The practice of self-awareness and living in accordance with our authentic self can be quite a natural yet complex and challenging journey. Along with our particular cultural socialization, deep-rooted worldviews and living at a time in history that is entangled with unceasing changes, demands and distractions in all spheres of our lives, despite its significance, it may be quite challenging at times to make the time and to have the energy to appreciate and exist as aligned with our authentic selves.
Essentially, one’s authentic self is who one is at their unbiased core at any given time, although its unfolding and expression thereof over time is generally influenced by external sources such as historical, cultural, political, social and real time. Our authentic selves are known to us upon our attention to our inner processes - thoughts, feelings, somatic experiences, inclinations and needs - at any given time. Accepting responsibility to honor - acknowledge and value - these truths in context of our unfolding life experiences, developing/exercising the confidence/courage (if safe reality) to mindfully and intentionally communicate these with others as desired, assuring balance of caring for our own needs and those of others and creating healthy boundaries accordingly permits us to intuitively, judiciously and, thus, to naturally choose - via our words and behavioral actions - to live in congruence with our values/beliefs, emotions, preferences and fulfilled needs.
It takes dedication and regular practice of focused attention on our inner processes to stay atop of our authentic selves in our flow of being and becoming and to maintain the process and existence of our authenticity. Self-knowledge is the light illuminating and innately guiding fitting choices - supporting our self-worth, self-value, self-trust, integrity, self-efficacy and self-esteem - through aligned path(s) in our journey of authenticity and supporting our health and mental health, healthy relations (based on kindness, genuineness, trustworthiness, vulnerability, love and connection) and our pursuit of employment reflecting our interests, strengths and passion.
Numerous pathways exist to compassionate self-consciousness and embracing of the truths about our being and becoming and existing accordingly.
1) Acknowledging, embracing and living with our beautiful qualities, strengths and resiliencies in all spheres of our lives.
2) Engaging in compassionate self-observation based on non-judgmental curiosity and interest for understanding of ourselves. Regularly practicing self-compassion, presence, attention and nonjudgment in context of our inner processes spontaneously or as response to events. Such self-awareness may permit natural authentic flow in our exercising congruent actions in context of our authentic selves/needs at any given time.
Self-awareness permits us to be present and connected with our authentic being and process of becoming, to know and trust/believe in ourselves and to effect action and fulfill our needs and attain our meaningful goals. When experiencing positivity, content or happiness when engaged in a particular activity, interaction or situation – you are likely experiencing authentic flow at the time! Halt self-monitoring and adjusting your presentation to align with perceived expectations of others – love, liberate and rejoice the natural flow of your authentic being and becoming in the world.
3) Reflecting on and understanding our worldviews, including our values, beliefs and choices or actions. Reflecting on how we have arrived at certain beliefs and values and whether our current experiences, thoughts, feelings and needs reflect alignment or derailment from our developed worldviews and thus to have the courage to consider change within our deeply rooted worldviews for congruency in our current existence. Consider times when you made a choice that was congruent and times when your choice was not congruent with your values and beliefs in a personal, relational or work circumstance - what was that like for you?
Differentiating amongst external (i.e., cultural and social constructs, conventions and roles) and internal (i.e., personal preferences, needs) truths and motivating influences (i.e., social acceptance and belonging, personal preferences/growth) may be complex. Identifying and establishing what is important for us and why and setting our meaningful goals and aligned choices accordingly that connect to our values and provide meaning and purpose in our life, supports our authentic existence.
4) Acknowledging, valuing and permitting self-care and boundary setting. It is imperative to reflect on our beliefs that either permit or interfere with our choice to balance our needs/limits with those of others and to permit self-care. Have you come to regard self-care as reflection of inflexibility, rigidity or even selfishness or as honoring balance in care by honoring caring for self as well and living with self-acceptance, integrity, health and well-being? Are there any beliefs that interfere with your comfort level to set boundaries for self or others in acquiring self-care?
5) Developing, maintaining and prioritizing an accepting, loving and positive social support network is essential. Being in presence of peoples whom are compassionate, accepting and encouraging of our authentic selves offers grounding, trusting, connecting and meaningful relations. Presenting as someone we are not - founded on our vulnerability and anxiety of judgement, disappointment and rejection - as an intended means to ascertain belonging only fuels aloneness.
To exist, care for, regard, and flow as our authentic selves is not about alienating ourselves or disrespecting others or others’ narratives - it is about recognizing that the thoughts of others reflect their worldviews. Open dialogue with others in our co-existence is healthy and reflecting on the ideas that arise that either align or challenge us - and assist in understanding ourselves and becoming more aligned with our authentic selves - assists us to learn about ourselves and others and to grow.
Revekka Kakoullis M.Sc., Registered Psychologist Resilience Awakening, Revekka Kakoullis E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: https://resilienceawakening.ca