Growth 3 min read

The Power Of Authenticity: 4 Ways To Do You

Rediscover the joy found in being your truest self.

Social media gives us many ways to publically practice authenticity. Through Facebook and other forums like Twitter and Instagram, we’re able to curate our lives for our followers. Yet we’re all so busy performing the act of authenticity, it’s easy to forget who we are when we’re not explaining it in 140 characters or less.

There’s a community theatre technique called "Cop in the Head," which asks participants to analyze the shaming voice in our heads that stops us from practicing our own authenticity. The "cop” is an amalgamation of authority figures both real (like your mama) and abstract (like the idea of what is appropriate for a woman your age) who exist in our heads but who have the real effect to keep us from living out our purpose. So how do we develop practices that help us cut through the voices in our heads that are not aligned with the purposes we seek in our lives? We do it by diving in.

Adopt these four practices in order to do you to the fullest.

1. Practice Introspection

Locating your authentic self starts by asking, “What am I feeling?” The magic happens when you don’t judge the feeling, but allow yourself to feel it completely. Feeling an emotion allows us to live it, look at it, trace its root, maybe understand it and learn something. If we shame the feeling, we suppress it, block understanding and condemn ourselves to repeating this negative pattern. You must trust that there is a reason you feel the way you do and let yourself go through a reflection process that allows you to gain some understanding from it.

2. Practice Vulnerability

What's causing you to struggle? There’s nothing less authentic than pretending to be okay when you are not. Not every space is a safe space, but where can you practice the freedom to be vulnerable without fear of being judged? Finding that safe space –– a group, a person or an online community –– is crucial for validating your authentic self. There can be so much freedom and growth when you admit that you could use some support.

3. Practice Self-Love

The people in your life cannot read your mind. If you feel you’re being misunderstood, the silent treatment will not get you too far. You need to do the work of explaining your emotional needs and vulnerabilities. You are responsible for asking for what you need.

4. Practice Holding Space

Remember: It’s not all about you. The people around you are also trying to figure life out. You "hold space" when you walk alongside someone during a moment or season in their lives that is hard. In those dark moments, people often lose confidence in themselves and their ability to make decisions. You hold space by offering your nonjudgmental presence and reminding them of their worthiness and ability to get through. It’s not about giving unsolicited advice, but about being a reminder that they can and will survive.

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