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Authenticity – showing up and being real

Authenticity - an easy word to use..but is 'being authentic' just as easy?

Dive in a little deeper and I think you find it’s more robust than it first appears.

Authenticity is representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.

Its easy to say, yes, I am being true to myself and I’m honest, real and genuine to others, however when you think of all the things that can impact on the ability to be authentic, showing up real all the time is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, doing just the opposite, wearing one of the many masks we have so creatively designed during our lives, to protect ourselves, may well seem like the easier option.

Let’s delve a little shall we…. what impacts on our ability to be authentic?

Well, anything that has shaped who we are may contribute to our authentic self. Our experiences growing up, positive and negative…the behaviours or patterns we developed in relation to those experiences…the love and respect we have for ourselves…the love and respect we have for others…our current situation in regards to relationships, career, spirituality, health, past and current roles, values, beliefs and the list goes on………

Additionally... knowing who we are, what we want in life and our purpose in this lifetime…is a journey. For some people, they have a clear understanding of this earlier on in life, others are developing it in their 30’s and 40’s and beyond and there are many who may never work this out in their lifetime. This isn’t to say we can’t be authentic whilst on our journey of discovery, but it can be confusing knowing what is being true to self and what isn’t.

How do we know if we are being congruent with ourselves?

You know that sixth sense that you sometimes may notice or perhaps too often let it go without listening to it or asking why it is showing up at the time? Well, that sixth sense, our intuition, sometimes a feeling, a thought or perhaps a physical sensation in our bodies, is generally a great guide. Next time you feel this, take the time to stop, notice it, consider it and trust that it is your wisest guide and see what happens.

Showing up authentically to others means being our true self in our communication, whether verbally or written or through the body language we display. It can be risky to show up authentically, it means being vulnerable as we open ourselves up to the opportunity of people seeing us warts and all (so to speak).

‘Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.’ Brene Brown

How do we be authentic?

A wonderful place to start is working out what your core values are and filter your decisions, behaviours, actions and how you treat yourself and others through these.

For example, if love and compassion are your core values, ask yourself as much as possible, is what I’m thinking, saying and doing based on these values?

What are your core values and how well do you think you align with them in daily life, during the easy times and the hard times? What does it feel like when you aren’t aligned with these and what does it feel like when you are?

Put pen to paper and answer these questions…you may learn a little more about yourself 💕

If you want to explore your authenticity further, check out Ritu has some wonderful tools to expand your thoughts and develop your authentic self.

Narelle Jones is a Pilates Instructor and Retreat Facilitator on the Sunshine Coast and an advocate for women leading an empowered life of self-love, peace and balance.

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