An Authentic Life – 25 Ways to Live it

by anne preston on June 6, 2011

Let’s define AUTHENTICITY
Live an Authentic LifeI like to think of authenticity as our ability to be in connection with our own true essence and then act in alignment from that place.

It’s a combination of both being and doing. It’s the awareness of your own authentic essence and all that entails.
It is the awareness of your beliefs, desires, needs, talents, integrity and personal destiny, and then seeing then seeing that personal presence in action every day.

It is the credibility of authenticity that comes from your behaviours that we are most drawn to when we think of authenticity.  As much as we think about authenticity as a being state; authenticity in real-time awareness comes from the consistent behaviours we witness and demonstrate in our lives.

Why might you want to demonstrate a more authentic life?
There are some natural by-products of living a more authentic life that are worth mentioning here.    People trust authentic people.  They trust the consistency of their authenticity.

Would you like to be trusted more?  If so, demonstrate more authenticity. Trust is also is a personal leadership trait.

You also get to feel a bit better about life, yourself and what you deliver.   One of the most direct routes to turning around low vitality, low self esteem, low passion and even low moods can be to begin living a more authentic life.

It is the re-alignment with completeness of integrity that is so much a part of being authentic that it shifts you a place of being caught in life’s common paradigms to a more holistic, connected experience.  I believe you get to be a better personal leader.

Here are 25 ways to live a more authentic life:
1. Tell the truth.  It’s everything from admitting mistakes to owning your fallibility.  It’s what you believe – put into words. (Your own current truths)  It’s what’s behind your eyes – shared with transparency.
2. Be powerfully self-expressed. In addition to telling the truth, your own demonstration of full self expression is a cornerstone to sharing your essence.  This is a path of courage, of LOVE and of inspiration.
Standing up in the face of those who are not currently fully expressed themselves is one of the reason courage and love states are so important.
3. Know your wants and desires.  Our desires drive us whether we are fully conscious of them or not.  When you raise your awareness of what you truly, truly want and desire – you get to be the driver.
4. Know what you are tolerating and tolerate less.  Tolerations are those things you might “put up with” or normalize because you aren’t quite ready to deal with them. It is all the things you might procrastinate around – it’s all the things you might not want to face.  It could be anything from undone home repairs, clutter, paying attention to your body, or even sorting out unsupportive relationships.
5. Get out of the Box.  (What ever your box is)  Our frames of reference determine our experience.  Get bigger perspectives by leveraging the practice of thinking about your thinking and bringing in multiple perspectives.  Anytime you can raise your awareness of your current paradigm – this is a good thing.
6. Be more Graceful. Grace requires that you develop a natural flexibility and a nimbleness that comes from that flexibility.
7. Be in Service.  When you are in service from the heart, the love you feel is transferred energetically and with it – transmits some of your core essence.
 8. Be positive. When you are stating things in the positive you are sharing what it is you to like, what it is you do want, and what it is you do believe. This expression of what your thoughts; demonstrates some authentic pieces of you.
9. Find things you enjoy. When we are passionate about something, not only are we very enrolling, we are also sharing our passionate energy about what brings us alive, and it’s that sharing that demonstrates our authenticity.
10. Leverage your talents and strengths. When you make use of your natural talents and gifts, one of the things that happens as a by product is that you find ease.  Within this ease is a demonstration of your essence.
11. Use the resource of visualization.  When we practice visualization, we are rehearsing a conditional future that hasn’t happened yet. It is this habit of practicing next steps that helps bring out information relating to what we think how we feel and how we perceive. All demonstrations of our authenticity.
12. Meditate. When we sit quietly and listen, we can often gain in site to our next great step; our next authentic step.
13. Live your destiny.  Your destiny within you is that uniqueness that is yearning to be lived.
14.  See what’s perfect rather than striving to “be” perfect. When you attempt to be perfect, we are in effect, striving. And when we are striving for an ideal, we are heading away from our own authenticity.  But when we instead see what is perfect we expand her awareness in a nonjudgmental way.
15. Make friends with your gut sense.  Accessing your intuition is one of the best ways to bring more authenticity into your life. Our emotions teach us. Learn to be a good student of your felt senses.
16. Simplify things. The act of  simplifying in some ways is the act of stripping away everything until you get down to pure essence. Simplifying is a path of authenticity.
17. Get really comfortable in your own skin.  Learning to love yourself, including loving your body is a great way to live a more authentic life for as you love yourself you stride with grace and ease and as you love yourself your essence is able to come through. The language with which we speak with our bodies is a visual one. It’s a visual language that demonstrates our authenticity.
18. Shake hands with your shadow.  For every light there is a shadow. Learning more about your shadow side, can help you express more of who you authentically are.
19. Have your intentions be known. Your intentions are the “why” behind your behaviors and your expectations. When you share your intentions, it takes away doubt around how you are making meaning.
20. Journal – a lot. A practice of stream of consciousness writing can assist you to riase up to the surface deeper thoughts, expectations, wishes and dreams that might’ve otherwise stayed below the surface.
21. Get your needs met. When you need taking care of, it takes out of the picture any need to manipulate in order to get those needs met . You are free to be authentically you.
22. Be self-full. Taking care of yourself and making sure your own tanks are full and give you lots of space for your own authenticity. It’s a lot easier to give when you have a full tank.
24. Do what you will say you’ll do (at minimum). Being consistent with follow thru on the promises you make – helps others trust that you are fully congruent.  They can sense when you are congruent and when you are not.   Having your speech and your deeds be in alignment is one great way for you to know that you are congruent also.
25. Express your gratitude. The practice of expressing gratitude is a great way to bring forth feelings that are present when you are grateful and in a state of love.

