How do you know if you’re living authentically? Here we start with what authenticity is and why it’s an important guiding light to a joyful life. Plus, a simple equation to get it right.
Authenticity is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as ‘the quality of being real or true’. But perhaps a more tangible and personable sense of what it means comes from American professor and writer, Brené Brown who says, “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”
A sentiment we very much agree with here at Rituals. Creative Director Dagmar Brusse wrote in The Book of Rituals: The Art Of Soulful Living ‘Authenticity is about being true to who you are deep down inside, not how you think others or the world should view you. It is also about realising what your core values are: Do you value loyalty, honesty, kindness, and love? Or is it compassion, humour, consistency?’
Authenticity is so multi-faceted that finding it and being it will be different for everyone; it is not a trait that can be isolated or thought about in a singular way. Alongside authenticity, you want to consider what brings you happiness and joy, as well as taking a look at the things that make you feel anxious, sad and angry that could potentially take you away from making authentic choices. If you’re authentic, that you live aligned to your soul, you will automatically make the decisions that are good for you and that, in turn, will be good for those around you.
In short, finding your authentic self is not a ‘one size fits all’ experience, which is why it can be challenging but at the same time very rewarding.
Are you authentic?
You might think you are, but are you really? People who know themselves and are true to themselves are more at ease, they are not worried about other people’s opinions. They are kinder and more joyful. If you don’t live a life aligned to your true self, then you certainly won’t be happy. Living inauthentically zaps your energy and can leave you in a living state of discomfort.
“Many of us experience that discomfort during the rush hour of our lives, especially when we are in the phase of life where we feel that we must achieve all kinds of goals and fulfill so many roles.” says bestselling author and psychologist Kelly Weekers. “From child, colleague and partner to parent and friend, there are so many expectations and opinions that go with these roles. During these times, it can be easy to lose our authentic self but we should always remember that we don’t want to reach the end of our lives filled with regrets of all the things we wanted to have done but didn’t.”
Kelly explains that when you keep getting influenced by how you think you should be or the labels others put upon you, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay close to yourself. “If I had to name reasons why people choose to see a psychologist, the most common would be related to authenticity: ‘I have drifted too far away from myself’, ‘I can't really be who I am’, ‘I'm not doing what makes me happy’.
How our Authenticity Masterclass can help
This masterclass is designed to help you realign to yourself. You may have a high powdered job but is that what you want or are you just doing it because you think you should? For example, you might have a successful job in the city but yearn to be a surf instructor on a far-flung beach. We are so conditioned by society to think about success, status and money as indicators for success but that may not be what aligns with your authentic self and that’s okay. If you drill down into your true essence, which this masterclass will help you do, you will gain a strong vision of what your life can be like – it's then up to you not to lose sight of that. Of course, authentic people aren’t immune to hardships, but when you know who you truly are you can weather even the toughest moments in life.
“Living authentically is something we all crave because it’s essential to living a happy and fulfilling life - but it is something we also struggle with tremendously,” says Kelly. “How often do we take the time to check in with ourselves and ask: Who am I? How can I be myself? How do I choose myself?”
Being authentic isn’t always easy, there might be times when you must swim against the tide and not conform to everyone around you, to not do something or say something just because it makes other people happy. Courage and bravery need to happily co-exist to allow authenticity to occur. It may also require embracing every aspect of your personality and accepting certain character traits are holding you back from being truly authentic. “This masterclass will give you insights, tools, and assignments to help you know yourself better. And once you know yourself, you will make choices that are in line with your happiness, and you can start living accordingly today,” says Kelly.
The benefits of living authentically
“The more you make choices based on your wants and needs, and based on the guidance of your inner voice, the more authentic and therefore more joyful you will live,” says Kelly. “Our intention for this masterclass is for you to discover your own truth so you can live in constant awareness of that inner truth. If that gets too floaty for you, know this - I want you to become who you truly are and live your life accordingly.”
The signs of living authentically are:
- Greater self-confidence
- Stronger, deeper, relationships
- Improved mental and physical wellbeing
- Doing what you truly love
- Resilience to adversity
“If you keep listening to your inner voice, your soul, it will keep telling you in whatever phase, exactly what does and does not suit you,” says Kelly, “so that you can adjust your life accordingly and don’t fall into the trap of living your life according to your ego or others.” You need to consciously tune into yourself until it becomes second nature and our masterclass will show you just how to do that.
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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.