How to be your most authentic self

Hmm, the gift of authenticity—a gift we often overlook until we’ve spent years trying to be someone we’re not. Have you ever taken a moment to ask yourself, Am I pretending to be happy? or What are my beliefs and values outside people’s opinions and projections? If you’ve ever questioned whether you genuinely like coffee or if you’re just drinking it to seem more productive, you’re not alone. Pretending to be something or someone you’re not means you’re not being your most authentic self.

Don’t worry; we’re not coming from a judgmental place. Many of us have spent a lot of time unlearning and relearning to get here. Some of us are still on the journey, and that’s okay. It’s not a day’s job, but it is the most freeing thing you’ll ever experience. Here are some ways you can kick off this journey as well:

We all get to a point where we have to stop and be real with ourselves. The first thing you need to do is know yourself. You will need to assess the things that affect you—your emotions, your triggers, your values, your interests. Who are you at your core? That’s a question we had to sit with for a while.

Self-reflection is such a powerful tool. There is so much clarity that you can receive when you take some time to sit with your thoughts. Journaling can help you sort through your feelings and beliefs. You might discover things about yourself that surprise you, both good and bad. The key here is to be honest. This is not about judging yourself but about understanding who you really are.

The next step is acceptance, which can be a challenging part, especially if you have some struggles to deal with or work on. But the great part is your willingness to be the best version of yourself. It’s a daily work in progress. You need to recognize that you’re great and you deserve to be loved too. Once you accept yourself, you can work on your flaws without feeling like you’re not good enough. We think it’s crucial to accept and love your quirks. Everyone else will follow suit, and those who don’t—well, that’s perfectly fine too. The goal is to reach a place where you no longer feel the need to pretend.

Now, let’s talk about confidence. Here’s a hack we hold closely to our heart, one that Rihanna taught us: Pretend. As contradictory as it sounds, here’s what we mean—don’t pretend to be happy, but pretend to be confident until you eventually become it. 

Be confident in your decisions. When you believe in your choices, others will too. Confidence doesn’t mean you have all the answers; it just means you trust yourself enough to make decisions and stand by them.

Another vital part of being authentic is honesty. We’ve learnt to be honest with ourselves and the people around us. Let people know who you are in your conversations. Many of us have had to reintroduce ourselves to people—introduce our true selves to our friends, family, and co-workers.

Honesty might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a necessary step toward living authentically. It’s okay to be vulnerable and let people see the real you. The people who genuinely care about you will appreciate this honesty.

We could write a whole book on this topic, but we want you to know that it’s never too late to be your most authentic self. It will take being uncomfortable sometimes, but you’ll get used to it. Also, please remember to give yourself grace if you have to be unauthentic for the time being, if it is for survival. We understand that some circumstances require it, but what we’ll say is that you should actively work towards leaving a situation that causes you not to be yourself. You can do it!

You know what? Here’s a TED talk by Bevy Smith on ‘How to discover your authentic self—at any age’. It’s a fantastic resource for anyone on this journey.

H

Being your most authentic self is a journey, not a destination. We’re all in this together, and remember, it’s never too late to start. The world is waiting to meet the real you.

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