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Worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.
Not false or imitation.
True to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.
The above descriptions are how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “authentic.” The last one listed gives sparks the most “ah-ha” moment for me.
It can be easy to realize when someone shows us their truest character. Perhaps it’s felt when we listen to people’s words and notice how they wear their posture. The biggest reveal in my experience has been tuning in to how I feel in someone’s presence.
When I am around authentic people, I find ease in my body, I genuinely enjoy being around them, and I find space in my breath. There is a butterfly feeling in my chest while, simultaneously, happiness from spending time with them fulfills me.
I certainly prefer these honest connections with others who don’t hide nor hold back their truth, and I hope I bring the same vibrational love to the table for others. Yet, at times I find myself checking in to see if I am showing up in my truest spirit. I can say yes when I don’t want to, I feel myself holding in my truth to prevent hurting others’ feelings, and I can find myself getting lost in the “shoulds” of society.
Perhaps it’s closely related to imposter syndrome, which I have felt from time to time. Authenticity can be challenging to know, affirm, and touch.
Following are 12 key questions we can ask ourselves for an authenticity check-in to help us live in a way where we can be true to who we are.
1. Am I a “yes person,” or do I have firm boundaries?
We can all tend to say yes at times when we don’t want to, causing us to live out of alignment with our truth. We can strengthen our boundaries to avoid being a “yes person.” We can also take steps to prevent feeling resentful or irritated for saying yes to what are really no situations for us.
2. Do I live ruminating on the past and worrying about the future, or do I live moment to moment?
When we are worried about the past, we focus on it. What we focus on will continue to grow, so the lessons from the past are likely to repeat, blocking us from creating new present memories. Living in the now moment provides an opportunity for optimal evolution.
3. Am I quick to blame others, or do I happily take responsibility for my actions, thoughts, and situations?
Blame can signal inauthenticity. When we are in our truth, being honest with who we are, we take ownership of our choices, even when the outcomes are adverse. Being authentic is about saying yes to growth. When we take responsibility for our situations, we also open new pathways for developing transformation to happen.
4. When others have successes and wins, am I likely to feel jealous and envy, or support and delight for the other person?
Jealousy and envy can signify our soul craves the feeling of the experience another person has versus the actual experience. These feelings can also remind us of what is possible for us. When we let these be hints of delight, the same success can also be ours in a different way, and when we celebrate the wins for those others, we come into authentic alignment.
5. Do I follow others’ leads and advice, or follow my gut and intuition?
We all have a strong intuition. The ability to know, feel, see, or sense what is true. As an Embodiment Mentor and teacher of Intuitive Development, clients often find me when they want to course correct or trust bigger so they can embody who they were born to be. I see time and again how not following our intuition is the fastest pathway to inauthenticity. We can always win by trusting our cells and avoiding the “I wish I would have listened to myself” moments. We can remember, if something feels fake, low, or icky in our body, it likely is. If it feels true, high vibe, and delicious, it likely is!
If it feels good to us, it likely is. If it feels ick, it likely is.
6. Do I spend more time in optimism and hope, or pessimism and worry?
Authentic people are typically present, and present people stay optimistic, remaining hopeful. When we feel worried about the future, we can remind ourselves to come into breath and remember it’s likely the ego talking untruths. Staying in hope allows for the path of our true spirit to light up.
7. Do I compare myself to others and seek validation, or stand in confidence and know my truth?
Comparing our success, belongings, relationships, and so on is a sign we are overly focused on others versus being present with our being. As Edmond Mbiaka said, “The only approval you need in life, is that of your positive inner-self.” Enough said!
8. Would I rather have money or relationships?
It can be easy to get caught up in the desire of money, which pushes us into more work. According to Palliative Carer, Bronnie Ware, in her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying—A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard,” “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings,” and “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends,” all fell on the list. There were no wishes for more money. Side note, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me,” is a leading regret she witnessed.
9. Do I only share what looks good, or do I share all of me, even if a bit scary?
When we are authentic, we are ready to shine our light, share our truth, and not worry about how we look or if everything we put out will be liked. We are empowered in truth when we share from a place of love.
10. Do I copy or follow others for trends or how-tos, or do I seek inspiration but ultimately create what I like, wear what feels best, and make purchases according to what sparks me?
It can be easy to identify when someone else is copying others or following trends that don’t suit them. They can almost look awkward in their body as if they are trying on an oversized suit that doesn’t fit right. Following our unique creative nudges helps our truth to shine forward.
11. Am I more concerned with popular opinion, or do I feel safe in my truth, even if it goes against the grain?
To the above point, when we do share, we can check in to ensure we aren’t trying to play too safe or only want to share if it’s accepted. When we follow our spark and stand in the truth of who we are, we choose authenticity.
12. Do I make decisions based on what others want and a need to feel accepted, or on my values and vision?
What a significant teacher aligning with my values and vision has been for me. I create many programs in my business, which is fun for me, as I love creating! I get to construct for some of the most authentic clients who know they can openly express their wish lists—people who know I want to hear from them! Early in my career, I became easily distracted by lists of wants, which led me to create many services, even when they felt only “so-so” in my body. I have learned to receive feedback but then take the requests into my body to explore how they feel. I now only birth what feels super juicy and continuously aligned with my value system, which has prevented wasted time and depletion.
May these checkpoints assist in betterment.
When I sat with them for myself, first I was pleasantly surprised that I am not giving myself enough credit in some areas. And, of course, I also saw areas for improvement, like being more aware of where I worry and hanging on to a few complex stories of my past (though not many).
I hope the above can bring more love into an authentic journey for you.
Do any stand out for you? I would love to know in the comments!
May you stay true to your own spirit.