Learn How to Live Authentically & Create the Life You Love

Like everything, the quest for authenticity has become muddied by the overuse of the latest ‘buzz’ word.

It’s unfortunate because I love the word and concept. However, I’m wary of using it because everyone else is! It’s left me questioning with what intent.

Do they even know what living authentically means?

I’m no expert, but I see ‘living authentically’ as removing the mask so many of us hide behind in an attempt to fit in, fly under the radar or stand out from the pack. It’s about being our true self – not the self that others want us to be or who we think they want us to be. It’s being comfortable in our own skin.

Authenticity is about being ‘true’ to yourself

It’s about paying yourself some respect. It’s also about cutting out the bullshit, saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and fronting up as YOUR SELF – warts and all.

When you finally start living by these ‘guidelines’ you FINALLY start creating the life you love!

As a reformed people pleaser, I’ve spent most of my life trying to be someone else. Either the person I thought others wanted me to be or the person they wanted me to be. Be it bosses, friends, family, men…it was all the same.

I was desperate for approval, to be liked and told I’d done a good job. I was a success, but deep down, I was a mess.

Depression, chronic anxiety, fatigue, and living in a constant state of turmoil. I was swimming against the tide and in total conflict with myself.

As soon as I sat down and analysed my own values system (admittedly after several burnouts), I recognised the people-pleasing rut I was stuck in. And I’ll be completely honest with you, it was a bloody hard habit to break! At the crux of the issue were deep-seated self-esteem issues. These stemmed from childhood bullying and trauma and the fact that I associated my self-worth with hard work.

If I wasn’t good at my work, then who was I?

The last few years have been an intense period of self-exploration and discovery, during which I have prioritised change, reflected on my life and rediscovered who I am.

Going back to basics, I analysed my top priorities, my values, and my overall ‘why’. These became my guiding pillars. The things that help me to live authentically.

And when things get out of whack. When I’m feeling stressed, unhappy or run down, it is these things I revisit to check in on myself. Generally, it means I’m doing something not aligned with those pillars.

Falling off balance

I’m the first to admit I need to remind myself daily of what’s important, as it’s easy to fall off balance, ESPECIALLY in times of stress. After several stressors over the last three years, I’ve stepped back to reassess things again. Working multiple jobs, running a business and a blog, studying, volunteering and supporting a family, in my efforts to ‘do it all’ I was juggling way too many balls, and my anxiety was back with a vengeance. Furthermore, I’d lost my stepdad to suicide and hadn’t dealt with the grief and questions arising from that. 

And so it was back to the drawing board – counselling, easing back in my business, quitting a couple of my jobs to spend time with my family, budgeting, medication, eating well, cutting out the booze and quitting coffee, and learning to say no. 

Today, my top priority is my health. It guides all of the decisions I make. I also need to keep myself in check, as anxiety and depression are a part of my family and me, so maintaining balance is essential.

About Author

Changed careers in my 30's. Became a freelancer writer & marketer. I'm a proud redhead, fangirl, wife & step mum. And I'm a lover of all things books, movies, podcasts, dogs & naps.

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