By Lisa McCourt
Sounds nice, right? So what’s keeping you from it and why don’t you just claim it? The only thing standing between you and that kind of freedom and confidence is your inability to live authentically from your innermost core. Notice that I’m not telling you to be authentic because it will make you a better person, or because you owe it to the world or anything like that. I’m telling you to be more authentic because authenticity and self-love are your keys to the kingdom. Without them, nothing else can bring you joy. With them, nothing can fail to bring you joy.
- Every time you
catch yourself saying yes when you want to say no, smiling when you feel
like scowling, or nodding politely through a long conversation you’d
rather walk away from, say the words “not me” silently in your head. You
won’t be able to change long-held patterns overnight, but just starting to
identify them to yourself will put you on the right track.
- Once you’ve begun noticing which people and situations bring out the “inauthentic you” most frequently, make a list of the perks of that relationship or situation. What are you getting out of it? You may find that you get very little from it, and choose to extricate yourself from those situations.
- If you find that you do get substantial benefit from remaining in the situation that you’ve been inauthentic in, start looking for small ways to introduce more of the real you into that situation. Sometimes an honest, heartfelt conversation is all that’s needed to clear the air and get you some breathing room. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt, and go into the conversation with the full expectation that you’ll be liked and respected even more for demonstrating your authenticity. (“Mom, I’m so touched by how much you love to cook for me, but tonight I really feel like something lighter. Let me take you out for sushi instead.”)