What does it mean to live authentically? This is something I’m still trying to figure out.
2020 has been an assault course, full of obstacles and challenges beyond what we’ve experienced before. However, it’s through this adversity and radical change that we presented with the opportunity to step into our true selves.
The definition of authentic is ‘of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine’. To me this means full-acceptance, embracing who we are at present as well accepting all past versions of ourselves.
Acceptance comes from self-compassion, acknowledging that we are not perfect but we love and accept ourselves exactly as we are, with all our imperfections. There is literally nothing more powerful than self-acceptance. It’s at this starting place that you can launch yourself into living authentically.
To live authentically means also living a life of expansion and creativity. When we suppress who we are we suppress the unique talents we came to earth with, dimming our spotlights and blocking the creative flow by resisting who we truly are.
What is stopping us from living our true authentic selves?
One of the major reasons for this is that we fear our true selves won’t be accepted or included by society. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ‘love and belongingness’ are essential psychological needs. Humans, by nature, have an ingrained need to be part of a community, to be accepted by the group.
It takes great courage to step into who we are, to stand up for what we believe in and follow a path that might look different to everyone else’s. Risking expulsion is terrifying for us.
In this age of information, we can easily compare ourselves to our peers and perceive our lives as lacking somehow. Comparison the thief of joy because it robs us of recognising and appreciating what we have and who we are. When we compare, we suffer, believing ourselves to be ‘less than’.
We also suffer from collective low self-esteem. We shrink ourselves down, camouflage and hide ourselves in the mass so we don’t stand out. Why is this? We don’t feel worthy of good things. We inherently feel we don’t deserve all that we desire.
When we’re born our self-esteem is vibrantly healthy. Babies love attention and don’t shy away from going after what they want. Yet as we get older the influence of authority, peers, society and popular culture slowly erodes that inner built certainty that we are enough exactly as we are.
The consequences of living inauthentically
What happens when we don’t step into our authentic selves, when we purposely squash ourselves down to fit into a preconceived structure of what’s popular, right or normal?
When we try to erase who we truly are because we’re ashamed or fearful, we do untold damage to ourselves and suffer greatly. Our souls call out, trying to get our attention. When we don’t listen to our inner knowing we feel deep dissatisfaction and discontent that brews within us until we acknowledge it. I believe addiction, depression and a host of physical dis-eases all come from our unwillingness to accept who we are and the repression of our true selves.
If you think about how you came into existence it is an absolute miracle. The timing of your parents meeting, the exact moment of conception, the fight for that one particular sperm to reach that one egg. Your existence is a vital thread in the tapestry of life, it would not be the same without you. How can you think that your life is random and accidental?
So how can we fully step into our true selves?
When you begin to understand that you are a truly unique expression of life itself, you begin to realise that there’s no need to compare yourself to others. There is a reason you’re here, there are talents and gifts you have and when you begin to use them and live authentically life unfolds in a beautiful way.
This is called living in alignment with the Universe, or as some call, living in the flow. It’s in this magical place of alchemy that everything flows, no longer encountering resistance.
Stepping into your true self takes courage. The process is akin to holding a mirror up and really looking deep within for your inner core. Who are you, what is your truth and what are your values?
It also takes time to peel back the layers of damaging misconceptions, trauma and social conditioning to truly understand that we are perfect expressions of Divine Love. It’s through taking off these layers that you can start to see who you are, what makes you unique and what gives you joy, passion and purpose in the world.
Every thought, word and action that aligns with your true nature, whether it’s speaking up for what you believe in, pursuing passions or using your unique talents to create, roots you in your truth and aligns you with the Divine Love. This is powerful.
Listen to your intuition, use your emotions as a gauge to how closely you are aligned in your truth and be bold. Step into the light of your truth and see, with baited breath, for what happens next.
About the Author
Antonia Beamish is a Systematic Kinesiology practitioner based in the UK. With a deep appreciation for the intricate healing system between mind and body, she works with a root-cause approach to symptoms, gently unpeeling emotional and physical blocks to facilitate healing on every level.