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Man is a social being who largely fails to live life to the fullest, especially if we haven’t learned how to live authentically. You may or may not have wondered why we often find ourselves wanting in those things that truly define who we really are. We try so hard to reach certain heights in life, trying to improve this way or that way. Applying the most stringent rules that could really be uncomfortable. But actually, life shouldn’t be that difficult as far as being real is concerned.
Sometimes, we end up being frustrated when our expectations are not met. This is apparently because we failed to live our lives the simplest way. We failed to be authentic with life. We failed to be true to ourselves.
The greatest joy that comes with being true to yourself is that it brings freedom. A kind of freedom you’ll never experience when trying to be what you are not.
It won’t be a surprise if you ask: What makes your life authentic? Or, how do you live an authentic life? The truth is, it is very debatable when it comes to giving out a standard rule on how to live authentically. Why? Because often, an authentic life is subjective to each individual: One man’s truth is another man’s lie!
However, several individuals have several answers to this question in either similar or different ways. But the most common thing about these different answers is that for you to consider your life authentic, you have to be True To Yourself.
Without further ado, I will point out the most generally applicable ways through which you can be true to yourself in order to live authentically.
- First Commandment: No Lies
- Be Proud of Who You Are
- Discover Yourself
- If You Can’t Change It, Manage It
- Be Confident, Believe!
- Avoid Negative Influences
- Do Only the Things That Give You Joy
- Give Yourself Time… You Need It!
- Learn to Say No When Necessary
- What They Think, Does Not Really Matter
- Always Be Thankful; Learn to Appreciate
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1. First commandment: No lies
It’s virtually impossible to talk about authenticity without truthfulness. Like, how can you claim you’re true to yourself when you live on lies? In order to avoid lies, you have to tell yourself the truth, and tell others the truth as well.
The importance of being truthful in everything you do cannot be overemphasized if you want to live in actualization of your reality. Truthfulness gives you a sort of boost to live your life fearlessly knowing fully well that you have nothing to hide because your transparency speaks for itself. Truthfulness is freedom: The truth, as they say, will set you free.
2. Discover yourself
The number one question to ask yourself at this juncture is, “What is the meaning of my existence if I don’t really discover myself? What works for me? What should I aim for in life?” Okay, that was more than one question, but they’re all important.
Today, a lot of people live a life that doesn’t really belong to them. They walk in other people’s shoes… Shoes that don’t fit the size of their feet. They walk around in masks that hide their true identities, just like our favorite gang in Money Heist.
Honestly, such a lifestyle is very difficult to cope with. Besides, living a life that is not yours is just the same thing as not existing at all.
When you discover yourself, you’ll realize who you are and what you truly want. This will help you to target only those things that really matter to you as a person. At this point, you won’t have to stress yourself to adapt to anything else because you…are you.
It is far easier to go for that which suits your individuality, hence, self-actualization becomes obtainable. Remember, it all starts from discovering yourself.
3. Be proud of who you are
Another important step is to love yourself for who you are and be proud of who you’ve become. Do you love your individuality or are there reasons why you are not so proud of who you’ve become? What could be the reason? Is it worth it?
No matter the reason, it’s never reasonable enough to shy away from being you. Being less proud of yourself is next to self-hate and self-hate will definitely lead you into doing things that don’t define who you really are. This can be very stressful and of course, that’s not what you want if your aim is to be authentic.
4. If you can’t change it, manage it
Although humans have that predestined ability to manipulate many of the elements of the universe, in life, there are things that simply can’t be manipulated by man.
Have you ever been in a situation where you tried everything to salvage a problem but all your trials proved abortive? Then you should learn to stop trying to change such situations and instead, start learning how to manage them.
To manage in this context means the ability to accept things the way they are and to devise means of accommodating such things, regardless of how difficult they are.
5. Be confident, believe
Confidence is a major drive in whatever you do. A life without confidence can be compared to a stagnant life. Without confidence, taking a step at any particular point in your life becomes a big issue; all you have is total disbelief in yourself.
You need to be confident in order to believe in your ability to achieve anything. And this belief is what will propel you to move forward and face whatever life throws at you.
6. Avoid negative influences
It has never been heard that a snake gave birth to a lizard. Or that Apple made an iPhone with a low quality camera (lol). These are impossible. The same thing is applicable to having negative influences and at the same time expecting to truly replicate your own reality.
If negative influences can only make you become something that directly contrasts your reality, how then can you be your true self? A man who wants to genuinely be himself is expected to be influenced only by the things that are similar to who he is.