When you are being authentic and demonstrating a more authentic life – there are many benefits to be had.  In the end though, it’s up to you whether you want to invest the time, energy and resources to become more of your authentic self.  A path of authenticity – well, it’s a true path of personal evolution – and like any journey it begins with simple steps.

Take a moment for yourself now, and see if there’s any items on this list that you might want to adopt as a focus  for yourself.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin Jones June 7, 2011 at 3:15 AM

Thank you for defining authenticity. It seems, we live in a time where everyone wants to be someone else. Maybe its because many of us have not connected with our true self. Once we connect with who we are we can start to really live.

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Anne Preston June 7, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Robin you make a good point – our society praises the act of following. Just think – the fashion industry thrives on it.
I believe the desire to “be someone else” – comes from the approval they anticipate once they match that vision. Unfortunately, it’s a castle built on sand because – looking for approval, validation, or even love from anywhere externaly isn’t sustainable. Only when we validate from inside – with our own ful awareness are we in connection with something that has the capacity to be non-changing.

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Rhonda Neely June 7, 2011 at 3:59 AM

Anne thank you for sharing this post. Some of the things you point out I use with my clients that are having marriage trouble. They don’t realize they have to be their authentic self in order to have a good marriage. I volunteer with victims of abuse to help them regain their self-esteem and some of the ideas you’ve listed here will be beneficial in helping them discover who they are. Thank you again for sharing this great information.

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Anne Preston June 7, 2011 at 8:56 AM

Yes Rhonda, you are right on. Self esteem is directly connected in that it is that authentic essence – as we raise it – we begine to demonstrate the totality of who we are. I think it is one of the great sadnesses is when women have to diminish who they are in order to just survive in this world. We all deserve to thrive. I send you a universal thank you for your good work.

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BrowsingRome June 7, 2011 at 7:43 AM

Hi Anne,

What an awesome list and I am seriously thinking about printing it out and putting it in a place that is always visible. Alternatively, I will carry one each day to remind myself of not only being but always expressing authenticity.

I like “Shake Hands with your Shadow” that’s a new one!

Many thanks,
Diana

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Anne Preston June 7, 2011 at 9:11 AM

Hey Diana – I can tell your response that you are a women of courage travelling on a path of personal leadership. I know this, because it is a trait of personal leaders for always be looking for supportive structures like you describe to aid in there own momentum forward. Thanks too for sparking an idea for me to birth a “mini-card” product.

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Martha Giffen June 7, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Fantastic list to live by! If we would all read this on a regular basis and take it to heart, what a wonderful world it would be :)

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Anne Preston June 7, 2011 at 2:31 PM

I agree. That and living from a state of oneness/wholeness – and we would solve a lot of our communities problems for sure.

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Michelle Church June 7, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Love your post…it’s about honesty and truth for me..and the rest will follow. Thanks for sharing such a great list!

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Anne Preston June 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM

One of my mentors, Lance Secretan says (and I am paraphrasing) “All we really need to is to love each other and tell the truth”, and I have to agree.

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Matt January 6, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Great post.

I am a huge believer in visualization. It can help you feel more positive about life, and it can help you get rid (or at least minimize) fear and anxiety. I also think simply asking the universe to give you some help is very effective. Ask outloud for something you desire, and you’ll be awazed at what starts to happen. I think this would probably fit under your number 19 — Have your intentions be known.

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Anne Preston January 6, 2012 at 2:25 PM

You make a great point Matt. Visualizing does inteed help send your intention energy out to the universe. In short, it’s a great way to get the universe to provide you resources, awareness and feedback.

It’s a really frequent thing – for people to even forget to ask for what they desire.

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