I googled authentic self and one of the first articles that popped up was titled, "Be Yourself in 3 Easy Steps." While I think it’s positive that people are writing on this concept and subject matter, we can’t over simplify and reduce this process of evolving down to just 3 easy steps. It’s unfair to create a bleak and generalized formula for this solitary experience. Walking your path and getting to know the most intimate parts of yourself is not a one size fits all how-to guide.
While I’m at it, the self-help mantra and solution to all problems, “JUST BE YOURSELF,” is cringe worthy.
Who you are is most times not really who you think you are.
Your values, desires, habits, thought processes and personality traits are almost completely conditioned by family, friends, society, media and other external factors.
There is no quick fix or shortcut to uncover your most authentic self. You will spend your entire life learning about every nook and cranny of your being if you wish to explore and excavate the layers that have been built upon your core and essence.
Not everything you read, watch or hear is true, but many people do take these concepts as face value. We trust others' viewpoints too easily while words can be misleading and disempowering.
Beginning to understand who you are requires action and cultivating quality reflection. This is a skill set which discerns how things resonate with you. Authenticity will emerge from you living your life and taking risks while tracking your response to said risks. Consciously and subconsciously, through real-world experiences you are able to test what you believe, reframing your life story.
Taking action doesn't exactly mean you must go do something adrenaline pumping by jumping out of a plane (unless of course you feel compelled to do so). Often, taking action to be more of your authentic self is more of a subtle energy such as dealing with boundaries, creating healthy relationships, changing diet, listening to your body, meeting your needs and testing your comfort zone.
In the beginning, I'll admit being myself felt more exhausting than wearing my masks. Why? Because I was use to ignoring my needs and preferences and now that I was honoring them I experienced push back.
Luckily intuition will be too strong and loud to be ignored if you deeply and honestly desire growth. And so that is the transition that was the most difficult for me. No longer being able to be a chameleon. When I noticed moments I was inauthentic it was clear that I was disrespecting myself. I felt physical and emotional pain that I could no longer override.
As dramatic as it sounds, It felt like I had two choices: be myself or die.
I desired to see the world for what it was beyond my filters of wounding. When I shifted my reality in this way I came to understand who I am at my core. Expansion required sitting in discomfort and making hard sacrifices.
After a few years on my journey of separating myself from who I was conditioned to be through yoga and meditation, I discovered metaphysical tools for next level growth through the Modern Mystery School. This spiritual pathway of self-mastery allowed me to integrate and embody much of what I intellectually understood. There was a harmonizing of my inner and outer reality; a wholeness that not even the best quote on Instagram could bring fourth.
I’m never done processing, unlearning, untangling and remembering. It will never be easy, never a 1-2-3 step, only tools that shorten the length of time to bring us back to our center of gravity, the observer.