Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Benefits of Living an Authentic Life:

 

Authenticity offers many benefits. There is a feeling of fulfilment that comes from being genuine and being accepted for who you truly are. When you are authentic your self-awareness increases and you develop a strong identity. You have a high level of integrity due to your honesty and your self-esteem increases as a result. Decisions are easier to make because you know what your core values are and what fits in line with them. You take your own needs seriously and consequently do what really matters to you, living in tune with your goals and dreams. All of these advantages translate into a happier more contented life, a life with an abundance of meaning and passion.

 

6 Steps to Living an Authentic Life:

 

1)  Know your values and act on them

 

What values do you want to live by? In order to live authentically you first need to know what your core values are and then live in accordance with them. You can do this by creating your very own mission statement, based on your values. I have given my mission statement as an example in ‘7 Steps to a Happier You’ under the heading ‘Step One: Live by your values’.

 

Should you need more inspiration I have listed some popular core values below. Remember when creating your mission statement that you need to give concrete examples of how you plan to display these qualities in your day-to-day life (E.g. Always be kind and supportive to friends).

 

  • Kind
  • Compassionate
  • Loving
  • Supportive
  • Positive
  • Optimistic
  • Assertive
  • Honest
  • Respectful
  • Loyal
  • Open-minded
  • Creative
  • Passionate
  • Adventurous
  • Care-free
  • Funny
  • Conventional
  • Reliable
  • Consistent
  • Self-disciplined
  • Organised
  • Productive
  • Ambitious
  • Determined

 

2)  List the top five most important areas of your life and create meaningful goals around them

 

What is most significant in your life? Look at the list below and select the five areas that are the most important to you.

 

  • Work
  • Finances
  • Time and Productivity
  • Body and Health
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Relaxation
  • Family and Friends
  • Romance

 

 

Now read ‘How to Turn Your Dreams into Reality’ and create one meaningful goal for each of the five most important areas of your life, remembering that your goals should always align with your values. It is also worth mentioning that it is best to try not to be overly ambitious – these goals all need to be realistic and so smaller goals would work best in the short to medium term, reserving big goals to strictly long term projects!

 

3)  Cut all behaviours, goals and resolutions that aren’t reflective of your core values and/or have been primarily influenced by others

 

Many people get confused between resolutions and goals. A resolution is an ongoing behaviour that you would like to adopt such as ‘exercise three times a week’ whereas a goal is an achievement by a certain date such as ‘run in a 5k race by August 2015’.

 

If you want to be authentic then it is vital you cut any endeavours which do not fit in line with your core values. Equally important is to cut out all behaviours, goals and/or resolutions that were mainly created to live up to others expectations of you. If you want to be authentic then you need to be honest about who you are and what you want out of life, as opposed to living the life others think you should live.

 

Stay tuned – next Monday learn steps 4 to 6 of living an authentic life.

Do you have goals that inspire and excite you? Goals that are meaningful to you? Or do you have goals that have been mainly influenced by others? How do you feel about your goals that have been primarily influenced by others? Have you ever thought about what your values are? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Further Resources:

 

‘Getting Real: Ten Truth Skills You Need To Live An Authentic Life’ by PhD Susan Campbell