3 Ways to Embrace Authenticity | Lisa Steingold

3 Ways to Embrace Authenticity

Table of Contents

What the F is authenticity?

Being authentic is SOOOO “in”. But can we even define it? There are a million ways to define authenticity but my best is by French author, André Paul Guillaume Gide who said;

Authenticity quote

Ever felt like you needed to behave a certain way but inside it just didn’t gel with you? And you got that icky feeling? 

That’s a conflict of authenticity right there. 

But Why be Authentic?

Whilst being authentic can be challenging, practicing authenticity will make your life A LOT easier. 

Authenticity means you need less willpower

The more authentic we are, the easier a process of action will be. If you get on with someone naturally, you won’t need to make an effort; you’ll be genuinely interested in maintaining a relationship with them.

If you really want to learn a new language, you’ll be prepared to go to lessons. If you’re genuinely interested in completing a marathon and running, you’ll put in the effort. The more authentic a goal is, I.e. in accordance with your true desires, the easier it will be to embark on the process. Note I didn’t say the easier it will be to achieve.

This is why when we are having conflict, it takes so much more energy to engage with someone. Or when we’re feeling drained, it may require more energy to go to work or to exercise.

More authenticity = less willpower = more joy!

Authenticity means more joy

How are authenticity and joy linked? Essentially, the more ‘free’ we are to be and express ourselves, the more joy we experience. I.e. when we make choices that feel more aligned to what we really want, we experience more joy.

This is an internal process and doesn’t necessarily have to do with anyone else, however by the mere fact that we’re interacting with others all the time, it will have an impact on our choices and those we engage with.

Being able to be more real with yourself and the rest of the world will mean you can make better decisions, you take more accountability of your life and the less you rely on others for your sense of self worth. .

3 Ways to Embrace Authenticity

This athenticity thing can be tough. Here’s the thing. It’s actually harder than it looks! We’re not always aware of why we do what we do. It takes time to figure this shit out. 

Here are 3 ways to make it easier.

  1. Admit it to yourself first
  2. Write a list of what matters to you
  3. Take time for reflection

1. Admit it to yourself first

Sometimes it’s difficult to admit how we feel about something. Maybe we were brought up feeling a certain way is wrong. Or maybe we were moulded to fit into what everyone else wanted. If so, it can be very difficult to share how we’re feeling with others. 

The first thing is to admit it to ourselves. I tend to find I can’t do this without a little bit of soul time. (See point 3). 

2. Write a list of what matters to you

  • What matters to you? 
  • What makes you happy?
  • What are your priorities?
  • What are your values?

Knowing these things will go a long way to helping you figure out what does and doesn’t work for you. You’ll be able to tell when you’re out of alignment with yourself.

3. Take time for reflection

I love to live! I love to do things. It took me many years to learn to be still and to learn to reflect on things by journalling or simply by critically reflecting. 

But if you take the time to develop self-awareness you’ll be able to tell when

  • Something continually drains you. This includes people and activities.
  • Something gets easier and brings you more joy, once you’ve tried it for the first time
  • You’re generally interested in activities, people and places

You’ll realise just how much choice you have in all the activities and aspects of your life. And you’ll be able to self-adjust much quicker.

But isn’t being Authentic difficult?

Learning to live authentically IS difficult. But there’s no other way as far as I can see because otherwise, you lose yourself. 

AND the good news is that it’s like most things – it’s simply a matter of habit.

Authenticity results in a more joyful existence, not necessarily more happiness. 

What’s the difference between joy and happiness?

I was pleased to see that Psychologies magazine agrees with my definition of joy versus happiness. Joy is internally cultivated and more consistent (despite challenging circumstances) than happiness, which is an emotion, and as such, transient by its nature.

I’ve heard joy described as an attitude from the heart but in my definition joy is a sense of being on track even when things around you are falling apart. Joy is a sense of peace. Joy is a sense of truth or knowing of one’s own truth. This is my somewhat inadequate description of joy based on my experience with my intention being to highlight the difference between joy and happiness.

Until next time

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