It’s the question of the year, isn’t it? How to live an authentic life? And what does it mean to live an authentic life anyway? It means to live the life you truly want and love, aligned with your values, regardless of what others think about it. Living a non-authentic life, on the other hand, would be living to please and impress others, living in constant need for other peoples approval and validation. Doing things you don’t believe in, and chasing dreams that society “demands”. And although everyone’s journey to authenticity would be different (hence the word authentic)- here are some ideas that, I think, could provide a simple direction to look towards.
Who we are & What do we want?
Makes sense to start with these questions- who is that person that wants to live an authentic life, and what would that life look like?
A hard thing to answer, especially with so many distractions and influences. So I suggest removing it, influence that is. I talk about social media. Maybe you don’t see it like that, but social media is (among many other beautiful things) a giant marketing platform. Made to install ideas and urges that you otherwise (probably) wouldn’t have. I don’t say to remove it forever, just long enough to see what really interests you (when there is no outside stimulation). You will be surprised with how many things you found so important- turn out to be utterly insignificant.
Stop Trying To Impress Everyone
Trying to impress people is a very natural thing, and we all love to be liked and accepted. But sometimes we go overboard with it, filtering almost everything we say and do- to better fit the people around us. Or polishing our own reality to amaze people we never even met (social media). It’s energy misplaced. Not to mention that no lasting happiness can come out of it. Because no matter what you do and how you do it, some people will still not like you. It is simply out of your control. And that is okay.
Imagine instead, just showing up as you really are- silly, “crazy”, excited, loud, quiet, moody… Experience the sense of freedom that comes after that first lifted eyebrow- and your realization that you just don’t care anymore. Also, be amazed with the number of people who like you just the way you are.
Stop Trying To Please Everyone
Trying to please people is another natural thing for us. And when done with love and respect for both, yourself and the person you try to please, a wonderful thing. How often that is the case, only you know. But looking at my own life probably not as often as it should. I suggest:
- Saying No to things you don’t want to do.
- Not agreeing when you don’t agree.
- Establishing authority in your own life.
- Not explaining yourself (this article helped me a lot)
- Taking the full responsibility for your own life and choices.
Stop Living For Others
Living lives through social media screens is a very common issue these days. Have you ever caught yourself getting ready for a coffee with a friend, and already planning that photo for Instagram (or Facebook or whatever)? I know I did. Unfortunately, I would stage much more than #almondmilklattes for it. Sometimes I would plan whole trips and see it as an opportunity to take a good photo. It’s basically like a game of playing ourselves for the virtual audience instead of actually being our(authentic)selves. If this is you, it’s time for social media detox and a few questions to ask yourself:
- Can I enjoy it if nobody knows about it? (if not why?)
- What would I do this weekend if nobody knew?
- What would my trip look like, if I was not posting it?
- What would I wear in that case?
- Would I be happy with my life if nobody knew all the awesome things I am doing?
Don’t stop until the answer on the first and last one is YES.