I’ve realized, over time, that authenticity is the first step to true spirituality. Not only that but a key ingredient to true success in life. Why? Because we are only truly successful when we are doing something we LOVE, something we are truly aligned with. A truer purpose perhaps, and one that reflects your deepest passions and personality.
Yes, authenticity is being genuine, telling the truth and saying what you mean, but it also involves integrity in all areas of one’s life and the ability to be true to one’s REAL self.
What’s radical authenticity?
There are obvious situations in life where, in order to be honest and authentic requires a great deal of strength and courage in the midst of fear, especially when it involves the opinions of others.
So for me radical authenticity is actually stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s about standing for what you think, believe and feel, even when it’s inconvenient. Even when the thought of it gets you quaking with fear!
I don’t pretend that I’m there yet. Like most of us, I want to give in to my fears and take the easy route countless times in a day, to not speak the truth because you are afraid of what someone’s response might be or what they may think of you, say or do.
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” – Dalai Lama
The webs we weave
We ALL have wounds and distorted beliefs about our own selves. Authenticity is looking at ourselves with growing awareness & sorting through these ‘untruths’ that have held us back from being who we truly are.
When we take the time to strip this away, we get back in touch with the individual self we were ultimately created to be. Going there takes courage and perseverance and this is such a necessary step along the journey towards wholeness and true success.
The masks we wear
Once we start stripping back these layers – how we think we should behave, what everyone expects of us, what society expects of us – the masks we wear even to ourselves, then automatically we’ll start to see and feel who we really are.
We tend to define ourselves by these created parts of ourselves, the parts that are there to make us feel a bit more powerful and in control, or a bit more desirable, stronger, or whatever it is that we feel we’re missing within ourselves, so we hold onto them for dear life!
New Age circles talk about ‘finding your true self’, but I’ve found that if you go looking as if it’s something you need to ‘find’, all you’ll find is another type of mask.
Personally, I’ve found that as I’ve let go of some of the roles, the obligations, the pressures to be a certain way, the ways of being that make others more comfortable, or that feel safer and more acceptable somehow, that I automatically start to feel more of my real self.
“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” – W. Clement Stone
Are you a be-er or a do-er?
Particularly in the western world, we get so caught up in ‘doing’ and the myriad of roles we think we have to play. We’ve been taught that in order to be accepted and loved, we have to do things. So we don’t know how to just be. But in order to align to our true self and purpose, we actually have to learn how to let ourselves BE. Slow it down and create the space to be with yourself.
Asking ‘How well do I really know myself ?’ is a great question. We often assume that we do, but asking this with genuine curiosity can deliver surprising results. What are the reasons I’m doing what I’m currently doing with my time? Do I love what I’m doing? Does it make my heart sing? What would I be doing if I wasn’t afraid? What are my dearest values and what do I really believe in?
Purpose is a great word. It’s definition is actually the reason or meaning behind doing what we do, our intention behind it. So in order for something to be a TRUE purpose it needs to have meaning to us.
We need to really BELIEVE in it. And belief comes from the heart. If you are your authentic self you have no competition! I’m not all the way there yet, and I’m still a chronic ‘doer’, but feeling more and more of the real me feels wonderful, and requires a lot less energy!
I still occasionally ask myself the question: ‘How can I get more real & in truth with myself and move more towards living a life that is more in alignment with who I REALLY am?’ Are you prioritising your time with the things you really believe in and are aligned with?
What could you do today to get more into alignment with true purpose and make room for more of that in your life? Comment below!
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