In this day and age, it is common to hear the statement, “be authentic” and “be your best self”. But what does being authentic really mean and what does being authentic have to do with living a life of pleasure? Why, it has everything to do with it!
The first principle of self-love is to be exactly who you are. In my journey, I learned that to be ME is to first know who I am; what I want; and my passions, needs, desires, and purpose.
The next step is to be authentic and live a life being totally myself; not wearing masks to please others. There is a beautiful yoga sutra called “Satya.” Satya means truth, and in the yogic way, Satya means being true to yourself.
We spend too much time in our lives trying to be someone else to make others happy that we actually forget our own essence. So getting to know ourselves and being authentic is really the very first step to self-care and self-love.
With this in mind, I would like to invite you to take part in a short exercise, which will hopefully help you to become aware of situations when you are consciously or unconsciously choosing not to be yourself.
At the next opportunity, and over the following few days, simply notice when you are not being authentic. Observe yourself in your interaction with others, and ask yourself:
ü Do you sometimes pretend? What are you pretending about and why?
ü Do you often feel angry but suppress it?
ü Do you often feel sad but hold back the tears?
ü Do you want to speak your truth but often hold it back?
ü Do you sometimes pretend to like others even when you don’t?
I invite you to write down all the areas of your life where you’re not being yourself or pretending to be someone else by taking note of the following:
· Situation - when are you not being yourself?
· Why - what are you afraid of?
· What action could you take? How can you be yourself in this situation? Or could you change the situation?
Perhaps you’re not being yourself in your intimate relationship or in your friendships because you want to feel accepted. Perhaps you’re not being yourself in your job.
Keep observing yourself in your daily life and notice when you’re being yourself and being authentic, and when you’re not.