As another year comes to a close, many people will be embracing the “New Year, New Me” concept. This year, I challenge you to awaken your authentic self instead.
Locked away, deep inside is your most authentic being who is waiting to come out. They might be weighed down by social media happy reels, unrealistic beauty standards or other people’s expectations of how you should live your life. If you find yourself questioning who the real (your name here) is, here’s how you can awaken your most authentic self so you can live life more happily.
Speak your truth.
Being authentic includes being able to genuinely express how you feel and to say what you mean. A prime example of this is saying “I’m okay” when you really aren’t or excessive sugar coating of your concerns. If no one understands what you mean, you can’t expect to receive the desired outcome.
If you have a tendency to lie to yourself, or others as a way to avoid confrontation, a recent study shows that lying, regardless of the intention, was almost always damaging to a person’s physical and mental health. And practicing honesty improved the overall happiness of peoples’ lives.
The other side of the authenticity coin is speaking up when you have something to say. It’s easy to slip on a pair of rose-colored glasses when shit hits the fan. It’s harder to keep them on when shit starts piling up. Should that happen, that would be the perfect time to awaken that beautiful thing called your voice.
There will always be someone you will try to talk over you, put words in your mouth and speak for you. Your voice is one of the most powerful things you can possess so don’t be afraid to use it.
Dance, shimmy or walk to the beat of your own drum.
Even when we succeed, we still have the tendency to undermine our own accomplishments when we start thinking about all the should haves and could haves. Whether you are trying to climb the corporate latter, build a business or grow your following, you should never feel as if you need to do something a certain way, or should be anything other than yourself, to reach your goals.
It does take a lot of courage to be your true self and to awaken that understanding of what makes you truly happy. The first step to feeling comfortable admitting you rather walk, than dance, to the beat of your own drum (or you could care less about drums at all) is to remember that the road to success and happiness is not linear.
Hailee Steinfeld sings in her song, Most Girls, “you look greatest when you feel like a damn queen.” Maybe you enjoy going out every night. Or maybe you enjoy being a homebody. Whatever it is you like or don’t like, when you live by your own standards, instead of somebody else’s, is when you will feel your best.
When it comes to decision making, I often hear the response “maybe,” more than I’d like. It’s non-committal and offers no clues as to which decision you are leaning towards. While “maybe” can mean “possibility” and “hope,” it can also disguise our feelings of:
- Fear; when you’re afraid to say “yes.”
- Guilt; when you want to say “no” but rather delay your answer as to not disappoint the other person.
If you fall into one of the two categories above, consider “if it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a hell no.”
Overthinking situations can lead you to psyche yourself out. Trust your gut and if you already know the answer, practice committing to either saying “yes” or “no” as a way to feel more confident and more in control in how you chose to live your life.