Are you able to express your real self? Or do you feel like a puppet instead—hands and feet tied up and controlled by others to do what they think you should do?
Throughout your life, you will change. Constantly. It is a given and there shouldn’t be a problem with it as long as you’re being authentic, which simply is an important trick to own life!
What Living an Authentic Life Is All About
What you do … no—what you have to do—doesn’t define you. You could be carrying the burden even in just telling who you really are, because you simply confuse it with what you do!
Doctor, engineer, lawyer or student—you might have gotten this far and “accept” that person in you who does a particular job. Society, everyone around you can label you according to what they see. According to what they perceive you to be. Well, in case you’ve forgotten, that’s not necessarily your story. Being authentic can be done anytime, no matter what.
Maybe you’ve been seeing yourself through their eyes. Maybe you’re overwhelmed because there’s an infinite number of people outside. And you agree that indeed, that’s all of who you are. It could be deceiving, but always remember this: Your whole being is never defined solely by the things you do. You may have a million and one things to do every single day, but all those are just a part of you, a part of your life—they are never you.
You know it deep inside, you can tell the difference.
Being authentic is all about the decisions you make, your wisdom, passions and talents, which are all unique to you. It is responding to your gut feeling and doing the right thing regardless of what everybody else has to say. It is focusing on the things that make you feel free and you think are best for you—not what your family expects from you, never what society thinks is acceptable.
The True and the Fictional Self
You may not like the idea, but there are always the true and the fictional self in us.
Your true self is who you really are in absolute terms, or putting it simply, when you are alone. Some of the traits that make up your true self are being compassionate, thoughtful, and encouraging for others. As long as honesty with yourself manifests, you are with your true self.
Your fictional self, on the other hand, is someone you should be, someone you are required to be, to survive.
It isn’t necessarily bad as long as this fictional self works in harmony with your true self. How is that? Let me illustrate through an example. A role is a fictional self: a doctor, girlfriend or entrepreneur. Doing your obligations when you assume a role brings out your fictional self—you should be doing your job. But if you’re not happy assuming your fictional self, it will just hinder you from realizing your true self, for it is in your true self you’ll find happiness.
Your true self and your fictional self are partners. Look out for the early warning signs—they should never clash.
Your Gifts that Make You Who You Are
Think of what you really loved doing when you were a child. Dancing to music? Playing a certain game or sport? Singing? Acting? That might just be the one (or two) big desire you’ll always be passionate about, and would probably still want to do now. Find being authentic hard? Do what you love doing!
Create a list of your goals—small and big goals—and the steps you’ll be needing to do to achieve them. If there’s a nudge in your head to sell your paintings rather than to work as an executive in a reputable company, take a small step at a time to achieve what your heart truly desires.
Also, write down the traits you have that make you different from anybody else. Instill that list in your mind—it will make you more confident over time!
The Goals that Happen
Doing nothing when you feel you’re stuck on a current endeavor is just a product of, well, feeling stuck! Remind yourself: It is all just in your head! There will always be something you can do in any situation you’re in. But to do that, your first step must be to realize that you’re not really “stuck” at all.
Set up a weekly goal if you’re in this familiar situation. Then focus on that goal. Take courage and keep working on your now few goals. Make one goal a reality, then progress to two goals, then to many. Do them with grace and there’s no stopping you from aiming for bigger goals, the ones you even once thought were impossible.
Your Creative Interests
You will appreciate life better when you pursue activities you love doing, those that make you feel energetic and lively.
Consider taking up new hobbies—try hiking, running, photography, or take a class in cooking or entrepreneurship. Keep on experimenting. Once you found hobbies that excite you, engage in them and make them a part of your life.
Think About It
Being authentic may separate you from the crowd. You may perceive someone to be exactly just like you, but that will always be of your senses—nothing more. You are unique. Keeping that in mind, you’ll then learn that everything you do will also be unequaled, geared for the dreams and goals you have set for yourself. Focus on what’s important to you, what suits you, and what brings you closer to your ambitions. In that very essence, you live an authentic life.