5 Keys to Finding Your Authentic Self and Shedding Your Mask
Authenticity means living from the heart. It means living life in alignment with your values and desires. When we act in ways that align with our deepest values, we are fulfilled inside and are also able to form better relationships with others.
Sometimes being authentic requires that you become vulnerable in front of others, but the other option is to become inauthentic which is more dangerous in the long-term.
It’s possible to feel authentic again. Here are the five ways for living and finding your authentic self.
1. Redefine Your Values
To live an authentic life, you have to know what matters to you. Because your decisions, priorities and actions will be based on your values. If you sway from your values, you will feel regretful and unsatisfied from life.
So take the time to discover what really matters to you in life. As we grow, our values change, so it’s important to be aligned with your present values.
For example, if you value achievement, work ethic, and creativity, you cannot be lazy, uninspired, and distracted all the time because it’ll kill you inside and erode your self-esteem. Finding your authentic self requires that you know what matters to you.
2. Ask Introspective Questions, But In A Creative Way
A great way to get to the bottom of your heart is to probe it with inquisitive statements. They’re questions written in a creative way.
For example, do the following sentence completion exercise to know yourself better:
I waste the most time: ___________
This is the trait I really value in others:____________
If I had to do one thing to improve my life it would be ________________
The one thing that gets me down but shouldn’t is ____________________
Completing sentence stems this way is a great way to finding your authentic self . This technique was originally emphasized by Nathaniel Branden, the author of The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem.
3. Pay Attention to Your Intuition
Your hunches, physical sensations, and emotions act like an inner compass. They have the power to take you in the right direction if you pay attention.
When something doesn’t feel right and you feel out of sync, take some time for introspection and reflect on what’s the last wrong decision you made that’s responsible for you not feeling right.
Often we bring inauthentic energy, just to fit in or please others, we get that weird feeling in the gut as if something isn’t right. Finding your authentic self requires that you become aware of that feeling and trust it.
4. Create the Space to Hear Your Inner Voice
We live in a world full of distractions and deadlines. Smartphones, television, Netflix, YouTube, social media platforms – we like to keep “connected” 24×7.
While this is okay and provides a comfortable life, the more important connection is the one we have with ourselves. And it is the key to living and finding your authentic self
So how to tune into that connection? Step away from the distractions. Go for a walk alone one day to introspect and just be with yourself. Travel to a new city on your own. Step into a place away from the humdrum of life and tune into your own heart.
5. See Things With An Open Mind Without Any Judgment
Judgment closes the conversation and puts blame on you. The first step in finding your authentic self is to see things from a place of oneness, curiosity, and lack of judgment.
For example, if you call yourself “lazy”, you are judging and inviting guilt into your life.
On the other hand, if you call yourself “demotivated”, you realize that motivation comes from a source and it can be fixed. And that you need to change directions and choose an area where you will be able to work hard.
So see things from an open mind where things aren’t always black and white. Authenticity develops when we are able to see our situation from a holistic perspective.