How To Be Your Authentic Self
A lot of people feel unsure and insecure when they go into new situations. It could be a job interview, or a party, or a move to a new school or a new city or a new neighborhood. Human beings, by nature, want to feel accepted and part of something. You have probably faced a situation like that, and maybe someone has tried to help you by giving you this advise: ‘just be yourself’.
That may or may not have been helpful advise, although usually it’s not. People who have not been placed in situations where they had to do a lot of soul searching and personal evaluation may not even know what their authentic self is all about or who they are. It’s been said that people grow and change through adversity and tough times. That’s true – but it doesn’t have to be the only way to achieve a sense of self-knowledge. Why wait for tragedy or pain to be your catalyst for self growth? You could decide to get to know yourself without that, if you choose.
Start by making a list of things that are important to you. It could be honesty, or compassion, or generosity or self-lessness or intelligence or a sense of humor or a spiritual foundation. Only you know what makes other people attractive to you, and so start there. Since you were attracted to this article, you probably already want to learn how to be your authentic self. Since you can recognize and admire those traits in others, you already have that ability within. It takes one to know one. Angry people find other angry people. People who want to gossip can find others who want to gossip. If you admire a strong spiritual foundation in someone, you have the capacity for that too, you may just not recognize it in yourself.
Once you have that list, try to remember a time when you behaved that way. Also try to remember times when you weren’t true to the things that you value. Try to remember the times when you just tried to fit in and belong and go along with, and realize that never makes you happy. It might make you accepted on a temporary basis, but at what cost?
Being true to yourself means placing what you value, over what someone else values. What you value matters. What you value in yourself is of utmost importance. If you have been led away from this knowledge in the mistaken belief that acceptance at any price is the key to happiness, I hope you sit and think about this. Think about this a lot.
The next time you go out in the world, try to keep your important personal values in mind. If kindness is important to you, and you have a chance to be kind, do it. If intelligence is important to you and you have a chance to learn something, go for it. If honesty is important to you, and you are faced with a choice to speak your truth, or go along with the crowd, think about standing up for your truth. Use discernment of course. You can learn to be tactful and kind and discerning in your sharing of the truth as there are many truths. In a volatile situation the truth may be that you need time to think things over before you commit yourself one way or another.
The search for your authentic self can bring you a lot of rewards and it’s a wonderful feeling to be at peace with yourself.