and 5 helpful tips to implement today.
Live authentic. Be authentic. We hear this all the time, but what does it actually mean?
I guess the best place to start is to define authentic...
Definition: “of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.”
Aren’t we all authentic then?
I mean, we’re not all copies of each other are we? Let's explore shall we!
What makes us who we are? Our family? Our friends? The experiences we have? The things we consume? It could be a combination of all of the above really. But let’s ask ourselves this. When was the last time, if ever, that you sat down and gave yourself the time and patience to really think about and discover who you are without the influences of your friends, family or society?
Sadly many would agree that they almost never do that, and of course this is not something intentional... It's just that we sometimes live a life so consumed by today’s distractions that we never really give ourselves a chance to know who we really are.
How can I get to know me?
Above all else, one thing is true. To be authentic, you must be self-aware. Without self-awareness, how can you ever know who you are? What’s you? and what is someone else’s expectation of you? What is you and what are the limiting beliefs that have been imposed on you growing up?
Self-awareness is the first and most important step on the journey of self discovery.
I believe one of the best tools for helping you to become more self-aware, is quiet time.
Yes, some call it meditation, but in its simplicity it is really just a time that is less about distractions and more about focus. These quieter moments have power over the mind and body like nothing else. It allowed me to re-discover myself by asking 5 personal questions that when answered internally caused me to face the realities of my life and life choices at age 21 (not too long ago may I add *erhm erhm clears throat*.) The self discovery was in fact so deep, I decided to make a complete 360 degree change in my life and how I choose to live it. Quiet time takes you on a journey inside yourself without any external influences, almost like it just holds up a really big mirror and all that you can see in the mirror is you. The real you. The authentic you.
Quiet time was and still is a very powerful tool to help me centre myself and when I feel centred, I feel clarity. When I feel clarity, I feel authentic. When I’m clear, I know myself.
Think of it this way... When you eat a really large meal, you feel tired, your body uses most of your energy to break down and process the food you’ve just eaten and when you haven’t eaten for a while, it allows your body to use the energy to heal itself. Now, think of thoughts, as food. When you have too much information coming in, you get overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. Your mind and body begin to shut down. But what happens when you have minimal information coming in? Your mind can start to zone in or concentrate on other things, on mending and on deciphering things that have transpired recently. Your mind gives itself clarity.
Quiet time doesn’t have to be sitting down in a dark room, chanting ‘Ohm’. It can be anything that allows you to be fully present in the moment, to be free from distraction. For some people, that could be dancing, drawing, writing, exercising or simply partaking in your favourite hobby.
The trick with being authentic is it’s more about stripping away the bad, the old, the limiting beliefs that are no longer wanted or needed than it is about ‘adding’ qualities. Remember, we don’t have to tell children to be authentic do we? No, they just are. We need to strip away all the things this world has given us that stops us from being our authentic selves. We need to be who we were before all those bad things happened to us.
When we think of material items, the authentic, genuine, one-of-a-kind products are the most valuable and the most sought after and the items that are mass-produced could be bought for the change in your pocket. So make sure you’re more like the weird and wacky, colourful mug that you’d find at the back of the antique store, instead of the plain grey mug that you’d find at your closest retailer. How can you start your journey on the road to authenticity?
Here’s 5 helpful tips to implement today.
Be genuine. Listen to your heart. Don’t let friends, family or circumstance dictate who you can be. Define yourself before others have the chance to define you.
Find a suitable practice or activity that gives you "quiet time." Anything that frees the mind.
Never stop learning, never stop evolving.
Be open to everything, the good and the bad. Don’t choose to be ignorant.
Own everything you do. Authentic people accept their strengths and their weaknesses. They hold themselves accountable.
What is true for me, may not be true for you. You need to find your truth. Never stop seeking your truth. Be open. Be accountable. Be self-aware.
Whatever you do, be kind and compassionate to one another. Remember, when you live authentically, you inspire other people to do the same.
Love you all. - Daniel