There is something magical in the air every year when spring arrives and the sun starts shining just that much brighter, bringing this beautiful air of ‘new beginnings’ warming your bones to fuel that extra spring in your step. I was basking in this glory last Sunday when I discovered a cute little book store.
At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” Lao-Tzu
As I walked in, a book caught my eye: High Hopes by Patrick Lindsay. It’s a book of quotes but also short interpretations by Patrick himself that definitely resonated with my soul and journey of discovering my authentic calling. It only took me to read a page and I knew I had to have it. I’ve been using the quotes as the extension of my meditation practice. I am also on a journey of discovering how to help others identify the path towards an authentic life that’s lived every minute of every day. It is actually a pretty challenging task and a lot of times requires a ‘trial and error’ approach. But it’s the only way of living – everything else is just simply not you.
In the end, there’s only one person who can judge, only one knows your true thoughts and feelings… you. Forget about living up to others’ expectations. Create your own expectations and live up to them. Patrick Lindsay
WHAT IS AUTHENTIC LIVING?
Many people ask me what it means ‘to live authentically’ and how is it done? How do I know what I am good at? What I can say is that it takes time to discover ones’ true passion and live it with the ‘all I’ve got’ attitude every day. It takes courage to take the plunge and go against the tide. It will be hard and a lot of people will think you’ve lost your mind but the quest for authenticity is by far the most amazing gift you can give yourself.
When people act, talk and behave authentically they are sometimes perceived as they are alienating their environment or are borderline rude. This impression is almost always articulated by insecure people who have a real sense of being threatened by the success or confidence of others. In reality what they are perceiving is a heightened sense of self-awareness which is the absolute cornerstone of authenticity. It is also the best way for people to relate to you so you can build a network of friends but also customers. So if you are not finding that then you are hanging out with the wrong crew or trying to appeal to the wrong audience if you are a business.
But let’s examine what the official meaning of the word ‘authenticity’ transpires to. Well, according to the oxford dictionary being authentic is relating to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive and responsible mode of human life. It’s also a genuine form of living your life’s purpose.
“Authenticity,” as defined about 13 years ago by psychologists Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis, is “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise.”
Now it may seem pretty straight forward however I am finding that a lot of people struggle with showing their ‘true north’, the essence of their being, that point of difference which is so important for understanding what you stand for and who you are as an emotional being.
ARE YOU LIVING AN AUTHENTIC LIFE?
Examine whether you are living an authentic life by asking yourself these 10 simple questions:
+ do you know and accept your strengths and weaknesses?
+ are you accountable for all your actions?
+ are you connected to your values and desires and act deliberately in ways that are consistent with those qualities?
+ do you allow yourself to be transparent and vulnerable to connect deeper with people?
+ are you comfortable making unpopular decisions in order to live a truthful, honest and engaged life?
+ do you follow through on your goals?
+ do you foster an open mind type of thinking?
+ do you trust your intuition?
+ do you feel excited, passionate and energetic at your work/with your friends?
+ are you inspired, creative, happy and stress-free most of your days?
If you have answered ‘Yes’ to all of them, congratulations – you are definitely on your way of living an authentic life. However if any of your answers were ‘No’ then perhaps a simple self reflection is a good way of jumping into this process. Authenticity starts when you set the intention to be genuine. Then of course there is the process of awareness of how this actually looks and feels like in practice and the willingness to act consistently in accordance with it even if it might make you feel vulnerable.
When you propel yourself in this direction, decision making becomes easier as you will stand closer to your values. Your imperfections will no longer be this shameful monster you once tried hiding from others but something you embrace as part of your humanity. Discovering your talents and abilities will soon follow as the next stage of this process.
My advice is to keep at it and persevere. Do not let ‘nay-sayers’ deter you on your journey.
What are your biggest struggles on the journey of discovering your authentic self? Please share your experience with us…
Lots of love,
SIDE HUSTLE TO FREEDOM
and find out how I turned my side hustle
into my main business.