Sometimes one of the barriers to living authentically are the people surrounding us.
Others in our life don’t always see us in the same way as we see ourselves.
Sometimes those around us have an agenda for us, have perceptions of what we ‘should’ be like or how we ‘should’ live our life. These people could be our parents, our significant other, our friends, extended family, co-workers, neighbors, church members. It could even be acquaintances that don’t really know us.
Sometimes we get caught up and start to believe, or buy into, what others want from us or for us. Depending on what our upbringing was like, you may have been told or encouraged to believe what others tell you about you. Your family, friends, church, school, etc., may have established a standard of what you should be like.
Here’s the awesome thing about getting older (whether you’re turning 20 or 60): realizing that you can change your views, belief system, and self-perception to what feels accurate and truthful to YOU.
Just because others hold a view or perception of you, doesn’t mean that has to be the view you hold of yourself.
In fact, when you start to make changes in your life to live more authentically, you may get pressure from others (family, friends, coworkers, acquaintances, pretty much any and everyone) who want to tell you what you should do.
As long as you aren’t hurting others or yourself, you don’t need to listen to anyone but you.
Let me repeat that, because it’s really important…
You don’t need to listen to anyone but you.
The only person who knows what is truly right for you is YOU.
Separating your beliefs, desires, wants and needs from others’ can be challenging. This process of connecting with your truth is very important as you make changes in your life. I mean, how can you live authentically if you don’t know what authentic really means for your life?!?
When you start to feel pressure from others, pause and connect with your inner self.
Get mindful and recognize what you truly feel and want in that moment.
Connect with your inner guide.
For some, this inner guide is loud and clear. For most of us, it’s more of a soft whisper or nagging feeling inside. When you have that uncomfortable feeling where you start to realize that your experiences don’t match with who you authentically are than it’s time to change. Maybe it’s your career or hobbies that don’t fit. Maybe it’s your role in life. Maybe it’s your appearance, or your gender or sexuality.
Whatever it is, connecting with your inner guide about what feels right to you is the first step in living authentically.
No one can tell you who to be, how to act, what to try, or how to express yourself. This is something that comes from inside of YOU. Be bold. Let yourself shine through!
Adriana Joyner, LMFT, is a Sacramento Area therapist specializing in counseling for people healing from painful life experiences and traumas, support for individuals exploring their gender identity and expression, and the LGBTQIA community. Her office is located in Gold River, CA located off Highway 50 at Sunrise Blvd. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (916) 547-3997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.