Three friends sitting at a wooden picnic table drinking beers and smiling; living their best authentic life. Photo by AllGo App via UnSplash.
Everyday Lifestyle, Self-Care & Well-Being

Are You Living An Authentic Life?

Aiming to live authentically helps create a sense of purpose and fulfillment that’s rooted in recognizing our self-worth. It’s an evolving process throughout our life’s journey deeply connected to what resonates most within our principles, responsibilities, boundaries, words and actions.

What sustains us will adapt and change as we get older or grow through various experiences. Our sense of self and the things that offer contentment and meaning will transform. Every so often, this can lead us to reassess who we are and what we innately value about ourselves.

We’ve likely all felt the mental and emotional shift that comes with the realisation that we’re developing in an alternative direction; creating new layers and finding fresh ways to determine intentional joy. Authenticity isn’t about arriving at nirvana or enlightenment; it’s not an outcome; it’s the practice of revising what defines and sustains us at various key moments of change in our lives.

If we understand transitions properly, however, we can curb our natural tendency to fight against them—a futile battle, given their inevitability. Indeed, with a shift in mindset, we can make transitions into a source of meaning and transcendence. | The Clocklike Regularity of Major Life Changes – The Atlantic

Foreground Text: Are You Living An Authentic Life? Background Image: Three Black men stand in a city street smiling and laughing as they talk to each other. Photo by Jed Villejo via UnSplash.

Helping ourselves through this process of retrospection involves asking and answering some questions that lead to a better understanding of who we are becoming. It’s a grounding in reality, which means acknowledging all the parts of us; the good, the bad and the ugly.

Here are ten questions to help build a sense of self-worth and mindfully search for what brings you authenticity and happiness …

  • What activities bring you a sense of joy? Do you make time for them in your day-to-day life?
  • When do you feel most at peace?
  • What core values drive your everyday thoughts and actions? Do they reflect who you are or are they defined by those around you?
  • Are you being open and truthful about your fears and struggles? What three steps can you take right now to help you move forward?
  • What do you want to let go of because it’s holding you back?
  • Do you embrace your imperfections? Think of four ways you challenge an overly critical inner voice.
  • How do you practice reciprocity in your everyday life?
  • What boundaries are important for you to maintain? How do you make sure those around you respect them?
  • What positive habits do you have that nourish your well-being? How do you connect with yourself to make sure you’re listening to your needs?
  • At this stage of your life, what is most important to you? What is central to your needs and helps you to thrive?
A young woman with bobbed pink hair sits on a balcony overlooking a cityscape. She is thinking about what brings her joy. Photo by Finn Hackshaw via UnSplash.
photo via Finn Hackshaw

Life repeatedly pulls us in many directions; societal expectations and comparisons of how a successful life is defined can end up misrepresenting what really matters to us as individuals. This means we can sometimes neglect what expresses our truth; ultimately denying who we are and where we find intention and purpose.

To authentically live life, we have to spend time interacting with all that surrounds us so we can determine what we cherish; embracing differences, being awkward and uncomfortable, and keeping an open mind. If we don’t allow ourselves to experience a curious, exploratory life of acceptance, we will forever remain apprehensive about how and where we fit in.

Is authenticity important to you? What do you do to honour who you are?


Further Info:

6 Ways To Build Your Self-Confidence – VeryWellMind

40 Positive Affirmations To Add To Your Daily Rotation – Oprah Daily

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67 thoughts on “Are You Living An Authentic Life?”

  1. Authenticity is important to me. And while I could definitely do more to be more authentic, I do try to make time for things I love doing, the things that make me Me. Great post!

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    1. I am the same — I don’t always know how because things change and what I need shifts so I’ve got to figure it all out again. The questions in this post will give you a great start if you decide to work through them. Thanks so much for reading!

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  2. Authenticity and being my best self is really important to me at this stage of life. I’ve been making more time for myself to be mindful and letting myself explore new things which bring me joy.

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  3. Authenticity is something I continue to work towards. After watching Adele’s For One Night Only, it sounds like this is the process she has also been working on for the past few years. I really enjoyed her conversation with Oprah as well as her music! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. You asked some thought provoking questions that I will have to journal about later. Living an intentional life is important to me and something I’m thriving to live every day. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I really enjoyed the ten questions you’ve included. Checking in with yourself regarding what brings you peace, joy, letting go, and practicing self-love by setting boundaries and listening to your body is crucial. Thanks for this thoughtful post!

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  6. This is such a thought provoking post. Authenticity is important to me but I’ve felt that in the past that in order to ‘fit in’ and ‘please’ others i lost myself to someone I’m not but ive learnt that doesn’t matter anymore, definitely doing what I love now

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    1. People pleasing and losing ourselves to someone else’s needs or definitions of who we are happens so easily. It’s sad that caring for ourselves and doing things that make us happy is sometimes seen as a negative. Authenticity is a work in progress but once you realize you want to be intentional with your life/joy, you’ll always be aware of how important it is; meaning you hopefully protect it and work at it from now on.

