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Be Your Authentic Self With These 9 Amazing Principles

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How To Be True To Yourself In 9 Simple Ways

As I sat down thinking about my next blog post, many topics came to my mind. Being your Authentic self was one of them. Sounded interesting and I started to think about what being authentic means to me.

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My definition of Being “My Authentic Self” is –

Being true to what I believe in – in my actions, words and spirit.

The definition though short, is not simple and has a deeper meaning hidden underneath. It is something most of us struggle with, especially in our youth. But why is that the case? Here are a few possible reasons that I can think of.

What Makes It Hard To Be True To Yourself ?

1. Societal Pressure to Fit In

Right from the time we are born, we are compared. It starts with parents moves onto siblings, then classmates and finally peers & colleagues. There is always the pressure of “fitting the norm”; otherwise, society will view us differently.

E.g., in our school and college days, gender preferences were defined as male and female, and any other gender preference was looked down upon. Hence people had to hide their authentic self & preferences to survive in an ignorant society.

There are some who are able to break the shackles but how many?

2. Comfort of Following The Herd

Let’s be honest. If there is a workbook already available why reinvent.

Again, going back to my school days, medicine, engineering, Bachelor Of Science or Arts were the most preferred options. Therefore, most of us opted for the same even if we knew that our interests lie somewhere else.

3. Challenging Times

The biggest test of our authenticity comes in when we face difficulties and challenges. At that time, do we crumble under pressure and compromise on the values & beliefs that we stand for? Or we stand tall irrespective of the consequences.

Our reaction to a challenging situation tests our authentic self.

4. Fear of Failure

Many times, we want to try out new things, maybe cooking a new dish, trying our hand at painting, singing or dancing. But we hold ourselves back because what if we fail? What will people say or think?

Fear of Failure is another reason why people don’t give vent to their heart’s desires.

There are so many new ideas which never see the light of the day as we fear failure more than the opportunity to try out something new.

5. Fear To Hurt Someone

This is particularly true in relationships. We don’t want to hurt people we care about; hence, we continue to stay in toxic relationships. Or we continue to tolerate certain behaviours.

But do you think this helps the relationship in the end? I don’t think so because if you are not happy in your heart, you cannot make anyone else happy. Think about it?

Lady with a flower in hand and title this is how I find my authentic self

Having said all of the above, I want to make an important point here.

Sometimes we may need to adapt to certain changes in people, behaviours and situations due to need of the hour. Over time we should either try to alter them to suit our authentic self or adopt the change and make it our own. Because if we continue to lead this dual life, one we are living and one we believe in, the dissonance will prove to be detrimental to our mental health.

So how can we lead an authentic life? I have these 9 basic rules which evolved over a period of time. Yes, I am saying evolved because I believe that you do change over a period of time as you mature and gather life experiences.  And these may alter some of your beliefs too.

How to be Your Authentic Self?

Lady at the beach with authenticity quote

1. List Down Things Which Are Important To You

I think for most of us this list will hold true-

  • Happiness
  • Good health for self and family members
  • Well settled kids

What differs is the definition of each – For some, happiness is a steady job and good income, while for others it means doing something creative while for someone else it would be a vacation at sea.

So, you see the definition may be different from person to person also from time to time for the same person.

In the early part of our careers, happiness for me and my husband was to afford a vacation abroad, but now it is spending time with our girls before they fly away for their higher studies.

Hence, once we identify what things are important to us, we honestly focus on these and not the others which are mere distractions.

2. Have Real Conversations

Let’s not just do lip service by telling people how important they are. Show this in your actions by putting that phone down and engaging in a real conversation with people who matter.

And this is not only with family but with anyone else – at the office, with friends or even your acquaintances. Be real in your conversations, in your concerns and your opinions.

When you have genuine conversations, you unknowingly share a side you may not know as you are paying attention.

I genuinely like talking to people, understanding their problems, and helping them out through my learnings and experiences. And that’s the reason why I started writing my experiences in my blog. They are real conversations I am having with my readers.

