Discover the joy (and power) in truly being yourself

If you’re looking for tangible solutions to practical problems, from money issues to relationship struggles, authenticity (being yourself) is a lot more relevant than you might think.


Who are you?

No really, think about it. Forget about your job title, the roles you have in life or your age, race or gender. If you put all that aside, what really makes you, you?

I know, this sounds like indulgent navel-gazing but bear with me. Because I have asked this question many times and a lot of people don’t have an answer for it. And those same people are usually the ones struggling with self-doubt, people-pleasing, jealousy, imposter syndrome, low confidence and a lack of energy and enthusiasm for life.

The correlation between living authentically and being successful is strong

And if you can’t answer a question about who you really are then the chances are that your authentic self doesn’t currently feature in the way you interact with the world around you. And that matters because authenticity is:

  • empowering
  • clarifying
  • comforting
  • motivating
  • the antidote to not being certain about, or confident in, who you are

What does authenticity actually mean?

Authenticity is living your life according to your own needs and values rather than those that society, friends, and family expect from you. Not having lived life this way is actually one of the top five regrets of the dying (see the Bronnie Ware book of the same name). Authenticity is what gives us power over our own lives - to make confident choices, to stop repeating negative patterns from the past and to reach the goals we set. 

Sounds nice doesn’t it? But how does it actually help to focus on this right now if you’re struggling emotionally, hit by the cost of living crisis, going through a breakup or feeling low and burned out?

The short answer is: because change in any area of life comes from you 

If you have a clear sense of what matters to you, what your purpose is, what your strengths are and what your limits are then you can make change happen much more effectively than if you feel like a ghost in your own life. A strong connection to yourself is a fire that can burn through many tough things. If you’re not living authentically then that fire has probably gone out.

The practical benefits of living authentically

You see yourself clearly

This especially matters when it comes to how you’re limiting and sabotaging yourself. So, say goodbye to repeating negative patterns, frustrating bad habits you never seem to be able to shift and destructive behaviours.

Clarity creates energy

If what’s on the outside doesn’t align with what’s on the inside there’s a constant conflict between what you want to do and what you think you should do and that’s exhausting. The clarity of authenticity removes this conflict and stops you from wasting your energy on it.

Authenticity is being comfortable in your own skin

That means that as you go into the battle of life (because it can be a battle), you can pour your focus onto goals, relationships and experiences. You have nothing to hide so you don’t fear the judgment of others and you don't waste any time on it.

Life constantly feels like an adventure

Intuition is a big part of authentic living - hearing your own wisdom and guidance and using it to make confident choices. This creates a sense of certainty that is impossible to find without a strong intuitive connection. Plus, it will inevitably lead you to joyful adventures that suit you, rather than down the path of what you ‘should ‘ do or what others expect.

You feel powerful

There is so much power in knowing yourself and being yourself. Genuine, tangible power that drives you to take action and change things. Confidence and self-trust rise, decisions become much easier because intuition is strong and you have a clear sense of where you’re going next. You’re also much less likely to stay stuck in habits like people-pleasing because you’re strongly connected to what you need and how you feel. No more feeling like a balloon being buffeted around by the wind wherever the next gust takes you.

Authenticity vs attachment

Why do we end up not living authentically in life? Authenticity is one of the core needs of being human. The other is attachment - and it’s the tension between these two that can start the authenticity drain. When we’re born it’s we are trying to balance attachment and authenticity i.e. getting love and being ourselves. If there are challenges when it comes to attachment (e.g. caregivers who are inconsistent or abusive and create insecure attachment) then we can end up compromising our authenticity in order to get that attachment need met. We stop being who we are in order to get access to care and love. Even if that didn’t happen to you, authenticity can still be drained out of you by the world we live in. 

As a result, authenticity is something that often has to be intentionally built back up and nurtured. Protected and fanned like a flame that must never go out. Because when you keep it burning you will feel:

  • Confident when it comes to decisions because the intuitive connection is strong.
  • Able to show up and just be yourself wherever you are, no people pleasing, no imposter syndrome, no hiding parts of you.
  • In control of your life again.
  • Calm, because you know that you don’t need to doubt or question yourself.

And this can translate into:

  • A big reduction in shame - that allows you to take action.
  • Doing the things that scare you because you trust yourself to handle it.
  • No more wasting time on indecision.
  • Seeing - and actioning - the solutions to the big problems you currently face.
  • Way less social anxiety.
  • Being excited because you have a purpose and goals that feel really aligned with who you are.
  • Feeling like a powerful person in control of your life.

Living authentically - being yourself - is deeply connected to resilience (and resilience coaching) because it’s key to having a strong foundation for bouncing back, being adaptable and flexible and supporting yourself through the tough times. When you're being yourself you have a stable base from which to approach life, with nothing to hide and far less fear. You’re just you and that is more than enough.

Authenticity workshop

If you’d like to have more of this for yourself, come and join me for a workshop on building authenticity on 21st March 2024 at 7:30pm GMT. 

Or book a discovery call with me and find out how resilience coaching will give you the tools that you need to be yourself - and transform your life in the process.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Winchester, Hampshire, SO23
Written by Alex Pett
Winchester, Hampshire, SO23

Alex is an ICF trained and NLP cert coach focused on helping people to deepen their resources to adapt and bounce back - and go on to thrive. She works with resilience to help clients build confidence, motivation, recover from burnout, set boundaries, find joy and move beyond limiting beliefs. Clients achieve tangible change in 6-9 sessions.

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