There’s a lot to be said when it comes to describing an authentic person. Mostly it means being true to oneself, being genuine and taking responsibility for your actions. However, do we really understand what it takes to be an authentic person? When I started on this journey of unraveling authenticity for myself with the sole goal of reaping its benefits — greater confidence, better relationships with others and myself, better health and the likes, and it hit me to realise that I don’t know how to be authentic.
Over the course of a few years of toying with the idea, it dawned onto me that there are basic things that each and every one of us can do to become a more authentic person. But the most important lesson I learnt on the way was this :
“Authenticity is a choice you make every-day to quit wanting to be like someone else and to focus on what unique touch of yourself are you bringing to the table. You could cook like the countless cooks out there but yet your food will always taste a tinge different! Focus on that uniqueness every single day!”
You see, that being authentic is very essential for the simple reason that it allows you to be you- the strange, weird , funny yet extremely compassionate person with a fancy degree or whatever amazing combinations you’re made up of!
So here’s a small list of 3 practices that helped me honor the unique person I am and who I choose to be every single day. I may evolve, grow out of something or life may throw me on a rollercoaster, yet the essence of me will always remain!
Pen down your core values :
Our experiences shape us over time yet there’s always a constant in us and those are our core values. These are the things you want to be known for, ardently believe in and stand by. Most of the times people will vouch for that trait in you. Eg — generous Tim, she’s always fair to all etc.
All of us know who we are deep down, but each of us has a choice to be anything we want to be. You can create and recreate your personal set of values that might not resonate with all, however if they ring a bell with you, they are for you!
Energy level test:
This one is very profound. We each have a body and it talks to us. Eg Why do we feel exhilarated or excited while doing a particular task and feel completely drained out while doing another?
Your body lets you know in subtle ways as to what works for you and what doesn’t. The more we follow these bodily signals, the more we live in alignment with our body and thereby become more authentic. I truly believe that we’re a soul in a body not a body with a soul. Therefore those subtle nudges are from your soul and it connects with you through your body sensations, feelings and emotions.
The best way to follow your body cues is to notice when you feel happy , light and full of energy. Those are the things for you! And if you feel sick, uneasy or simply drained of energy then that’s not for you!
The 3- Step -Verification :
It’s a known fact that we have three major centers in our body that guide us- head, heart and the gut! Each of these have common phrases attached to it — feeling heavy in the heart, my gut says otherwise, something doesn’t ring right!
The 3 step verification is therefore simply consulting with all the three centers of our body while making a decision. First run it through your head- is it logical/ does it make sense? Then run it through the heart and finally through the gut! If at any point you don’t feel a hundred percent confident, then you drop it! Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise as through experience I can tell you, that you’ll agree to later regret!
Sometimes things may seem logical and correct but something feels off and we go for it nonetheless only to feel disconnected with it. Eg: I want to go to that university, it’s perfect but every time I think of the life I’ll lead there, I get a funny feeling in my gut. Therefore, I choose to not go ahead with it! Over time, I realise, that it was a blessing in disguise!!
My grandfather was a wise man and he often told me “ there might be a million Chaitalis out there but the one who should matter the most to you is (pointing to me) YOU!”
Over time I’ve come to understand the deep wisdom in those words- it is not about others, it never was. It’s about you! What you choose to do, feel, say, stand for and believe in.. because ultimately it all begins with you and you are the only one you are stuck with until death!