Becoming genuinely authentic is not as simple as it seems.
To be frank, it’s hard. It involves a constant journey of self-discovery and growth. But what if I told you that you might be unknowingly doing certain things that are holding you back from being your most authentic self?
If you’re looking to embrace authenticity in a deeper way, here are 7 things you might want to stop doing.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
1) Trying to please everyone
Here’s the hard truth: You can’t make everyone happy.
Attempting to please everyone is not only exhausting but also unrealistic. This behaviour often stems from a fear of rejection or confrontation. But let me tell you something, it’s okay if not everyone likes you. It’s okay to disagree with others.
Being authentic means standing up for what you believe in, even if it’s unpopular. It’s about respecting your values and boundaries, and understanding that it’s better to be loved by a few for who you truly are, than by many for who you are not.
Next time you find yourself bending over backwards to please others, take a moment. Remember that your worth is not dependent on other people’s approval. Be brave, be bold, and most importantly, be you.
2) Hiding your true feelings
This one hits close to home.
I used to bottle up my feelings, thinking that it was the ‘right’ thing to do. I believed that by keeping my emotions hidden, I was saving others from discomfort, and somehow, that made me a good person.
But I was wrong.
Hiding my true feelings didn’t make me good – it made me inauthentic. It created a barrier between me and the people I cared about, a barrier that prevented genuine connections from forming.
I’ve since learned that authenticity requires emotional honesty. It’s about expressing your feelings in a respectful and considerate way, even when it’s hard. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and showing the world your true self, warts and all.
Don’t suppress your emotions. Feel them, express them, embrace them. Because at the end of the day, your feelings are a part of who you are.
3) Comparing yourself to others
I’ll admit it, I’ve been guilty of this one too.
There was a time when I’d scroll through my social media feed and find myself feeling envious of other people’s lives. The glamorous vacations, the perfect families, the successful careers – it seemed like everyone was living a better life than me.
But then I realized something.
These online personas are just that – personas. They’re carefully curated, often exaggerated versions of reality. And comparing my real life to these online illusions was not only unfair but also completely unauthentic.
The truth is, each one of us is unique. We have our own paths, our own successes and failures, our own stories to tell. And that’s something to be proud of, not something to hide.
Stop playing the comparison game. You are enough just as you are. Your journey is your own and it’s worth celebrating, not comparing.
4) Ignoring your intuition
Ever had that gut feeling about something, only to ignore it and later regret your decision? I think we’ve all been there.
Your intuition is a powerful tool. It’s that inner voice, that gut feeling, that often knows what’s best for you before your brain has had a chance to catch up. It’s an integral part of who you are.
Ignoring your intuition means ignoring a part of yourself.
The next time your intuition speaks up, listen. You might be surprised by how much it has to say. By learning to trust yourself more, you’re taking a huge step towards being more authentic in your daily life.
5) Being too hard on yourself
Let me share something interesting with you. Do you know that the way we talk to ourselves influences our behavior, our decisions, and even our mental health?
Now, think about how often we’re harsh and critical towards ourselves. We magnify our mistakes, dwell on our imperfections, and constantly feel like we’re not doing enough. But being overly self-critical isn’t a sign of authenticity – it’s a sign of self-doubt.
Authenticity is about accepting yourself as you are – flaws and all. Recognizing that perfection doesn’t exist and that it’s okay to make mistakes. After all, we’re human.
Take a deep breath and remember this: You’re doing the best you can, and that’s enough. Be gentle with yourself, because you deserve kindness, especially from yourself.
6) Not setting boundaries
I used to be the person who would say ‘yes’ to everything. I felt the need to be always available, always accommodating, and always ready to help. I feared that saying ‘no’ would make me appear selfish or unkind.
But eventually, I realized I was burning myself out. My fear of saying ‘no’ was taking a toll on my mental and physical health. It was also preventing me from being my authentic self.
Setting boundaries is not about being selfish, it’s about self-care. Expressing your needs and making your mental well-being a priority. Understanding that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
It’s okay to say ‘no’. It’s okay to prioritize your needs. And it’s definitely okay to set boundaries.
7) Not living in the present moment
This is perhaps the most vital part of being authentic, yet it’s so often overlooked.
Living in the present moment means being fully engaged, aware, and present in your life. It means not being preoccupied with past regrets or future anxieties, but rather focusing on the here and now.
When we’re not present, we’re not truly living – we’re merely existing. We miss out on life’s little moments, those precious snippets of time that make our lives truly ours.
Let go of the past. Don’t worry about the future. Embrace the now and live it to the fullest.
Embrace your authenticity
Being authentic is a journey, not a destination. It requires self-awareness, courage, and above all, honesty with oneself. It’s about acknowledging your flaws and embracing your strengths.
But most importantly, it’s about being true to who you are.
Start today. Notice when you’re trying to please others at the expense of your own well-being. Pay attention to when you’re hiding your true feelings or comparing yourself to others. Be mindful of ignoring your intuition, being too hard on yourself, not setting boundaries, and not living in the present moment.
It won’t be easy, and it will take time. But every step you take towards authenticity is a step towards a more fulfilling and genuine life.
So go ahead. Embrace your authenticity.
Because there’s no one else in the world quite like you – and that’s something truly worth celebrating.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
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