With Bec Robbins  

AUTHENTIC SELF

Find Your Authentic Self With These 4 First Steps

How to live authentically and discover your authentic self

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Have you lost excitement and enthusiasm for your life? Are stress and anxiety levels higher than normal? Do you feel a void within you that just can’t be filled with what it used to? These are all symptoms of not living authentically. Fortunately, learning how to live authentically is not hard. In fact, uncovering your authentic self is an exhilarating journey that can significantly increase your quality of life.

So, what does authentic mean? It means being true to yourself by making choices that bring you closer to what’s most important to you.

When getting out of bed in the morning feels hard, it is an invitation to reinvent. To create a life that is authentically you, honouring who you are now, not who you were last month, last year or 10 years ago. Most women forget that they are in a constant state of growth and evolution. Their life experiences gently change who they are and what is important to them. Ways of life that used to feel good become outdated. 

When you don’t update key aspects of your life (goals, hobbies, relationships and environments) to reflect who you have grown into, a feeling of constriction emerges. It’s like being a character in a novel who is ready for chapter 8 but stuck in the story line of chapter 2. This existential stress can manifest in destructive behaviour like reactivity, addiction, depression or apathy. 

So how do we give our life a self authenticity makeover? The following 4 strategies are powerful first steps in the right direction. Use them to free yourself from the past and catapult into a rich new life, complete with fresh settings, characters and adventures.

Change your environment to uncover your authentic self.

Being your authentic self is challenging when you are stuck in the same places every day. Try get out of your existing environment and into novel surroundings to kickstart change in your life. Travel provides fresh perspectives and opportunities to investigate within, catalyzing profound insight and clarity. Many mystical traditions promote an ancient practice of retreat, leaving behind the daily operations of life for a nourishing space to reconnect with the deepest parts of yourself. 

Without daily distractions allows we can hear the whispers of our heart that are so often drowned out by life. We can discern the subtle prompts guiding us to our next chapter, and intuit instructions on ways to live authentically. Retreats can be found all over the world; yoga or meditation retreats, writing or painting retreats and psychedelic retreats. You can even design a one day retreat in your own home, shutting out all distractions and creating a schedule of reflective activities. Whether you take a personal retreat at home or tour the world with a friend, changing your surroundings can unleash innate wisdom about how to live authentically.

Drop off the baggage that doesn't belong to your authentic self.

One necessary step required to live authentically is offloading the mental and emotional baggage from our past. Upgrade limiting beliefs and ditch toxic emotional habits and coping mechanisms preventing you from initiating change. Keep in mind, the ego does not like change. It will do whatever it can to keep you perched in chapter 2 when your soul is singing to you about chapter 8. 

Dissolve sabotage, procrastination and other fear-based behaviours blocking your upgrade, by doing some inner housekeeping. There are many simple, practical strategies that can be learned and used daily to release these blocks. You can rewire your belief system through writing or visualization techniques. Stagnant emotions can be released using somatic or creativity practices. Experiment and find the right tools that work for you or seek guidance and accountability from a coach or therapist to help you learn and implement these techniques.

Get into active dialogue about your authentic life.

It’s easy to dream about all the changes you’d like to make, but keeping these ideas and insights to yourself keeps the energy of change trapped within you. Begin a healthy, dynamic ongoing dialogue with like-hearted people who support you, to mobilize the energy of creation and change. Living an authentic life is like creating a painting or a song. It is a work of art to be witnessed, engaged in, shared and championed. 

Find a handful of people that reflect the authentic life you are ready to lead or get some friends together and start speaking your heart’s desires and plan aloud. In the meantime, begin actively engaging in this kind of dialogue with yourself through a journaling practice. Use prompts like, “I see myself…” and, “I am feeling…” as you write about what your authentic life looks and feels like.

Reduce your stress and anxiety levels so you can live authentically.

In today’s world we are overstimulated and overwhelmed with all that we have to do to get through in the day. Relationships, financial issues, illness or body breakdown are all stressors that create an inner climate averse to change. In survival mode you have very little energy, willpower or time to take the precious early steps towards becoming your authentic self. 

The fastest starting point to reduce stress and anxiety is implementing simple lifestyle changes. This includes things like exercise, diet and hydration improvements or anti stress supplementation. Another key factor to lowering stress and anxiety is prioritizing rest and relaxation. Ensure you have optimal sleep hygiene and hit a sleep goal of at least 7.5 to 9 hours per night. If sleep is an issue, explore yoga nidra or other NSDR (non sleep deep rest) techniques or meditation to top up your rest and recovery quota. Lastly, don’t forget to build fun, laughter and connection into your life, as these are all proven to help reduce stress.

Regardless of which step you take first, learning how to be your authentic self requires that you act towards it, even if those actions are tiny. Start with an afternoon retreat walking in your favourite forest or on the beach. Begin searching online for a mentor or for anti-stress foods. Have a weekly tea with your closest friend and commit to dreaming and scheming together or start planning a travel adventure. Take small steps and you will feel the energy of authentic living build within you.

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