Learning to live authentically

Ever since I left fashion school I struggled with defining myself. When asked on a first date “What do you do?”I couldn’t hide behind the “Fashion Student” title anymore & I didn’t have an interesting enough answer (at least that was what I thought). I was in that space of limbo questioning what I wanted to do with my life & all I had was a piece of paper that said “Congratulations”.

 

I definitely felt the pressure from a society that praises success through hard work. Dedication & commitment is only really congratulated through putting in extra hours & a lack of sleep. It’s become so black & white. We live in a world that measures value through physical and material validation. I felt the invisible pressure weighing on my back more and more as days went by, still not sure what I wanted to do.

 

By letting go of the external validations of the world, a sense of peace followed from simply being. By learning to let go of societal conditioning I learnt to trust my heart & to live a more authentic life.

 

Authenticity is defined by psychologist Brian Goldman and Michael Kernis as  “the unimpeded operation of one’s true or core self in one’s daily enterprise”. By living authentically you are living a life connected to your heart & highest self.

 

Below I detailed 4 ways to begin this life of authenticity & self-discovery.

 

Listen to your heart

 

Stop & forget about systematic & institutional conditioning for a second and ask yourself what does your heart really want. What thoughts come up? What inspires you?

 

Your heart knows best.

 

Who am I?

 

Remove all the labels such as those of a doctor, artist, writer, mother, sister, friend. Who are you really?

 

Write down a list of things that come to mind.

 

At its root authenticity requires self-knowledge & self-awareness. With a deeper understanding of your values & morals you can live intentionally and more aligned to your highest self.

 

Intuitive living

 

How you are feeling physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually today. Start checking in and listening to yourself more. It’s okay if one day you want to stay in bed a little longer or if you miss a pilates class because you simply don’t feel like it. By learning to listen to your body & mind as a guide to authentically living you practice self-love and mindfulness.

 

Boundaries

 

This one is simple. Learn to say no when you don’t feel like doing something. Learn to say no when something feels wrong. Learn to say no when it feels ingenuine.

 

Whenever you’re stuck on a decision, remember to look within and listen to your heart. She/he knows.