If you are your authentic self you have no competition

3. Be Open To Difference Of Opinion

I may have a set of beliefs that I live by, and that’s why I am an authentic person. Similarly, others may have their own set of values which they live by. Just because they think differently than I do, does not mean they are not genuine. They are their authentic self, and I should respect them for that. An open mindset to accept others point of view is a crucial step towards ending the conflict within.

A very apt everyday example is our constant tiffs with our teen kids. They have a different opinion than ours on most of the things – valid or invalid is secondary. First, we need to be open to hear that opinion, appreciate where they are coming from and then decide how we want to react. My husband and I follow the Reverse Parenting approach, which helps them to be true to their feelings and helps us understand them better. Have you read that approach yet? If not, click here.

4. Don’t Be Rigid And Be Open To Change

A perfect corollary to the point above. Being true to oneself does not mean I cannot change my beliefs or mould them to new circumstances. As long as I am convinced that this is the right thing to do, I am flexible to change.

Another example from my parenting approach that is closest to my heart. When we moved from India to Singapore 1.5 years back, our girls were exposed to a completely new environment.

We were worried on how they will cope with the change in school curriculum as well as the open environment.

The last 1.5 years have been pretty interesting for us as parents as we have also evolved with our girls. We have had conversations which we have never had before, and these have probably made us re-think quite a few things. We may not have done a complete 180 degrees, but the needle has definitely moved.

For me this is being true to ourselves as I constantly recalibrate my actions with my inner beliefs and tweak both as required.

Lady sitting on a cliff with a quote on being authentic self

5. Learn To Forgive

For your own peace of mind, start practicing this right away.

We tend to hold on to things and incidents in the past & refuse to move on. Since life is not always smooth, it may mean holding grudges against some people who cross our paths. Now, these may be for real or imagined wrong done to you by that person.  We tend to remain bitter and start brewing negative emotions every time we think about that person or an incident. Is it really worth it?

That person is unaffected by your thoughts or feelings, and here you are allowing your wounds to turn you into a person you are not. It hurts more to hold grudges than to forgive. The anger we hold inside damages us, nobody else. Think about it!

But how do we do this? Click for some helpful tips on how to get rid of this & some other Harmful Habits.

6. Live In The Present

If we are dwelling in the past or planning for the future, are we enjoying our Today? Be true to yourself be enjoying every moment today.

Spend time with people you want to, go out for that lunch date, spend time watching the sunset. Make Flagposts of all the events/ milestones you look forward to. And Life is something you live between these flag posts.

Want to know how, read my Blog – 5 Amazing Ways To Live In The Present – The Flag Post Theory

Lady looking at sunset with quote on forgive yourself

7. Accept That You Can Make Mistakes

I am sure many of you moms out there are nodding your head for this. We want to be the perfect mom, perfect wife, ideal daughter in law and an ideal friend. If you are working, please add the perfect employee to the list. And in this entire process, we burn ourselves out. We stretch ourselves to please everyone and refuse to forgive ourselves if something goes wrong in the bargain.

Change this habit now. It’s alright if your perfect dish is a little salty, or a pile of clothes lies unattended for a day, or you had to miss a meeting because you had a personal errand.

Also, it’s fine if we misread some people. Sometimes this may hurt but accept that you made a mistake and move on. As I said earlier, don’t hold a grudge against anyone, including yourself.

You don’t have to be the epitome of perfection every single day or maybe not at all. The urgency and the desire to do things done “perfectly” every time is not your life purpose.

I must confess that I am also guilty of this habit and am trying to change slowly.

8. Self-Introspection & Self Care

Time and again we need to pause and reflect on ourselves and the life we are leading.

Ask these 5 questions:

  • Is this the life I want?
  • Are the things that I am doing giving me happiness?
  • Am I always running after something or someone?
  • Am I taking care of myself?
  • If I were to die tomorrow, will there be some unfulfilled wishes?

Remember you need to be honest while answering these questions and course correct wherever the answer is negative.

