Are You Showing Up Authentically? Be Proud, Be Courageous, Be You!
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let out true selves be seen.” ~ Brene Brown
Being authentic is an overused buzz phrase today, yet I think it still has value, because when it comes to showing up authentically, don’t you find that there are parts of yourself that you hide from others, perhaps even from yourself? And when you’re called on to do something out of your comfort zone, do you say, “I can’t,” when you really can? Or perhaps you promise you can, when you know you won’t.
Are you showing up authentically and being true to yourself?
Maintaining a disconnect in how you show up every day is exhausting! It creates a constant internal struggle between what you let out and what you hold in. And it fragments your decision-making powers, because you’re torn between what you need, with what you think other people want.
Showing up authentically is even more crucial when facing a crisis. Under great emotional stress, life-altering decisions have to be made quickly. Unless you’re firmly grounded in what you believe and what you value, decision paralysis can keep you from moving forward.
Conversely, developing a practice of showing up authentically every day puts you in a position of power. You know for certainty who you are, where you’re heading, and what methods you’ll use to get there. With that inner strength, your decisions align with your core values. I wholeheartedly agree with the observation that Simon Sinek made,
”Authenticity is more than speaking; Authenticity is also about doing. Every decision we make says something about who we are.”
How can you make a practice of daily showing up authentically?
Mindfully take a personal growth journey
Before a ship sails, the captain charts a course — where it’s going and how it’s going to get there. Yet, much more is involved, like hiring his crew (support system) and stocking the ship with supplies to maintain the health of safety of ship and passengers. This is a good analogy for life.
In our journey, we plot our course (who we want to be) and each day gives us an opportunity to progress. Showing up authentically manifests itself in the decisions we make that takes us toward that vision, not dragging us away from it. It involves who we hold close to our hearts and the goods we consume daily.
If our eyes are open and we have grateful hearts, we can discover something new about ourselves, others and the world around us each day. Notice, be present, observe and learn — these are the watchwords of living a mindful life.
Without judgment, correct your course.
Essential to the success of any voyage is having the wisdom and flexibility to make course corrections. The key to success, then, is knowing how to use a rudder that stabilizes and controls movement.
Your rudder is the character you seek to cultivate and embody. Your character encompasses your qualities, beliefs and values, combined with the way you operate in the world. A good measure of character is seeing how you impact others — how do they feel after interacting with you? Are they uplifted? Depressed? Inspired? Overwhelmed? Comforted? Stressed? If you’re showing up authentically, people know where they stand with you.
Focus on the practice of showing up authentically.
A practice means you’re learning from today to create a better tomorrow. So in practical terms, let’s see what an Authentic Day may look like.
Begin your day mindfully as you listen to what your body, emotions, and thoughts are telling you. It’s a powerful practice to walk outside and experience nature, as you let your mind wander. As each thought comes up, feel your feelings about it. Look for what you can learn from each one. And use them as a springboard to set intentions for the new day.
All throughout the day, keep bringing yourself back to being present and mindful, with a few moments of deep breathing. As you eat breakfast, concentrate on the sensations of eating, without distractions. Feel gratitude for the flavors, textures, and the way it nourishes and fuels your body. As you drive, observe nature and appreciate it. Really see the people you encounter. Take note of emotional reactions and how they affect your body sensations. Observe your impulses and identify what motivates them. When you make a mistake, avoid becoming defensive and look for what you can learn from it.
At the end of the day, identify what made this day special. I personally use a journal to do this. I ask myself questions such as…Did I live in harmony with my intentions? What did I learn? What am I proud of and grateful for? What will I do differently next time? Who impacted my life? How did I impact someone else? What message is my body sending me about today’s activities? How did today bring me closer to my vision? How did I make the world a better place?
A practice of showing up authentically means eliminating what’s artificial in your life. Perhaps that hour of “relaxing” in front of the TV can be replaced with a practice of stretching, then reflection and journaling. These activities will really help you be refreshed. Or that extra 15 minutes of shut-eye can become your morning ritual of meditation. You’ll feel more prepared to enjoy your day. Choose practices that fuel your authentic self — the person you truly wish to be. You’ll enjoy your life journey and you’ll be proud of who you are.
Sometimes the hardest part about being authentic is learning to speak up respectfully for your needs, wants, values and beliefs. Effective communication is a skill I love working with my clients. Please feel free to contact me and schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation.