Becoming truly authentic is not as easy as it seems.
Honestly, it’s hard. It involves an ongoing journey of self-discovery and growth. But what if I told you that you might be unconsciously doing certain things that are holding you back from being your most authentic self?
If you want to embrace authenticity in a deeper way, here are seven things you might want to stop doing.
Finished? Let’s dive in.
1) Trying to please everyone
Here’s the hard truth: you can’t make everyone happy.
Trying to please everyone is not only tiring, but also unrealistic. This behavior often stems from fear of rejection or confrontation. But let me tell you something, it’s okay if not everyone likes you. It’s okay to disagree with others.
Being authentic means standing up for what you believe in, even if it is unpopular. It’s about respecting your values and boundaries, and understanding that it’s better to be loved by a few for who you really are than by many for who you are not.
The next time you find yourself bending over backwards to please others, take a moment. Remember that your worth is not dependent on the approval of others. Be brave, be courageous and most importantly, be yourself.
2) Hiding your true feelings
This one hits close to home.
I often bottled up my feelings because I thought it was the “right” thing to do. I believed that by keeping my emotions hidden, I was saving others from discomfort, and somehow that made me a good person.
But I was wrong.
Hiding my true feelings didn’t make me good – it didn’t make me authentic. It created a barrier between me and the people I cared about, a barrier that prevented real connections from forming.
I have since learned that authenticity requires emotional honesty. It’s about expressing your feelings in a respectful and thoughtful way, even when it’s difficult. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and showing the world your true self, warts and all.
Don’t suppress your emotions. Feel them, express them, embrace them. Because ultimately your feelings are part of who you are.
3) Comparing yourself to others
I admit it: I’ve been guilty of this too.
There was a time when I was scrolling through my social media feed and noticed that I was jealous of other people’s lives. The glamorous vacations, the perfect families, the successful careers – it seemed like everyone was living a better life than me.
But then I realized something.
These online personas are just that: personas. They are carefully composed, often exaggerated versions of reality. And comparing my real life to these online illusions was not only unfair, but completely inauthentic.
The truth is that each of us is unique. We have our own paths, our own successes and failures, our own stories to tell. And that is something to be proud of, not something to hide.
Stop playing the comparison game. You are enough just the way you are. Your journey is your own and it is worth celebrating, not comparing.
4) Ignoring your intuition
Have you ever had a gut feeling about something, only to ignore it and regret your decision later? I think we’ve all been there.
Your intuition is a powerful tool. It’s that inner voice, that gut feeling, that often knows what’s best for you before your brain has a chance to catch up. It is an integral part of who you are.
Ignoring your intuition means ignoring a part of yourself.
The next time your intuition speaks, listen. You might be surprised how much it has to say. By learning to trust yourself more, you take a big step towards being more authentic in your daily life.
5) Being too hard on yourself
Let me share something interesting with you. Do you know that the way we talk to ourselves affects our behavior, our decisions and even our mental health?
Think about how often we are harsh and critical of ourselves. We magnify our mistakes, dwell on our imperfections, and constantly feel like we’re not doing enough. But being overly self-critical isn’t a sign of authenticity – it’s a sign of self-doubt.
Authenticity is about it accept yourself as you are – flaws and all that. Recognizing that perfection does not exist and that it is okay to make mistakes. After all, we are humans.
Take a deep breath and remember this: you are doing your best, and that is enough. Be gentle with yourself, because you deserve kindness, especially from yourself.
6) Not setting boundaries
I used to be the person who said yes to everything. I felt the need to always be available, always helpful and always willing to help. I was afraid that if I said “no” I would seem selfish or unkind.
But eventually I realized I was burning myself out. My fear of saying “no” took its toll on my mental and physical health. It also stopped me from being my authentic self.
Setting boundaries isn’t about being selfish, it’s about self-care. Communicating your needs and making your mental well-being a priority. Understand that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
It’s okay to say ‘no’. It’s okay to prioritize your needs. And it’s absolutely okay to set boundaries.
7) Not living in the present moment
This is perhaps the most essential part of being authentic, yet it is so often overlooked.
Live in the present moment means being fully engaged, aware and present in your life. It means not worrying about past regrets or worries about the future, but focusing on the here and now.
When we are not present, we are not truly living – we are merely existing. We miss the little moments of life, those precious fragments of time that make our lives truly ours.
Let go of the past. Don’t worry about the future. Embrace the now and live it to the fullest.
Embrace your authenticity
Being authentic is a journey, not a destination. It requires self-awareness, courage and, above all, honesty with oneself. It’s about recognizing your shortcomings and embracing your strengths.
But most importantly, it’s about being true to who you are.
Start today. Pay attention when you are trying to please other at the expense of your own well-being. Notice when you hide your true feelings or compare yourself to others. Avoid ignoring your intuition, being too hard on yourself, not setting boundaries, and not living in the present moment.
It won’t be easy and it will take time. But every step you take towards authenticity is a step towards a more fulfilling and genuine life.
So go ahead. Embrace your authenticity.
Because there is no one else in the world like you – and that is truly worth celebrating.
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