We hear the word ‘authentic’ bandied about a lot. It seems to be in the title of every new self-help book that’s released.
But I think it’s gotten a bit of a bad rap.
I actually think that striving to live an authentic life is a very worthwhile goal.
So, to that end, I say we make the word ‘authentic’ a little less self-helpy and a little more, well, authentic.
I think to truly live an authentic life means to know your values and live a life that reflects these. It’s about really knowing who you are and being aware of what matters to you, maintaining that awareness, and acting so that your life is in alignment with that. This means that what is an authentic life for me, will not necessarily be an authentic life for you.
You need to know yourself: I don’t think it’s possible to live an authentic life if you don’t really know what makes you tick.
I also don’t think it’s possible to live an authentic life without some level of self awareness. You can’t possibly live a life in alignment with your values if you aren’t aware of what they are.
And it’s not a one-off thing, either. You need to maintain the awareness to make sure your life continues to be in alignment with your values.
In other words, to truly live an authentic life, you have to cultivate awareness through a regular check-in with yourself.
You can probably guess what I recommend for this. Yes, it’s journaling. And not just any journaling, but a regular practice of tuning into that voice inside, that inner wisdom, to make sure you’re living a life that is authentic for you.
What does the word ‘authentic’ mean to you?
To what extent do you think you live an authentic life? What changes would you like to make so that your life reflects your true self?
How can you cultivate more awareness?
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.