It’s hard to know if you’re being true to your authentic self. Most of us try to be, as there’s something inside each of that prizes authenticity; that knows being true to yourself is the best thing you can do. Yet, there’s a large part of us that, for many reasons, have learned to put others before ourselves; to choose belonging and acceptance over standing out or being rejected.
And while we’d all love it if this were an obvious way to know if we’re being genuine all the time or not, most of us are REALLY good at fooling ourselves and others into thinking we’re being authentic. This can come in the form of little white lies, prioritizing other’s feelings, going along with trends, but mostly- not giving yourself the chance to think about what matters to you.
So if you’re ready to deep dive into this subject for yourself, here are the five questions you can ask yourself to see if you’re being your authentic self:
Do I say what I mean or what I *think* other people want to hear?
This can happen when we’re being asked about our opinions, and it can also show up when we’re making plans with others. How many times have you gotten on the phone with a loved one and end up making a plan to spend time together when it’s not a priority for you right now and possibly even adds more stress to your life? This often happens because we’re going through the motions of what we think other people expect and want from us, instead of being true to ourselves.
Do I ask for someone else’s opinion even when I really don’t want it?
This is a truly sneaky culprit of lacking authenticity because it’s done under the guise of being thoughtful of others and wanting to show others how much you value them and want them to belong. Is this a good trait in many ways? Absolutely! But is it genuine when you are already sure of your own plan of action? This is definitely worth observing in yourself, even if you allow yourself intentional times to do so.
Do I pretend to like things that are on trend even when it’s not really my style?
This one can happen consciously and subconsciously. You could purposely be denying what you love whether it be the color of your walls, furniture, art work, etc. for the sake of what’s on trend to please others- or you could be out of touch with what you truly love, or feel like you don’t have access to making that happen so you default to whatever is popular at any given moment. It’s okay to be yourself- and for your personality to show up in your possessions.
Do I trust in and act on my own instincts, intuition, and gut feelings?
This is such an important consideration to if you’re being your authentic self because if you are continuously ignoring your own instincts, intuition, and gut feelings you are not in alignment with your truth. The feelings that come from inside us are our most valuable gift from the Divine. It’s our way of knowing what’s right for us, and picking up on things we may not logically understand but are true, valid, and essential. If you’d lost this ability, start taking more time to tune in and see what you truly feel.
Do I hold back sharing my opinion for the sake of going with the flow?
This one is something that we can sometimes be conditioned for in the guise of being easy-going. Now I am fully aware that some personalities are just genuinely more accommodating and have less of an opinion on certain issues- but regardless it’s worth asking yourself- do I hold back when I truly do have an opinion. Even if you choose not to get into a conflict with others- you can intentionally find other areas of your life where you prioritize your own opinion. Then maybe someday dive into the vulnerability of sharing your thoughts with others.
How did you fair in the authenticity check? It’s my hope that this opens up new ways of thinking about how you’re showing up authentically in your own life, and truly the decision is always yours. You get to decide which areas your heart is calling for you to be more authentic- and perhaps as you do this, consider the ways your life might improve by doing so.
For expanded thoughts on today’s post check out the companion episode on The A Bit From Within Podcast. Listen below, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. The A Bit From Within Podcast is a weekly podcast for those learning how to embrace who they truly are instead of feeling obligated to please others first.
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