Are you true to yourself? Do you ‘speak your truth’, in other words, do you say, out loud, and with conviction, the thoughts and feelings that you feel inside? Do you act according to your beliefs and stand by those thoughts and beliefs? If you endeavour to live your life according to these and other similar principles, then you are living your life authentically. Living authentically means having an inner integrity and being honest and up-front with yourself, in order that you can be the same with others; being self-aware and understanding what you believe, want and feel. Living your life authentically means that you assess a situation before involving yourself, you sometimes put yourself first, and you only say what you really, honestly, truthfully mean.
Sounds difficult doesn’t it? Immediately we start to think along the lines of: “What if I upset somebody?” Or “what if people don’t like me saying no?” Or “What if they think I’m a ‘bad’ person?” Rest assured anybody who matters won’t think that way at all and the reason why is simple. People who live authentic lives are being true to themselves. They are happier, and more complete, more comfortable under their skin. Speaking with conviction doesn’t mean a licence to offend people. It means speaking thoughtfully from the heart and being innately honest with yourself and those around you. It doesn’t mean you have to be selfish either, in fact it is quite the opposite. Authenticity is a form of assertiveness where you can afford to be considerate of others because you have learned to be considerate of yourself.
Delete the words “should”, “ought” and “need” from your vocabulary as they all set you up to fail. Every time you use these words you are telling yourself that you are not doing something that you feel is expected of you. Now question any thoughts that contain those words. What does a thought mean when you think you should do something? Does it mean that it has to be done because it is expected of me, rather than it being something that I want to do? Live up to your expectations, not those of somebody else. Need carries with it a feeling of desperation and a vague sense of anxiety. Do you really need those feelings in your life?
It is liberating to be the person you want to be, not the person you have become expected to be. When you live your life authentically, you become easier and less stressed to live with, happier to live with and kinder to live with. Authentic living is a win/win situation. So why not free all those thoughts and feelings around expectations of others and allow yourself to develop an inner wisdom in order to live your life through your inner self in a way that feels comfortable and right for you?