Authenticity | Reclaiming my Authentic Self
Two years ago, I made the decision to re-claim my authentic self after hitting a breaking point a few months earlier where I realized I’d lost touch with the real me; the things I loved and made happy.
I discovered that the root of my unhappiness was tied to working in an industry and in a profession that I wasn’t passionate about.
My job was high stress, long hours, and I dreaded getting up in the morning. I counted down the minutes until the day was over. By the time I got home, I was exhausted, barely saying hello to my boyfriend before eating, falling asleep and repeating the cycle all over again the next day.
But I felt guilty for feeling dissatisfied and detached. I was lucky to have a job with the unstable economy in Calgary and was making a good paycheque. I also felt pressured to be like my friends and people my age who were working similar careers and saving for houses, getting married and starting their own families. This is the only way I’ll ever be able to have these things, I thought. This is what building a career looks like.
I knew building a career, and balancing it with life, was hard. But regardless of how hard things felt, was I supposed to be deprived of all the things I loved and wanted?
I craved a life filled with adventure and spontaneity. I loved doing one thing every day where I expressed myself creatively. I valued time with my boyfriend, family and friends. I valued spending time on myself, practicing self-care through yoga and running. I desired balance.
I had an epiphany one evening, pulling a late night at the office when I realized that I wasn’t living a life that aligned with my core values, needs and wants. And I knew I needed to make drastic measures to make my core values a priority. So, that week I quit my job.
My inner dialogue challenged me, asking: What will people think? Will I still be financially stable- will I even be able to find another job? What if this is the wrong decision? What if you fail? Isn’t it easier just to continue going on like this?
It was a scary experience. But the shift in my body and frame of mind over the following months made me realize that it was the right decision. By taking a stand for myself, and the things that make me, me, I felt more like myself than I had in years. I had more clarity. I felt happier and healthier. I had time for the people I loved, and to love myself.
The experience has taught me to claim authenticity in every aspect of my life. To place my core values at the forefront of everything I do and make them my top priority. I know now that when I’m living a life that aligns with my values, I’m happy, balanced and most importantly, being true to myself.
Pssst, this is my own personal experience. Find one thing in your life that has gotten in the way of your own core values that is stopping you from living authentically and think about how you could might be able to change that thing. Keep in mind that the change doesn’t have to be monumentally big (I’m not advising that everyone quits their jobs tomorrow!) Even if you start with baby steps – as long as you’re moving in the direction of living into your own authenticity, I promise you’ll still see results.
-Kailey Buchanan, Communications Expert