks like they’re having more fun?
2. Someone tells you about their job promotion, a new house they’re buying, or an amazing holiday they’re going on. Is your initial reaction that you wished those things were happening to you?
3. A new fashion trend emerges for super chunky trainers. You think they are ugly but everyone you admire and follow on social media is wearing them. Do you buy the trainers?
4. You go out for coffee with friends and feel sad about something in your life but are worried that sharing it with them will also bring everyone down or that they will think you’re silly for feeling like that. Do you keep it bottled up and not tell them how you feel?
5. The opportunity to learn a completely new skill at work or to take up a new hobby presents itself. It will require learning new things, changing the way you’ve done things previously and putting yourself in a new environment. Is your first reaction feeling scared and nervous?
6. Something happens either in your friendship group, family or at work and you know how you behaved and reacted was incorrect. Because you’re worried about upsetting people further do you distance yourself from the event and not say anything else?
7. You get invited to a party that you don’t want to go to, but you are worried about missing out or upsetting the host by not turning up. Do you go?
If you answered mainly yes:
By answering yes to more of the questions than no, you are constantly thinking about other people’s feelings, and how you think they’re going to react to your decisions rather than making choices based on what makes you content.
If you answered mainly no:
No doubt about it, you are doing a great job at staying true to your core values and beliefs and behaving in a way that makes you happy. It’s worth looking at any of the scenarios above where you did answer yes or were stuck on a response. “It can be a struggle to stay authentic in every area of life as what that looks like can change depending on where you are, what you are doing and who you’re with,” notes Kelly.
Answered mostly yes? Let’s start small, “an authentic life begins with an authentic day. Every day, with every choice you make, you can stand in your power or give that power away to something or someone else. To be in your power is to begin each day with the intention of making today a good day, in which you stay close to yourself,’ says Kelly.
“Ask yourself, what can I do today to stay close to myself? Look for the little things and moments where you can make improvements today – perhaps you decline an invitation without the need to explain, you open up to a friend about a struggle you’re having, or you question why you experience a pang of jealousy when someone shares their good news. Try something new or question a reaction, even if it's just one small thing. Tomorrow morning ask yourself again, what can I do today to stay close to myself?
“Being authentic is a practice, it’s about doing it, not about doing it perfectly,” says Kelly. “It's about your intention as well as consistency. Because all those small actions build over weeks, months, and years to a life-changing result. To make the changes you want to make in your life, you don't have to suddenly change your whole life. You just need to choose yourself today and repeat that tomorrow.”
“Know that it’s normal to change slightly according to what you are doing and who you are with. There are a lot of sides to you, choose which ones are free to show themselves. It is normal that your colleagues see a different side of you than your best friends. What is fun in one setting can be very unprofessional in another but it’s all you being you. Ask yourself: who am I to my friends? Who am I to my colleagues? How do I want to show in a social setting? How do I want to show up in a professional setting? Seek for a version of you that still aligns with who you truly are, wherever you are.”
Part 2: Your authenticity journal
We want you to start each day by writing down your authentic intentions and finishing each day evaluating them. You can do this for as long as you want; it may become a daily habit or it may be something you do the first week of every month. See what works for you. Importantly, it shouldn’t take up lots of time, just spend a few minutes morning and night on it; we advise keeping it by your bed and making it part of your winding-down routine.
“Journaling is a method that comes from positive psychology. It is one of the simplest yet most effective routines to add to your daily life that has been scientifically proven to boost your mental health immensely,” explains Kelly. “A few minutes of journaling a day helps you cope better with stress, negativity, and fears, helps you think more positively about yourself and helps you focus on the things that are important to you.
“Getting things out of your head onto paper helps you reflect better on your life, thoughts, emotions and behaviors. It helps you make better decisions and take better charge of your life. Reflecting on everything you wrote down also helps you see how much you grow in short periods of time. Being proud of your progress will boost your positivity even more.”
Prompts for your morning authenticity intentions
1. What three things are going to bring me happiness and joy today?
Example: spending time with friends, having time to exercise, enjoying a lovely meal
2. What three things might make me anxious today?
Example: having a difficult conversation at work, not having enough time for all the things you’ve agreed to do
3. I’d like to start the day with this attitude:
Example: I am enough and I don’t need to compare myself to others
Prompts for your evening authenticity evaluation
1. What were the three best moments of my day?
Example: taking time out to go for a solo walk in the sunshine
2. What lessons did I learn today that I can take into tomorrow?
Example: asking for help doesn’t mean I’m less capable
3. What did I do today that I’m proud of?
Example: I said no to something that I didn’t want to do
This article is part of our authenticity masterclass to help you discover who you truly are and to empower you to lead and live a more authentic life. By allowing yourself to tap into your true essence you will be able to connect with the world around you in a new and positive way.