Living Authentically

Basic human needs go beyond having clean water, fresh food, and a safe place to live. Our health and happiness depend on other key needs, too – like love and belonging, self-esteem, meaning, and purpose in our lives.

These latter needs evolve over a lifetime – and involve embracing vulnerability, learning from mistakes, being true to ourselves, and living from a place of open-mindedness, compassion, and integrity.

Throughout this process, we endure hardships and celebrate triumphs, face and overcome challenges, and confront insecurities and fears. We also have the chance to discover our voices and develop our own unique stories – by living our lives to the fullest as our most authentic selves.

“We all need to be seen, heard, understood, valued, and appreciated… regardless of our gender, our age, our profession, our culture, and even our language.”

– Patty Beach

Who Am I? Who Do I Want to Be?

Living authentically is about granting yourself permission to be yourself.

This takes practice and intention, like so many things in our life. Imagine a world where you are your most vulnerable and authentic self, with all the community support and no resistance, no noise. What would that look like?

Consider asking yourself:

  • What gets me out of bed and going? What makes me smile? What makes my heart happy?
  • Am I living for myself, my dreams, my desires, and my goals – or for someone else’s ideas and expectations?
  • Am I truly thriving or just surviving?

Daily reflection can be a quick and simple way of checking in with yourself.

Try practicing gratitude in whatever way feels recharging – like writing down three things that you’re grateful for at the end of each day, keeping a notes app to stay on track of goals or ideas, or making mental notes throughout your day of things that bring you joy or moments that glimmer. Consider therapy as a way of connecting to who you are and what you want.

Living Your Truth

Living authentically starts with living your truth. Living your truth starts with being honest with yourself and others.

Often in today’s world, this is easier said than done. Sometimes we find ourselves dimming our own light or making ourselves smaller to fit or blend in with social pressures, fulfill expectations of success, and belong in a world that tells us what is “normal” or popular. This becomes even more complex when considering that many of us have “online” versions of ourselves through social media.

Being your best self means making choices and decisions based on your beliefs and being open to the possibility of “taking the road less traveled.”

We can live a meaningful and fulfilling life when we learn to embrace our personal values and hold them above the expectations society puts on us.

Seek purpose and peace by doing daily activities that bring you happiness and joy.

- Spend time in nature
- Volunteer
- Try new hobbies
- Take a step toward connecting with others
- Journal to help reflect and find patterns of joy in your life

Embracing Curiosity, Courage, and Connection

Figuring out who you are and what you believe in is often a lifelong, trial-and-error process. We must explore the world to understand our own unique place in it, where we stand, and who we want to be.

This means putting yourself out there, taking risks, meeting new people from different backgrounds, and learning from others.

This can be both scary and exciting! It can be scary because it may mean letting go of patterns and relationships that no longer serve you, resolving grief or trauma, and addressing parts of your life that you don’t like. However, it may also mean opening yourself up to a whole new world with a fresh perspective, a renewed mindset, deep healing, and freedom from stress, judgment, or fear.

Take time to pause and reflect, so that you can be more in tune with your feelings. Use self-awareness and self-compassion to realize your full potential. Integrity, honesty, belonging, and love will all fall into place. Once you come to terms with who you are, the rest will follow.

A happy, healthy life isn’t an equation, but a journey through love, loss, learning, hope, and healing. By living authentically, we can find comfort, joy, fulfillment, pride, and community along the way – simply by being who we are.

Your life’s journey can begin today by embracing authenticity, vulnerability, and passion.


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