Finding the AUTHENTIC you
What is authentic living?
As a psychological concept, authenticity simply means embracing who you are at your very core, and acting in accordance to your own values and beliefs.
According to actress and mental health activist Sarah Paulson, "The authentic self is the soul made visible," and that really says something doesn't it?
Being authentically YOU is a quality we're all born with, but unlike other animals on this planet, the pressure in society causes us to grow out of that authentic sense of being over time.
Think about it; a child on the playground is FEARLESS. Running around not worrying about how they look or what they say, truly LIVING. That's why I want WG to have so much focus on the younger generation; I want them to know that it's okay to preserve their authentic self. Things like:
"Don't SAY that!" - "Don't WEAR that!" - "Don't DO that!" - "Don't FEEL that!"
These are all phrases that every one of us has heard at some point in our lives, and breaking away from that mind set is not easy. Especially in 2020 where everyone's perception of themselves is presented through an Instagram filter making it hard to gauge who you REALLY are.
There's no one perfect formula to get back to the basics, but there are definitely things that you can do in order to open your mind and begin the process.
Here are 5 of the mantras that we've found helpful at WG on our path to self-discovery:
1. Increase your self-awareness: One of the best ways to increase self-awareness believe it or not is by meditation. Your mind is a safe space, where you're free to think and feel whatever the f*ck you want. So use that opportunity for self-exploration and start by being honest with yourself, allow you to be you on the inside. Because before you can start showing who you are on the outside, you must first figure out who you are on the inside. The act of sitting down, and taking time to reflect on your current desires, needs and random thoughts will allow you that time and space to get comfortable with you.
2. Recognize the masks you wear: No I'm not talking about facemasks here, I mean the metaphysical masks that you wear when interacting with others. It's nothing to be ashamed of, everyone shows a different version of themselves depending on the company they keep. For example, you may be more playful and outspoken when hanging out with friends, but more reserved and quiet when speaking with a coworker or parent. These aren't bad things, but it is a good idea to build some self-awareness and figure out why you're choosing to wear certain masks around a particular individual, and if that mask is actually serving you. If it isn't, consider working on breaking free from that mask and showing the real you to that individual. If they're not into it, that's okay, be YOU anyways and the people who truly are meat to be in your corner WILL stick around.
3. Embrace your vulnerability: I'm going to tell you right now, every single human on this planet is bad at something. Every person has weaknesses too, and that's okay. Coming to terms with the things you're not so good at will only benefit you in the long run, because if it turns out you're bad at something you wish you were good at, that's just another opportunity to learn!
4. Don't filter, just BE: Instagram filters are the worst aren't they? Okay I know it can be cathartic to see a photoshopped version of yourself online, but it's also damaging to our psyche. If you get too used to seeing a filtered version of yourself it can potentially start causing some cognitive dissonance in real life. Making it harder to accept what you look like in the mirror or in other people's photos of you. So let's stop with the filters, and promote REAL beauty, you are enough wrinkles, acne, cellulite and all! Once you start accepting this for yourself, that's when the MAGIC happens.
5. Accept feedback as a gift: Constructive criticism can be one of the most effective tools when looking to improve one-self. But depending on the topic at hand, it can also be a tricky pill to swallow. Trust me when I say that the hardest things to over come allow you to grow the most. So if you truly are looking to better yourself, feedback from a TRUSTED peer can be one of the best ways to achieve that!
There's no one perfect formula to transform into your true, authentic self, but I firmly believe that these 5 steps will help you to succeed along your path to self-discovery.
Keep working on you - ya badass WG!