“Be true to yourself and the right people and resources always show up.
The Universe always conspires for the right meetings to occur.
Everything is unfolding as it should. It really is.”
Have you ever stopped to think about whether you’re being true to yourself? Not many people really give it much thought. We are so influenced by social media, family, teachers, friends, and other significant people in our lives that being true to yourself gets lost in the ‘noise’.
Do you feel that you are following your own path in life? Do you feel to be yourself and express your views and opinions? Do you feel that in your relationships you are cared for and valued? If you said no to any of these questions, it might be that you are living a life that’s less true to yourself than you would like.
If you’ve forgotten what it looks like to live a life that shows you’re being true to yourself, here is a quick check-list for you:
1)You consider the opinions of others but you make the final decision
When you’re being true to yourself, trusting yourself is second nature. You are at the centre of your decision-making instead of allowing external influences to lead you in directions that will be less satisfying. It’s a good idea to get the opinions of others but when you’re true to yourself, you always get the majority vote. You trust yourself and you listen to your gut feeling when all is said and don and you have weighed up all the information.
2)You’ll do something even if you know others will judge you negatively
Peer pressure is a formidable influence on us and going against what others see as acceptable takes courage. When you know yourself well, you’re less likely to be pulled in directions that won’t fulfill you. If you want to move to Africa and work with a charity there, you’ll get stuck in without being unduly influenced by others. They have their life and you have yours. We have to live our own lives, not in a selfish way but in a wise self-determined way.
If you decide to leave your job and go back to studying when everyone else has a different mindset, you won’t let the judgement of others stop you. It takes courage to go against the grain.
You accept that you will never be able to please everyone and you are okay with that. Being true to yourself is more important that pleasing others constantly.
3)You understand your values and go after them
Our values form the core of our lives and act as our compass. They are not goals, they are a way of living your life. If you value freedom, live according to that principle instead of being glued to an office desk in order to fit in. Be brave and assert your differences. If you value independence and don’t fancy the idea of children, don’t give in to the general pressure that others or society places on you. Stand firm. People who are true to themselves report higher levels of life satisfaction.
In 2014, researchers at Louisiana Tech University published an important study in which data was collected from college students about their levels of authenticity and life satisfaction. Their results showed that those who showed greater authenticity were more satisfied months later with their lives.
4)You dance to your own rhythm
You do what feels right for you even if you know it will meet the disapproval of others. You know yourself and celebrate the misfit in you. You accept your quirks with pride rather than trying to be like everyone else. When someone says “You’re weird”, you take it as a compliment.
5)You don’t mind being seen as different or even eccentric
You don’t mind dressing differently or thinking differently and see it as a strength. In evolutionary terms, being different was a death sentence. Being rejected by your clan meant you were more likely to end up vulnerable to predators. This is no longer the case but parts f our brain still process the world as if this is true. Push against the lower functioning in your brain by facing your fears and acting alone at times.
The more you ‘exercise’ your brain by doing what you fear, the stronger and more competent you become at getting ahead and shedding the restraints of societal pressure and ‘group think’.
6)You are a critical thinker
Even if everyone around you tells you that the newcomer in the office is boring, you will make your own mind up and meet the new staff member without preconceptions. The authentic person values their autonomy. Whether or not you think critically can make the difference between success and failure in just about every area of your life. Our human brains are imperfect and prone to irrationality, distortions, prejudices, and cognitive biases. Critical thinking is an excellent tool to help you better understand yourself and to learn to master your thoughts as well as tune out all the ‘noise’ out there from social media etc
7) You are less likely to be manipulated by others
The more authentic you are, the more able you are to withstand the pressures from other people around you to be the person they want you to be, rather than who you are. Being true to yourself is a life-long practice that requires commitment and re-commitment, moment to moment, as you grow and evolve. By learning to pay attention to your deeper senses and feelings, and by cultivating greater awareness in your life, you can establish a strong connection to yourself and feel confident in knowing what is deeply true for you.
8) You don’t mind voicing your opinion even if it is at odds with the majority
Constantly shape-shifting, or changing our personalities and beliefs to fit in with other people, is both confusing and damaging. It makes it very difficult to recognise what we really feel and what is truly important to us because we’re constantly taking on the values of another person or culture.
9) You know what you like and you seek it out regardless of what others think
If we can make the everyday into something more purposeful that chimes with values we hold dear, we feel happier. Living according to your values is like a natural anti-depressant. When you spend your life keeping others happy, you unwittingly send yourself the message that you don’t matter.
When you take control and empower yourself by living a life that fits with your interests and values, you will find that others respect you and wish they had the courage to do the same.
You will learn that others do accept you for who you really are and that’s empowering!!
10) Life feels fulfilling and purposeful most of the time
People who are being true to themselves will have deeper and more meaningful relationships with others. Less willing to spend their valuable time in relationships with people who don’t care about them, or have their best interests in mind, authentic people seek out relationships in which they can more freely be themselves.
The more you’re being true to yourself, the more confidence you will accumulate. You know people are with you because they like you as you are, not for what you pretend to be to keep others happy. You want to be appreciated and valued for who you are, not for who someone else wants you to be. And, in turn, you want to be able to offer the same genuine relationship to others.
Learning to live authentically is important to a happy life, so spend time thinking about what that means for you.
Photo by Possessed Photography on Unsplash