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  7. I think I spent many years of my life trying to fit in and forgetting about my authentic self. The question asked in this post are food for thought because many times people just forget all about themselves while trying to keep up. I believe now I am in a good place regarding my authenticity and how I feel about myself. However, to know oneself I think it is a constant work in progress. This post helps to reconsider about your perseption about yourself and I honestly loved reading it.

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    1. 100%! It’s easy to get caught up into thinking we need to always fit in rather than enjoy the things that are meaningful to us or to just be ourselves. Living an authentic life will be constantly revisited throughout life as we face changes, etc. It’s good to have a set of questions to help us reevaluate this whenever we need it. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I try to live an authentic life – focusing on doing things that align with my values, loving family and trying to make someone’s life better through the small actions I take each day.

    One of my challenges has been people pleasing, though I’m happy to say as I’ve got older I’ve become comfortable saying no and going in the direction that best suits my fulfilment- even if people don’t like it!

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    1. It’s so important we don’t get caught up in people pleasing all the time (I was like this too). If we only make decisions or experience things based on what other people need or how they define us then we are not living. It’s great to learn to say no when we need to — it’s great you’re more comfortable with that now!

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    1. People pleasing (while good in some ways) can lead us to losing ourselves completely if done to a point where we look after everyone else’s needs over our own. It’s definitely a slow process to come out of but keep at it — you’re mental and emotional well-being is so important.

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  9. You post some excellent questions about living a genuine life. I do my best to live from an authentic space. Facing fear has helped me be me and make choices not based on trying to fit in but I’m listening to my intuition to enjoy my greatest happiness in life. The only way we can really be at peace is if we are living authentically. Great post.

    Ryan

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  10. “What sustains us will adapt and change as we get older or grow through various experiences.” This is a very profound statement. Our experiences are what shape us into who we are and push us in the right direction for us living our authentic life.

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  11. I’ve certainly been feeling the challenge of this as my life has faced a lot of changes in the last while. It’s been both a process of adjusting to the new and having my sense of self keep me grounded in that, but also being shaken up and having to work through areas of insecurity or comparison to societal expectations. This was a good reminder to take time to reflect on my core values. It’s such a good practice and helps remind me who I am.

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    1. It definitely sounds like you have been dealing with a lot — and among all the change, adjustments, etc it can be all too easy to lose sight of taking care of yourself or losing what authentically speaks to your life and what makes you who you are. I am so glad this was a good reminder to focus what drives you and provides meaning. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so important to take care of our mental health — and it’s great that you are doing as much as you can. It seems like more and more people are sharing that doing this is a key element of life and is not something we should put aside. Thanks for reading!

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  12. Authenticity is so important to me! Even though at times it can be hard to be my true self because of societal pressures and caring what people think, I always try and be who I am, and if people don’t like that, it’s okay as I’m happy x

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  13. Love this post! It is vital that we accept ourselves and learn to embrace our imperfections. I also agree that we should find and do the things that truly make us happy. Life is too short, to try to be someone you’re not.

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  14. Hello Molly 👋. This is a question we need to ask ourselves as much as possible. Authenticity is very important to me and I always try my best to be as authentic as possible. I believe there’s so much pride and beauty in being ourselves and I feel like there’s absolutely nothing better than being you. I have been able to work on myself so much that at this point in my life, I feel like I am the most authentic and true to myself I have ever been. Tho, authenticity might not be easy. Sometimes, we want to feel among and we end up losing track of who we really are just so that we can fit into certain ideologies that society has. But every now and then the question I ask myself is, is it really worth it? Is trying to live a certain way in line with the beliefs of society better than just doing your best to live your best life and make yourself happy? In the end, all I can say is, it’s certainly not. Being true to yourself and authentic in general brings you to a whole new level of peace and confidence. So, I make sure to always do me regardless of anything. By the way, life’s way too short to be living a fake life.

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    1. Pride and beauty — that right there is an amazing way to look at authenticity. I believe it’s vital to our own mental health, and even our survival under certain circumstances, that we live who we are and that we shouldn’t try to fit in the incredibly narrow societal expectations that is forced onto all of us. The joy of letting go of all of that is truly freeing, when I refocus on the questions I raise in this post, I feel lighter and less … muddled(?) if that’s the right word. It’s settling and encouraging and truly important to be our authentic selves. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here, I really appreciate it!

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  15. These are all very important questions to consider when we’re thinking about whether we’re living an authentic life! I wasn’t for a very long time but I feel like I’m heading in the right direction with it.

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    1. The questions are designed to be reflective and take stock of where you are right now — if your answers are negative/not where you want to be they are just a pointer to focus on what you’re working towards. It’s definitely temporary so don’t be too hard on yourself. The journey you’ve been on so far will have had progress so look to that too as a reminder when you need it.

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  16. I really appreciate this post. Being authentic and genuine is necessary to have and maintain true relationships. You included great points. Thank you for sharing. ☺️

    Pastor Natalie
    Letstakeamoment.com

    Like

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