Women take on a lot of roles in life: mother, wife, partner, boss, friend, sister, daughter, colleague, coach, therapist, scheduler, mentor. And rarely are they filling those roles one at a time.
Amid the juggling act of what you mean to other people, it’s easy to lose sight of what you mean to yourself. How can you ensure you are your most authentic self when you’re always focused on others?
What does authentic mean?
Being authentic means aligning your values and beliefs with your actions and letting them shine. It sounds pretty simple on the surface but proves more challenging in everyday life.
Here are five ways you can practice being authentic and start living authentically in your most important role yet: YOU!
1. Know yourself
If you want to be the true you, you have to know who that person is. What makes you tick? What brings you joy?
Taking “me time” is a crucial part of this journey. One way is to grab a journal and spend 10 minutes each night writing about your day. It doesn’t have to be profound, just a quick check in with yourself about what you did and how you felt. And be honest with your answers.
Reflecting on your everyday experiences can lead to “a-ha” moments, like realizing your best ideas happen during your daily workouts. Or it could reveal the why behind stressful days: “My morning was so rushed it set the tone for the entire day.”
Whatever you find, putting it down on paper provides perspective. It’s like taking a bird’s eye view of yourself.
2. Question yourself
What do you believe in? What do you like about yourself? In what areas could you grow? Continually ask yourself probing questions like these to discover who you are and what you value.
This practice will encourage you to always think before you act. Ask yourself: Does this behavior speak to who I am and want to be? Questioning your actions and how they align with your values helps you stay true to your authentic self.
3. Be honest with yourself
Your true self is made up of your strengths—and your flaws. We all have them, and you can’t solve a problem you don’t acknowledge exists. As they say: When you know better, you do better.
Maybe you’re always late. Recognizing that punctuality is not your best attribute empowers you to get to the root of the problem and identify ways to overcome it. Soon you could be known as the early bird who is always prompt.
Owning up to your flaws and being honest about your shortcomings gives you the opportunity to change what you can and make peace with what you can’t.
4. Challenge yourself
Over time, our likes and dislikes morph, and our hobbies and passions change. You’re not the same person you were 10 years ago.
That’s why it’s so important to challenge yourself if you start feeling complacent—you might be in a rut and not even know it. Get out of your comfort zone and discover parts of yourself you didn’t know existed.
Take horseback riding lessons, go on a solo vacation, teach yourself to speak a new language. You might be a world-class potter but don’t know it because you’ve never tried it. Or maybe you can’t make a pot to save your life, but you just really enjoy it. That’s OK, too! Either way, no one has ever ended up worse off for challenging themselves.
5. Love yourself
Being authentic isn’t just about knowing the true you; it’s about loving yourself and not hiding it. Your talents, your shortcomings, your achievements, your failures, your quirks—these all make you you, no matter what other people think.
Maybe you’re messy and complicated and fun and intelligent and you make an amazing frittata. Love those things! Celebrate them. Shout them from the rooftop. Throw them a parade.
Don’t hide the things that make you fundamentally you. Without them you wouldn’t be the person you are today, and the person you are is pretty great.
Interested in learning more on living your most authentic life? Look for more healthy living and lifestyle advice on AmwayConnections.com.