Authenticity | The Ease of Authenticity
There’s ease in authenticity. There’s no pretending to be something you’re not… but you need to have done the work to know who you are. Authenticity requires presence and introspection. You have to be self-aware to be able to share your authentic self. There are lots of times in my life where I haven’t been truly authentic with myself or others, and I believe that's because I hadn’t learned enough about myself. There’s still lots to learn there too!
I think of high school… it’s an exercise in authenticity, a period where we learn about ourselves through trial and error. Constantly trying to find where we fit in, pretending to like things we have no idea about, pretending to dislike things we worry we’ll be judged for… constantly repositioning ourselves to fit into perceived molds. At some point, we come to realize how much energy it all takes, and start moving towards the things that feel more natural to us… we discover our authenticity, and over time feel more comfortable sharing it. Once we start sharing it, we find our true friends and meaningful connections. This in itself builds our confidence, and our sense of self strengthens and develops.
I feel most authentic when I’m in tune with myself, present, and feel self-aware. In these times, everything seems to click. I’m more aware of how I’m feeling and what I need and can act accordingly. From an authentic place, I feel heard and understood because I’m able to share the aspects of myself that are truest for me.
On the other side, when I’m rushed, or exhausted and not being present… I have no idea what’s going on for me. I’m on autopilot, I’m reactionary, and no part of my authentic self has the chance to be seen by anyone. I lose track of what my needs are, what makes me happy, and what my priorities are. This often leads to me feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, and I lose confidence in myself.
There’s certain activities, places, and people, that help me reset. When I start feeling a little out of line, these are the influences I cherish most. There are people that I know accept me unconditionally and don't distract from me being myself. Journaling or writing down goals, and getting out for a walk or hike with my dog somewhere near water or the mountains are a few of my favourite activities to help get centered again.
Despite being much more aware of myself now, waves of authenticity still come and go. I drift further away from authenticity the busier I get, the more I coast mindlessly from one day to the next. Now, my discomfort mostly serves as a reminder that I’m wandering a bit too far from an authentic place within myself. It serves as a cue to slow things down and listen in a bit more.
-Dr. Brett Simpson, Naturopathic Doc