What does authentic living mean?
We don’t always show up to the world as our true selves, and our mental and emotional health suffers as a result. If everything about your life is good on paper, but you can’t get past the feelings of emptiness, unhappiness, or isolation, it is time to embrace authentic living.
Authenticity is the ability to stay true to yourself and realign your habits and thoughts with your core values and passions. An authentic person acknowledges their feelings, expresses their opinions in healthy ways, doesn’t succumb to societal expectations of who they should be, and pursues their truest passions.
So how will you live an authentic life?
Authentic living is the practice of living according to how you feel and navigating life with a purpose. The path to living authentically involves prioritizing things that bring you peace and fulfillment, learning to be vulnerable in relationships, and becoming self-aware.
Authentic living is an ongoing battle to be who you are in a world that wants you to “fit in” and conform to “normalcy”.
It takes looking deeply inside and relying on your gut to tell you when things feel off and most importantly that you listen to that voice when you hear it saying “this isn’t right” or “STOP! this feels wrong.” or “why am I getting pressured to fit in?”. Listen to yourself. Trust yourself and BE yourself.
The benefits of authenticity and authentic living are immense, including the following…
1. Enhanced Self Confidence
Once you take the time to know yourself, you discover you are a unique individual with exceptional talents, opinions, and goals. Knowing what you have to offer makes you more confident at work and social gatherings.
Authentic living also makes you trust your judgment more, and you will find yourself making confident actions. Over time, your self-love increases as you follow your passions and work on your weaknesses.
2. Greater Resilience
Resilience is adapting well to significant stress, tragedy, trauma, and adversity. The modern life is full of stressors, whether family strains or financial problems. Luckily, authentic living can help you mitigate stress more easily.
When you live authentically, you tap into your problem-solving abilities and spend less time worrying about people’s perspectives. Authentic people prioritize self-care and stay aligned with their values, making them more resilient in adversity.
3. Richer Relationships
Many people resist revealing their true selves for fear of rejection and ridicule. However, authentic living actually improves relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, and colleagues.
When you live according to your values, you attract authentic people and nurture supportive relationships. Moreover, you communicate your opinions openly and create communities of people who share your core values.
However, not everyone will be receptive to the new you, and you may experience a loss of friendships. Luckily, new and meaningful connections will blossom where others die.
In the romantic context, an authentic mind frame will lead to better relationships. Authenticity helps you become vulnerable and intensifies the feelings between you and your partners. When you don’t pretend, you enjoy more honest relationships with people who see and love you as you truly are.
4. Better Sense of Purpose
It is easy to go through an entire lifetime wondering what your purpose in life is. However, living a purposeful life can be done by exploring who you are at your core. This took me multiple tries and many years to get right, but now I live by my purpose.
My purpose is to challenge people to become innovative leaders so we can change the world together.
I found it was easiest when I worked with a partner on this and have helped a few people clearly define their purpose as well because this stuff is SO IMPORTANT.
When you shift to an authentic purpose filled mindset, you discover the areas you love and those you dislike. As a result, you can allocate more effort to the things that inspire you, whether volunteering, gardening, blogging, traveling, or painting.
Authenticity lets you align your core values with your actions, leading to a more impassioned and fulfilling life.
5. Professional Success
It is easy to get caught up in pleasing and mimicking others in your workplace, that you end up unfulfilled, burnt out, and stressed. However, focusing on your unique skills and talents will make you stand out, making you a favorable candidate for promotions and better roles.
Moreover, authenticity makes you self-aware, helping you to work on your weaknesses through professional development. As a result, your competence will increase and lead to career success.
If you are unhappy in your current role, an audit of your values, interests, and hobbies will help you identify alternative opportunities. For instance, you may discover that entrepreneurship is more suitable for you or maybe transitioning into a company whose mission aligns better with your goals.
6. Increased Happiness
Authentic people are happy with their lives due to richer relationships, higher self-esteem, and more personal growth. In contrast, you experience negative emotions like anxiety and stress when your life doesn’t resonate with your true self.
Authenticity breeds high self-worth, which shields you from negative feelings. You are more immune to stress when living the life you are meant to live, and you will report increased happiness levels.
7. Avoid Regret
Many people die with regrets, whether they wish they dared to defy societal norms or express their true feelings. Over time, living an inauthentic life leads to feelings of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction. However, it is never too late to start practicing authentic living.
You avoid regrets later in life by following your passions, prioritizing your health, investing in personal growth, and honoring your values.
Living inauthentically is heavy on your mental and physical health, leading to poor self-esteem, stress, and depression. When you live authentically, you enjoy better mental health, impactful relationships, improved creativity, and career growth. So, don’t hesitate to be who you truly are and share your opinions while respecting other perspectives, of course.
And to wind down the article today I offer this interesting video to explore Authentic Living and Authenticity a little more. Enjoy!