Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.
A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to take up sketching. I didn’t know what I wanted to draw, I just felt called to create something on paper.
So, I borrowed my daughter’s drawing pencils, dug up some blank paper and signed up for an online drawing course.
I’m not quitting my day job (or my side gig for that matter), but drawing has satisfied an important part of who I am. I'm a creative.
Seeing lines take shape into recognizable form brings me peace, joy, and gratification.
In those precious moments, I am living as my authentic self.
I’m also a coach, a physician, a wife, a mother, the list goes on. Unfortunately, for the better part of my adult life, I’ve ignored some very important parts of me.
I’ve always loved art, but never gave it much time because I believed that all of my energy should be focused on being a good doctor, wife and mother. I’m learning that I’m a better coach, doctor, wife, and mother when I’m showing up as my authentic self.
What does living with authenticity mean?
Why are you on this earth? I believe that every single one of us has a reason for being here. Living with authenticity allows you to live in your purpose.
I like to think about the authentic self showing up when the person that other people see on the outside being an accurate reflection of the person you are on the inside?
As Brené so beautifully stated, living with authenticity requires letting go and opening up. You have to let go of those voices telling you what you “should do”. Letting go of other people’s expectations allows you to consider what you are truly meant to be doing.
Living with authenticity allows you to live in your purpose.
How can living with authenticity help you?
When you live with authenticity, you can put your passions and skills to use.
The Japanese have a beautiful concept of how this shows up in the workplace called Ikigai. Ikigai suggests that when what your good at, what you have a passion for, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs are in balance that you can find your “reason for being”.
Being your authentic self can lead to greater life satisfaction. When you are being true to who you are, you can be better for yourself and better for those around you. You can live with greater peace, joy, and fulfillment.
How can you start living with authenticity today?
Visualize Imagine who you would be if you were living your ideal life 5 years from now. What would you be doing? Who would be around you? Where would you be? What could you see, feel, hear and smell? Take some time to get a clear mental image. A vision gives you a destination and motivates you to push forward.
Clarify Reflect of your life right now. What would I see if I took a video of a day in your life? How closely does this match your vision of 5 years from now? Gaps may show you where you aren’t quite living as your true self.
Experiment Where can you make some shifts? These can be small changes that help you live more closely to the self you envision. If you are having trouble with boundaries around your workday, can you commit to shutting your computer off every day by 6 PM?
Learn Yep, that means this process isn’t easy. In fact, sometimes it’s just plain hard. While we want to live with authenticity, we will meet barriers. These barriers give us information about how to proceed. Living with authenticity isn’t a no holds barred invitation to do whatever you want. It’s an invitation to examine whether or not we are at our best and living in our purpose on this earth.
Connect Anytime we are going through a transition in our life, supportive family and friends can encourage and support us. A coach can be a great support too! Find those people and share the changes you are trying to make with them. They can be you greatest cheerleaders.
Whether you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed or just feel like there is something different that you should be doing, exploring how you can live with authenticity sets you in the right direction.