Author: Pavan Khera Pattar
The Quest for Authenticity
As a young adult the world can seem full of endless societal expectations. And after leaving high school, it can be challenging to find our unique voices and live true to ourselves. But now is the time to break free from these chains and embrace our true selves; whether you’re studying abroad or staying in your hometown. Living authentically has a range of benefits, including improved mental health, the formation of genuine connections, discovering our purpose, and encouraging personal growth. In this post, we’ll explore nine steps to help you on your journey toward living an authentic life.
- The first step toward authenticity is understanding yourself on a deeper level; reflecting on your passions, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Ask yourself: what truly makes you happy? What are your core values? And what are your goals and dreams? Take the time to write down your answers, as these insights will guide you on your path toward living a more authentic life.
- Societal expectations can be overbearing, but living authentically means letting go of the “shoulds” and embracing your desires, beliefs, and values. Remember, your life is your own, and you have the power to shape it however you want. To free yourself from these expectations, practice recognising when you’re influenced by external pressures and consciously choose to prioritise your own needs and desires instead. At the end of the day, it’s your life, no one else’s.
- Healthy boundaries are crucial for protecting our authentic selves. By setting boundaries, we communicate to ourselves and others that our needs, feelings, and well-being are important. Learn to say “no” when something doesn’t align with your values or make you feel good. Be open and honest about your needs in your relationships, work, and personal life. Prioritise self-care and treat yourself with kindness and respect. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
- Perfection is unattainable, and our flaws and imperfections are what make us unique. Instead of trying to hide or change your flaws, embrace them as part of your authentic self. Accepting our imperfections leads to increased confidence and self-assurance. Additionally, recognizing our flaws helps us identify areas for growth and self-improvement. For an even deeper dive into perfection check out our blog and podcast series.
- The people we spend time with have a significant influence on our lives, so it’s essential to choose friends and loved ones who support and encourage our authentic selves. Seek out individuals who appreciate your quirks, uplift you, and encourage you to be true to yourself. Authentic relationships are the foundation of a happy, authentic life.
- Mindfulness is a powerful tool for living authentically, helping us stay present and cultivate self-awareness. Incorporate mindfulness practices like meditation, journaling, or yoga into your daily routine to help you stay grounded and connected to your authentic self.
- Living in alignment with our values leads to a more authentic life. Reflect on your core values and consider how they can guide you in your daily life. Align your actions and decisions with these values to feel truer to yourself.
- Living authentically requires courage. Stand up for what you believe in, even if it’s unpopular or intimidating. Embrace your uniqueness and don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd. The world needs your unique voice and perspective, so let it shine.
- Acknowledge and celebrate your progress on this journey toward living authentically. Treat yourself to something special, share your story with others, or take a moment to reflect on your growth. And remember that you are always enough.
And there you have it, folks! A guide to living authentically and embracing your true self. It might not always be easy, but trust us when we say that the rewards are totally worth it. If you’re heading off to a new city, campus or college now is the time to be your authentic self. So go forth, be brave, and live your most authentic life. You’ve got this!
Until next time, keep rocking your authenticity and remember, your uniqueness is what makes you, well, YOU! And as always, we’re here when you need us.