Have a Self-care routine that will give you the much required me-time for introspection and rejuvenation.  

9. Express Gratitude

This is my favourite and never fails to work. Gratitude is a mirror that shows me how blessed I am and how happy I can be if I realise that. A mirror never lies. So, look at yourself and your life with closed eyes. Don’t you have anything to be thankful for?

Be truthful to yourself first and then only you can be honest with the world.

So, these are my 9 rules to lead an authentic life. Did I grow up with these principles? I don’t think so. I think these evolved over a period of time & the various experiences I had in life. There was a stage when I had to act contrary to these principles for the reasons I mentioned above.

But now I am at a stage in life that I don’t want to pretend any more and lead my life my way. And as long as I don’t hurt someone on the way, I think it’s just fine. I have found my authentic self.

PIN showing a smiling lady with header of genuine person

So where are you in your life stage on leading an authentic life? I would love to hear your story and challenges if any.

If you like my blog, please do share with your family & friends.

If you like what I write and would like to be a part of my tribe, please do subscribe to my Newsletter.

Thanks to my lovely sister Dr Minni Chadha for the perfect artwork for this piece.

These 9 Brilliant Tips Will Make You An Authentic Person

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Rippy Gauba
Rippy Gauba

I am a working professional and a mom of 2 teen daughters. After having worked in the corporate world for 22 years, I am now a free-lance consultant specialising in project management. I am very passionate about spending quality time with my family, my pet CoCo, painting and blogging.

I write on Mindset, Motivation & Management. These are everyday, practical tips I picked up from my personal & professional life. These learnings have impacted my life as an individual, as a parent and as a working professional. I am sure these will be useful for you too and help create Ripples of change in your lives & that’s my intention.

Welcome Aboard!!

11 thoughts on “Be Your Authentic Self With These 9 Amazing Principles”

    1. Thank you for sharing your feedback and I’m glad it resonated with you.
       Have a great day, and please do keep on sharing your valuable feedback on my blogs. I really look forward to that.

  1. Uhmmm… interesting read…
    I think when we reach a certain age it is easier to be your true self… you are past the stage of wanting to impress people…. actually it is quite relaxing not to give a damn what other’s think about you… even when I was younger,I never ever cared what society thought about me & my life but being single & now in my late 50s, it is liberating to live life on my terms… when you do this …live life on your terms..then only your true authentic self emerges & flowers ??

  2. Being a genuine person requires a balanced person with positive thoughts. Believe me it’s not easy task to be one. The suggested tips are amazing and one can take baby steps on daily basis to follow all the tips to reach the ultimate goal of being a genuine person in true sense.

    1. Dear Lokesh, Thank you for sharing your feedback and I completely agree with you that being a genuine person requires you to be a balanced person inside out. It’s not easy but not impossible either. Have a great day, and please do keep on sharing your valuable feedback on my blogs.

  3. Dr.Sweta Rastogi

    A beautiful post maam… Such an apt post in the present scenario . The points highlighted are so very genuine and practical. If at all one is able to follow all of these , it would be definitely easy to uncover ones true self and ultimately lead towards happiness … Will surely try to follow ..

    1. Thank you for sharing your feedback and I’m glad it resonated with you and you are open to trying them out.
      I am sure you will see a positive impact.
      All the very best. Have a great day, and please do keep on sharing your valuable feedback on my blogs.

  4. A Very interesting topic. All the points discussed are apt for the topic. We have to be true to oneself and find happiness whatever we do. I have seen if we accept people as they are we are very happy and in peace. As you have rightly said self care ,self respect and be flexible in your mindset are very important points .

    A Lovely post…

    1. Thank you once again for sharing your feedback.
      All the points that you have added are very relevant. If we practice these ourselves, we will be at peace with ourselves & that’s what is most important. Have a great day, and please do keep on sharing your valuable feedback on my blogs. I really look forward to that.

  5. Pingback: 7 Awesome Tips To Actually Help You Accept Feedback - My Ripple Effect

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