7. Do only the things that give you joy
It is certain that you must have experienced being forced into an activity that doesn’t please you (e.g. going to work before 8 am. Ha!).
You can imagine what it feels like when you are imposed to do something you don’t want to, and you feel you are helpless in that you can’t do otherwise. Does that in any way, promote the real you? Of course not. (Well, in the case of work, you should probably go, don’t mind me).
Nothing can truly define being yourself more than engaging in those activities that please you. At that point, you are not pushed, neither are you forced… It happens freely because that’s who you are.
Ask people who derive joy from playing football how they feel whenever they have the chance to play. To them, it’s similar to being served their favorite meal at their hungriest moment! Another example is when you’re writing an exam and it turns out that the questions are related to your favorite topics…lawddd, the joy.
There is this incomparable fulfillment that comes with doing what you enjoy. Why trade such a wonderful feeling of fulfillment for doing things that don’t interest you?
8. Give yourself time…you need it!
You may be the kind of person who puts a lot of time into chasing a living and trying so hard to make ends meet in terms of your finance and business… It’s not far fetched, it’s natural about us humans. You may tend to forget what really matters at the fundamental level, which is Yourself! Well, it’s also common for humans.
We always neglect the fact that our body needs equal time and attention just like our businesses, careers, etc. It’s like cheating yourself or robbing yourself of your right.
If you worked the whole day, then you must eat well and get enough sleep. Similarly, within the week, as you labor hard every day, you have to create time (if possible, a full day) for you to relax, rest your muscles, eat what your body yearns for, go out with your friends or family and have loads of fun! You shouldn’t do it because it’s mandatory but because you care enough for yourself.
9. Learn to say no when necessary
Many times, people do a whole lot of things that ordinarily, they would not do, but for the sake of being nice, they just do it. We find it difficult to say “No” or to stand our ground in crucial times because we are scared of hurting someone.
If you are in such a situation, it’s very honorable to say No when you mean NO. That is what authenticity entails because that’s genuinely what you want at that point in time. When you keep saying “yes” even when it obviously displeases you, most of the time, it ends in regrets.
This is because you may realize later that the YES you said to your displeasure was not worth it after all. You end up feeling like you cheated yourself. Nonetheless, that is not to say that you shouldn’t compromise when necessary. You just have to balance it in order not to be an “Oh yes, yes” kind of person who doesn’t have his or her own opinion or stance.
10. What they think doesn’t really matter
It’s important to note that you own your life and you are highly responsible for every decision you make. You have to do exactly what you think is right for you, especially when you are not breaking the law in any way by doing so, and when you are not undermining the existence of another person.
There are people who are bound to be against certain choices you make, but remember that you made that choice for yourself not for them. So, does it really matter if they are against it? Living to please others is just like living other people’s lives, not yours.
The earlier you learn to stick to your rightful choices without considering who you are pleasing or displeasing, the sooner you become true to yourself and fully exist in your reality.
11. Always be thankful; learn to appreciate
Although it’s debatable (argue with your screen), I would say that gratitude is one of the highest virtues that attract positive energy… A popular adage has it that “when you appreciate a hero for his good deed, he feels motivated to do another one.” This shows how appreciation can positively affect the energy between you and your neighbor. But reasoning further than that, don’t you think it’s worthwhile to see the goodness in as many things as you can and appreciate them?
If not for anything, be thankful for nature, be thankful for life, be thankful for each meal. In fact, there are uncountable things to be thankful for if you really want to focus on the positive realities of life.
Being thankful, as simple as it seems, goes a long way to determine how authentically you live your life and how realistic you are. Why? Because anybody who doesn’t see reasons to be grateful is virtually nonexistent. In other words, that person has no hope in life.
To conclude, it is important to note that anything worth doing is worth doing well. So, if you must live, then live in reality, live genuinely, live authentically.
The importance of being true to yourself and living authentically cannot be exaggerated. Plus, you must have also realized by now that living authentically does not take a lot, it only requires meticulous effort to start practicing it.
It’s now up to you to use the tips discussed above to your own advantage by applying them in your everyday life. Not just once a week or twice a year!
You might also want to check out:
- How To Love Yourself Unconditionally: 9 Real Tips
- 30 Cheap Self Care Ideas For A Bad Day
- 15 Bad Habits You Should Break For A Happier Life
- 14 Things You Will Regret Not Doing Sooner
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