After watching nearly every video featuring Brené Brown and reading her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, I was disappointed to find out that I wasn't being as authentic as I originally thought... and you may be surprised too.
When we are being authentic we have the ability to truly connect.
The ability to reconnect with ourselves gives us the opportunity create something new and unique the no one ever seen. We all have different gifts, skills and life experiences and if we only dare to tap into that we can create a life that is truly amazing and successful (on whatever your definition of what success is). The ability to truly connect with those in our lives will bring more meaning, love and purpose to our lives.
Most of us strive or already think we are being our true selves however there are two things you need to know about being truly authentic.
As young kids we were great at being ourselves... it's only once we started getting influenced by those around us and experiences in our lives that we slowly start to build up a wall to protect ourselves. By the time we grow up and get in the motion of living our lives we don't realise how big our wall is until you start to feel that unwelcome niggling feeling that something is still missing and you may be asking yourself questions like this:
"What am I doing with my life?"
"Is this it? Is there nothing more?"
"I have a good life but why aren't I happy?"
"What is my purpose?"
"Surely there is more for me... but what?"
"Am I just being ungrateful and selfish?"
So we need to reconnect ourselves (bringing down our walls)... and how to do it? Spend quality time with yourself. Think about it. You meet someone new who could potentially be your future partner, best friend or even mentor... but before you even get to that stage you need to get to know them. How do you do it? You spend time with them. And the more often and quality time you spend with them the better you get to know them. This is the same for us. We don't need a lot of time for ourselves each day but we do need to do it consistently. Here are some ideas on how you can spend time with yourself:
Go for a swim
Take a bath
Read a couple pages of that book you haven't started
Put a song on you love and sing/dance your heart out
Get a massage
Find things you enjoy but make sure it's your alone time and you are all there by taking notice how you feel in your body (and try not consume all 'your time' thinking about what needs to be done for the rest of the day!). It's suppose to be fun and not seen as another thing to add to your to do list. It may take a little while to get into the swing of things... either finding things you enjoy doing, juggling it with your life, and being consistent with it. Be patient with yourselves - you don't have to go from 0 to 100 in a day. Take is slow, build it up and you'll start to enjoying it.
2. show up
This is where Brené Brown disappointed me and highlighted why I wasn't truly being authentic. To 'show up' is to reveal yourself; your feelings, ideas, concerns, etc. Let me give you some examples:
You're upset with your partner and they ask you if you are okay... do you show up?
You've just started a new job and you're in a business executive meeting and you have an idea to share... do you show up?
You've finished your course and want (and qualified) to pursue it but still don't feel ready... do you show up?
You're with a group of girlfriends and one tells a joke, you don't get it... do you show up?
You've finished writing a blog/e-book and it's ready to publish but now your doubting your work... do you show up?
Usually a lot of us, including myself, use ways to protect ourselves instead of showing up to avoid the threat of not being accepted or understood for who we really are. These are 3 common ways we protect ourselves:
"Nothing bothers me", "I'm cool" attitude
Situation: You're upset with your partner and they ask you if you are okay.
A common response: "No, everything is fine."
Perfectionism, people pleasing
Situation: You've finished writing a blog/e-book and it's ready to publish but now your doubting your work.
A common response: "I'm not 100% happy with it, I'll keep working on it until it's really ready."
Blaming, insulting (attacking) others
Situation: You're with a group of girlfriends and one tells a joke, you don't get it.
A common response: "You were mumbling, I couldn't hear you properly,"
So the question here is how often do you 'show up'? How often do you take the courage to put yourself out there and reveal your true self and own it even though it may not be liked/accepted? It's tough and uncomfortable but remember when you do start to show up it's so liberating.
Founder + Director of Cork Leaf. Introvert who loves to practice yin yoga and is chocolate obsessed. Lives life with her heart, strives to live a more sustainable life and dreams of moving to the countryside with her family.
Here at Cork Leaf we're passionate about intuitive living, minimalism and sustainability. We hope to inspire, educate and hold space for people to reconnect and live a wholehearted life....check out our other blogs to help you live the life you really love.