Steps to Bring you towards living as your Authentic Self

This week was challenging for me. I’ve been out of sorts. Events from the past week have called me to question who I am. I felt a little bruised emotionally and disconnected from myself. With the support from my dear friends,  I’ve spent time going inwards, finding out what brings me joy (as I discussed last week in my newsletter)  and recognising my natural strengths and weaknesses and the inborn personality traits that have shaped who I am. What does it mean to be truly authentic? Being my true self means expressing the deepest me in every moment I get. 

While figuring out your most authentic nature can seem like a daunting, confusing task, you will just know if you’ve been showing others your true self by how you feel inside. Hand on heart, when this happened to me last week, I can say I felt all of these, so I felt it was important to list them as useful signs that could mean you are not being your true self:

Feeling unhappy a lot of the time
Feeling uncomfortable around people
Regularly judging others
Not valuing yourself
Seeking acceptance from others
Often feeling negative emotions
You do things you don’t enjoy
You don’t trust your intuition

So how do you turn things around? How did I come back from such a blow?

I met my Physical needs
A big part of finding your authentic self is finding out what you like. What brings you joy? What brings you happiness? The answer is NOTHING as long as you are not making your physical well-being a priority.  People pleasers are so focused on other people and meeting other people’s needs that they often neglect to take care of themselves. Taking on too much. Not getting enough rest. Failing to set aside time for exercise or cooking healthy meals.

Your authentic self will not emerge if you are sleep deprived and stressed out.  You can give yourself all the authentically YOU activities in the world, but if your body is not feeling well, your mind won’t feel well either. So, start giving your body some love.  Make your physical well-being a priority.  Make your body a vessel that your authentic self can thrive in. 

I gave myself space
Finding your authentic self requires focusing inward – focusing at yourself – for a while.  This may sound obvious to some, but it can be incredibly hard for people who have spent their entire lives focused on other people’s needs and demands.  

I distanced myself from those who affected me
You will not find your authentic self among the people who destroyed it in the first place.  When your authentic self first emerges from the ground, it will be a fragile seedling and you don’t need narcissists and abusers stepping on it and destroying it all over again.  Your authentic self will need nurturing care, so distance yourself from the people who are not capable of giving you just that.

It may be that you just need to distance yourself temporarily until your authentic self is strong and mature enough to withstand the pressure.  But sometimes the only way to move forward is by permanently cutting ties to your painful past.

I set time aside
To read, to ponder, to try new things. If you are sharing your life with loved ones (the non-abusive kind), let them know what you are doing and why you need to take some time for yourself right now.  They love and want the best for you, so they will understand.

I opened up to the possibilities.
We may have been taught that there is only ONE right way to be.  If you think of your “self” as an outfit you wear, then they handed you ONE uniform and told you to mould your body to fit that uniform.  Even if it was too big or too small or too itchy for YOUR body. But whoever taught you that there is only one uniform was wrong. There are a million and more ways to be human.

Your authentic self is not some magical being you will find in your past.  Your authentic self is in the present. In what makes you feel well today. In the here and now. Your authentic self is a sum of many parts.  You won’t find all the parts at once.  They will come to you one at a time. And one day you will have found enough parts to feel whole.  Maybe not all the parts, but enough. Enough to know what makes you feel good. Enough to know where moments of hope and happiness can be found. Enough to know that you are on the right path for you. And that it’s YOUR path you are following.  Nobody else’s.

Love Nina xx


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