I’ve been hearing the term ‘authenticity’ tossed around lately and it seems to be the hot word of the moment. People are using it in casual conversation, on social media and all over personal development articles and blogs. Authenticity has become the go-to word for writers, speakers and especially, marketers. Is promoting authenticity just a convenient marketing tactic or does it have a deeper meaning?
My definition of authenticity is pretty simple: being true to yourself. Living in authenticity means being open, aware and in tune with yourself, conscious of your beliefs while also allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
Be authentic. Have honesty and conflict; it’s healthy. What’s not healthy is to pretend. When you are pretending (i.e. being incongruent in your beliefs, thoughts and actions) your body revolts somewhere. Whether that manifests in stored up toxins in your bodily tissues, toxic thoughts in your mind or toxic people, situations or environments in your life, it will continue to build. When you have a strange feeling inside, a tightening in your body or you hear your inner voice nagging at you, it’s a sign that you’re in conflict (not being authentic) and it’s an opportunity to take action.
Here are a few steps you can take:
1. Take a look. What’s really going on? Where are you feeling pain – your mind, heart, body? Is it emotional, physical, spiritual? Close your eyes and do a visual scan of your body, from your head to your toes. Where are you uncomfortable? Where is the pain showing up for you?
2. Become aware of how you feel. Are you anxious? Scared? Insecure? Confused? Stressed? Putting words to your feelings expands your awareness. (For an instant process to help take you out of stress, check out my book Dealing with Stress:Five Simple Steps to Never Feel Stressed Again)
3. Take Inventory. What isn’t working in your life? What relationships aren’t serving you? Is there anything you’re holding back? Anything left unsaid? Look at what’s scary and you may realize what you thought was a snake was really just a rope in disguise.
4. Take Action. I challenge you: if you have discovered an area where you are being inauthentic, take an action now to get back to your center and be true to yourself. Maybe that means having a conversation, saying no to a request, asking for what you want or just taking a few moments for yourself. Do something to relieve your inner stress and relax.
So yes, be authentic. Be honest. Listen to your inner voice. It will always guide you back to your true self.