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Finding Your Authentic Self

"It is the privilege of a lifetime to become who you truly are"
C. G. Jung
We are born our authentic selves but so often we lose that authenticity along the way. As children we are taught how to behave so that we fit in and as a result we then develop behaviours, thoughts and beliefs that adapt and conform with what we are taught. Adapting in this way does have its benefits as it helps us function in society. However it is when our pursuit of being accepted by others and conforming leaves us feeling inauthentic, empty or hollow that we need to redress the balance. With time and insight you can move back towards your authentic self.
"Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we actually are.”
Brené Brown
To start reconnecting with your authentic self you can:
Create a list of your core beliefs
Start by writing down your core beliefs and values. This will form your basis of authentic living.
Notice differences between your actions and your beliefs
Do you ever find yourself believing one thing but acting in a different way? And then you wonder why? We all do. All you are trying to do is fit in in that moment. But this leads to inconsistencies with our authentic selves. Be self-aware, notice and acknowledge it. Be sure you practice self-compassion when you notice these things. You do not need to beat yourself up or feel guilty. 
Release what no longer helps you
When you notice beliefs and behaviours that no longer serve you, you need to work on letting them go. Use visualisation to help you. Visualise the belief or behaviour floating away in a bubble.
Once you have established what your authentic beliefs are, you need to work to maintain it.
Tell the truth
Stop telling "little white lies". It is often convenient to gloss things over or tell a lie to save ourselves embarrassment or avoid a consequence. Unfortunately this subconsciously informs us that we are not enough. Tell the truth and put your subconscious on notice that you are enough, flaws and all.
Make conscious decisions
We often feel pressure to make quick decisions because we are busy. Slow down and truly consider your decision and it's implications. Does it feel right and in alignment with you and what you're wanting to achieve? Avoid being pressured into making a quick decision or deciding upon what someone else wants you to decide.
Speak your truth
When you speak your truth, you demonstrate that you are responsible, trustworthy and that you trust others. Speaking your truth fosters genuine connection with others.
Listen to your gut
Your gut instinct can be very helpful in connecting you to your authentic self. What is it trying to tell you? Be careful though not to confuse your instinct with fear. Fear of moving out of your comfort zone can often be confused for a "Hell NO!' from your gut. It may be a hard no but first you need to sit with your feelings and work out what they're truly telling you.
If you find yourself in a situation where you feel torn about responding authentically, ask yourself these questions:
  1. What am I afraid of happening?
  2. How will I feel if I don't respond authentically?
  3. If I wasn't afraid, what would I want to say?

Other Ways to Be True to Yourself

  • Stay aligned with your feelings, needs and actions.
  • Make value-based decisions. 
  • Advocate for yourself. Ask for what you want and need
  • Do not tolerate any form of abuse.
  • Practice imperfect perfection. Try not to modify your behaviour to conform
  • Establish healthy boundaries. Protect your energy.
  • Be patient and kind with yourself

Reconnecting to your authentic self takes time and is not always easy. It requires you to peel back the layers and be vulnerable. You will find it challenging at times, but don't give up. The freedom you experience from reconnecting to who you really are and sharing your perfectly imperfect self is worth it.

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