Today I want to have a look at why being authentic is the key to having a satisfied life.
When a person is living authentically, what’s going on on the outside is a reflection of what’s going on on the inside.
It’s that sweet spot, where how you’re showing up in life is a true reflection of your values, beliefs and actions.
Reaching that can really take some time and effort and it’s not for the faint-hearted, but when you look at most of the times you’ve suffered in your life, it’s usually because you haven’t been authentic.
Hi, I’m Nikki Green, a sexual/marital therapist, affairs expert and the co-founder of The Academy of Lasting Love.
So here are some examples of how not being authentic can cause problems.
Maybe you over committed at work and you’re stressed. Your family aren’t seeing much of you and you regret saying yes to the boss, again. You weren’t being authentic with him, and acting out of your desire to have more balance in your life, before you burn out.
Or you might have had a fight with your partner, because he’s going out fishing again. You weren’t authentic with him, or maybe yourself even, about how disconnected you may have been feeling lately, or about that sense of longing you have to spend some quality time with him.
You might find yourself being short with your kids, and you’re feeling guilty about it as you mull it over afterwards.
You haven’t acted authentically, representing your values of being a loving and empowering parent.
Maybe you keep finding yourself feeling resentful too often, or you keep doing things you regret, that make you feel bad.
You might be questioning the type of people you’re spending your time with, or wondering what your general feeling of dissatisfaction, unease or apathy is all about.
OK I’m going to put down the gauntlet here. I want you to start paying attention to this please. Next time you find yourself in a mess ask yourself “Have I somehow failed to act authentically in this situation?”
When you are living authentically you’re not “should-ing” on yourself, or engaging in “must-erbation”, because you act consciously, with forethought, and you’re gentle with yourself when you make mistakes.
Most of us know people who are authentic. There’s a certain safety in knowing where you stand with them and they’re usually very accepting (of both themselves and others). They also seem to be happier and more satisfied with life, than most.
Sounds like a great place to be huh? So why isn’t everyone living authentically. Well for a start it takes work. You need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone, face your demons, let go of having to control, and take a pledge to live mindfully.
Not everyone has the desire, the wherewithal or the resilience required to live authentically, and for good reason. But once you recognize the price you pay for living inauthentically, it then really becomes worth pursuing.
If you want even more motivation, the key to a good relationship is when both partners are willing to be empathetically authentic, because empathetic authenticity is the cornerstone of kindness.
Looking at the following traits of what it means to live authentically you might want to take stock of where you are now, where you’d like to be, and which of these traits you may like to work towards embodying.
You live authentically when:
You really know yourself, and you know what your needs, your strengths and your weaknesses are.
You also know your story, and have rewritten the bits that keep you stuck.
You value your time and wish to spend it with like-minded, authentic people.
You say what you mean, mean what you say and you don’t say it in a mean way, because you know there’s always room in honesty for kindness.
You are a learner- you’re open, curious and flexible, and you’ve have made a commitment to yourself to keep growing.
You are honest, reliable and accountable to yourself and others.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s often only when we become aware of the cost of inauthenticity that we begin to realize the benefits of adopting it.
Often when we’re not authentic we spend too much time being angry instead, and in my next vlog we’ll take a deeper look at that.
Until next time, be good to yourself, and remember to keep it real.
With light and love
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