Have you ever asked yourself this question? I know I have – lots of times!
One of the things I used to ask it about was:
“Is it just me who has struggled to be authentic – and sometimes (or even often, if I’m honest) hasn’t been able to figure out what authenticity would look and feel like for me?”
Well, the more I learn, the more I think this is actually a pretty common question!
In today’s world, where ‘authenticity’ seems to be the big Buzz Word, this can feel like a really deep challenge!
And, if you feel unable to be truly authentic, it can bring up feelings of profound shame.
Which can leave us feeling like an imposter and less authentic than ever!
It’s a vicious cycle – but how did it start, and what can we do about it?
Why authenticity can be challenging
When we were very small, and unable to meet our own needs, we had 2 very basic emotional requirements:
Attachment ensured that our guardians would look after us – keeping us warm, safe, fed and connected.
Authenticity gave us information about our environment – the things that felt good / right / safe for us and the things we felt were ‘off’ in some way and not to be trusted.
However, if for any reason these 2 needs came into conflict, for example if a child tries to express themselves using a behaviour which is then punished by their caregiver – such as a 2 year old having a tantrum because they don’t have the words to explain what’s upset them – then, over time, the child can learn that it’s not safe to be authentic because it threatens their attachment, ie their connection to their caregiver, without which they cannot survive. So attachment wins every time and authenticity will be sacrificed.
The hope is that the child gets through the challenging time and attachment will be repaired once the incident has passed, but if this doesn’t happen – or only happens to a degree – then we can be left with a sense that IT ISN’T SAFE to be authentic, that it actually threatens our survival.
Once we understand this, we can begin to take steps to support ourselves.
So how can we support ourselves to be more authentic?
The current focus on Authenticity, seeing that people who come to me often struggle with this, and knowing that I have in the past – and still do at times – has led me to ponder this issue deeply.
One of the challenges is that the more we ‘try’ to be authentic, the less authentic we feel!
This is because we start second guessing ourselves – and as soon as we do that, we’re no longer being our true selves. We’re too much in our thinking head-space – which focuses on DO-ing and a sense of needing to FIX things – rather than in our embodied BE-ingness.
So, what can we do?
On my YouTube channel, W·I·L·D® TV, I share some great self-care tools. These are fabulous for supporting ourselves in reconnecting with our inner wisdom and developing our ability to simply BE in the present moment. Click on the link below to take a look:
You might also like to check out 2 of my workshops:
The importance of self-compassion
When focusing on being authentic and developing this skill – particularly if we’ve previously learnt that authenticity can threaten our attachment and our sense of safety – I strongly believe it’s important to be gentle with ourselves and practice compassion.
Our past avoidance of authenticity was a very effective strategy, back then, however we now recognise that it’s no longer serving us and we can make the choice to address any old fears that are keeping us from expressing our True Self to those around us. We can get curious about where we feel unsafe and explore how we might best support ourselves in these situations, and then understand that the change probably won’t happen overnight! It took time for us to get to the point where we are now, and it will take us time to get to where we want to be. But, if we focus on the new habit, remembering to stay gently accountable to ourselves, then in time we can make the shift.
A couple of useful tools to support your authenticity practice
There are many tools we can use in this process, a couple of which I’d like to share with you. One is Human Design. I came across this fairly recently and it has helped me to develop a deeper understanding of myself and my perception of the world. You can discover more at here.
Another way in which we can gain valuable insight into our True Nature, in order to support our self-compassion and authenticity, is understanding our inner archetypes.
This can take many forms but one that I recently came across, which was new to me, is our Financial Archetypes.
I came across this thanks to the wonderful Sara Wisniewski, a visibility coach. Sara and I have worked together in the past and we’re still connected so when her post came up in my feed I was intrigued to learn more – and I’m glad I did!
So many of us have hang-ups and issues around money beliefs so understanding our Financial Archetypes can help us to know where our wounding / past experiences have upset the balance of our Archetype, bringing its shadow to the fore, often resulting in us being unable to attract money into our lives, or unable to hold on to it when it arrives.
When we get clear on our Archetypes we can appreciate more fully the strengths we have at our disposal, allowing us to step into these and draw on their wisdom to support us and our growth. To find out more, you can take Sara’s quiz here.
If you’re up for diving deeper, whether it’s uncovering and addressing any obstacles, or gaining profound insights on moving even closer to your True Nature, I’m here for a chat. Let’s unravel the layers and pave a path that brings you closer to the essence of who you truly are.
Remember, this is your adventure – you get to write the script and direct your part. Relax, have fun and enjoy the ride 😊🌿