If you really want to be authentically you, start saying no to these 9 things

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Being authentically you is about making conscious choices that resonate with your true self. It’s about knowing when to say yes and when to emphatically say no.

Saying no can often be challenging, especially when we’re conditioned to please others or follow societal norms. But learning to say no to certain things can be liberating and a crucial step in being true to yourself.

I’m here to share with you nine things you should start saying no to if you truly want to be authentically you. These are not rules, but suggestions that might help you live more aligned with you.

Let’s get started. 

1) Pleasing everyone

We all want to be liked, to be accepted. It’s human nature to crave for social acceptance. But in the quest of pleasing everyone, we often lose our authentic selves.

You see, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy without compromising your values, desires, and self-worth. What pleases one person might displease another. It’s a never-ending cycle that can leave you feeling drained and disconnected from your true self.

Being authentically you means understanding that it’s okay if not everyone likes you or your decisions. It’s about prioritizing your needs and happiness over the need to please others.

So start saying no to the pressure of pleasing everyone. It might be uncomfortable at first, but with time, it becomes empowering. Remember, those who truly care about you will respect your decisions and boundaries.

And guess what? You’ll be happier and more at peace with yourself when you start living for yourself rather than others.

2) Neglecting self-care

I’m an advocate for self-care. But I wasn’t always like this. A few years ago, I was that person who would power through even when my body was screaming for rest. I thought that was the way to prove my worth and dedication.

But then, something happened. I fell sick and was forced to take a break. During this period, I realized how much I had been neglecting my own needs—the need for rest, relaxation, and self-care.

Since then, I’ve learned to say no to overworking myself and yes to taking care of myself. I’ve started prioritizing my health, both mental and physical, over everything else because I’ve realized that without it, everything else falls apart.

Being authentically you means respecting your body and mind enough to give them the care they deserve.

So say no to neglecting self-care. Make time for things that rejuvenate you and bring you joy. Trust me, you’ll be better equipped to handle life’s challenges when you’re at your best health.

3) Living in the past

Being authentically you means being present and engaged in your current reality. However, many of us tend to dwell on our past, often focusing on our mistakes, regrets, and missed opportunities. This constant replaying of past events can prevent us from moving forward and embracing the present.

The human brain has a tendency to remember negative experiences more vividly than positive ones. It’s a phenomenon known as negativity bias, and it can lead us to focus disproportionately on past mistakes or disappointments.

But here’s the thing: living in the past doesn’t change it, and it robs you of the ability to fully engage with the present.

To be authentically you, it’s time to say no to dwelling on the past. Learn from your experiences, but don’t let them define or constrain you.

Your past is a part of your story, but it’s not the whole story. The narrative is still being written, and you’re the author.

4) Fear of failure

Fear of failure can be crippling. It can stop us from trying new things, taking risks, and stepping out of our comfort zones. It can make us play safe and settle for less than what we aspire to or deserve.

But here’s the catch: being authentically you means embracing your potential, taking risks, and understanding that failure is just a part of the journey. It’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and become stronger.

So start saying no to the fear of failure. Encourage yourself to take chances and welcome new experiences.

Every successful person has faced failures along their journey. What matters is not the number of times you fall, but the number of times you get back up and try again.

Embrace your failures as stepping stones towards your success. Let them empower you rather than hold you back.

5) Being overly self-critical

We all have that inner voice that critiques and judges us. While a healthy level of self-criticism can help us improve, being overly self-critical can be damaging.

If you’re constantly criticizing yourself, comparing your achievements to others, or setting unrealistic expectations, you’re sabotaging your own self-esteem and happiness.

Being authentically you means recognizing your worth and valuing yourself. It’s about celebrating your achievements, however small they may seem, and accepting your flaws as part of being human.

Start saying no to being overly self-critical. Instead, cultivate self-compassion. Be kind to yourself, acknowledge your efforts, and remember that nobody is perfect.

By embracing your imperfections, you are embracing your true self.

6) Suppressing your emotions

We live in a society that often encourages us to hide our true feelings, to put on a brave face, and to keep our vulnerabilities to ourselves. But suppressing your emotions doesn’t make them go away; it only makes it harder for you to deal with them.

Your emotions are part of your unique human experience. They are indicators of your mental state, reflections of what you’re going through. And every single one of them, from joy to sorrow, has a right to be felt and expressed.

Being authentically you means allowing yourself to feel your emotions fully and expressing them in a healthy way. It’s okay to cry when you’re sad, to express anger when you’re upset, and to jump with joy when you’re happy.

Start saying no to suppressing your emotions. Embrace them, express them, learn from them.

Remember, it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. We all have our highs and lows. It’s part of being human. You are not alone.

7) Chasing perfection

Perfection is a mirage that can lead us on a never-ending chase. I’ve been there, trying to perfect every task, every relationship, every aspect of life. But all it did was leave me exhausted and dissatisfied.

The truth is, perfection doesn’t exist. Life is messy, unpredictable, and full of surprises. And that’s what makes it beautiful.

Being authentically you means embracing the imperfections in your life and in yourself. It’s about finding beauty in your flaws and strength in your vulnerabilities.

Start saying no to chasing perfection. Embrace the beautifully imperfect journey that is your life, with all its ups and downs.

Because it’s through these experiences that you grow, learn, and become a better version of yourself.

8) Ignoring your intuition

Our intuition, or gut feeling, is a powerful tool that often gets overlooked. It’s that instinctive understanding or insight that comes from within, without the need for conscious reasoning.

However, in a world that values logic and tangible evidence, we often dismiss our intuitive feelings as irrational or baseless. We may even ignore them completely, only to regret it later.

Being authentically you means honoring your intuition and trusting your gut feelings. Your intuition is a part of you, a part of your unique perspective and understanding of the world around you.

Start saying no to ignoring your intuition. Listen to it, trust it, and let it guide you in your decisions.

Your gut feelings are your inner voice speaking to you, and they can often lead you to choices that align with your true self.

9) Saying yes when you want to say no

The ultimate act of being authentically you is saying no when your heart and soul are not in it. Whether it’s a social event you don’t want to attend, a task you don’t want to undertake, or a life path that doesn’t resonate with you, it’s okay to say no.

Saying no can be hard. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re letting people down. But remember, every time you say yes to something you don’t want, you’re saying no to yourself and your needs.

It’s not selfish or rude; it’s an act of self-respect and self-love. By saying no, you’re honoring your time, your energy, and your desires. And most importantly, you’re honoring yourself.

Final reflection: The power of authenticity

The journey to being authentically you is deeply personal and unique. It’s not about conforming to societal expectations or becoming a carbon copy of someone else. It’s about embracing who you truly are, with all your strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and complexities.

Remember, being authentic doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It means you’re real. It means you have the courage to show up as you are, without pretense or fear of judgment.

Every time you say no to something that doesn’t resonate with you, you’re saying yes to authenticity. You’re saying yes to living a life that aligns with your values, aspirations, and true self.

It’s a journey that takes courage, but it’s one worth taking. Because at the end of the day, there is nothing more liberating and fulfilling than being authentically you.

So as you navigate through life’s twists and turns, remember this quote by Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Because in a world where we can be anything, why not be ourselves?

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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