| Peter Cook

Choose to be authentic

If you only started reading our blogs today, here is a quick recap:  We have explored ways to find joy and meaning in life. One way to do it is to let the ‘little moments’ add up. Be present in your own life.
This is the last blog in the series, and today we want to challenge you to start living an authentic life.
Is social media telling you what to do?
The age of social media is always telling us how to behave, how to look, and what to believe. It can be tough to be ‘real.’   
Are you only living to please others, or are you choosing your authentic self?  Choosing the latter is another way to find joy.  Life ‘happens,’ and we can easily forget that joy is there, underneath, as part of our organic selves.   

What does it mean to ‘live with authenticity’?
It means to be yourself
Living with authenticity means to know who you are.   It is wearing what you want to wear or saying what you want to say.   
It is also more nuanced.   
To be truly authentic is to align all you do, your reactions, and what you believe with your outlook on life.  It is to align your behavior with your mental and emotional perception of life.
It means (among other things) sticking up for yourself, to follow through on your goals, and boost your own self-confidence and coping skills.
Authentic people are happier.
Authentic people are in touch with what makes them happy.   They know happiness starts from within. They can overcome obstacles in their way and have healthy, more meaningful relationships.  

  • Authentic people create their own path: Being authentic is to determine the flow of your own life.  You commit only to actions in your relationships, job or experiences that can ultimately lead to joy.  
  • Authentic people are happier because of their strength.  It comes from knowing that you can handle what life throws at you.  You are comfortable in your own skin.
  • Authentic people attract like-minded people.   If you are genuine, you can open up easier, you can become vulnerable, and you can connect easier with others. Relationships, in the end, are more meaningful, which leads to you being happier.
How can you become more authentic?    
The path to aline yourself with your 'core truths' is a long one.   Rome was not built in one day!   However, if you give it a fair chance, it can change your life.  
  1. Be more self-aware
Be honest about what you want from life.  Commit to spending time with yourself and decide what will make you happy.   Set boundaries and be realistic about what you don’t want in your environment.    
  1. Everyone fails sometimes.
Failure is scary, but the reality is that it looks different to everyone.  Shape your perception of failure and success to ones that better fits who you are.   Instead of always thinking of where you failed, rather celebrate your accomplishments.   How might a stranger view your life? If you think about it this way, you might see your ‘failures’ in an entirely different light.
  1. Be present
Be in the moment.  Let yourself be perfect just the way you are. If you strive to be more mindful, it can change how you live your life.   For example, decide that you are not going to let your phone dictate your life anymore. You don’t have to react to every message or social media post as they happen. When you are with your loved ones or friends, focus on them and be present in the moment.   
When you allow yourself to chase the things that provide meaning and joy in your life, you empower yourself. You are getting in touch with who you really are.   
It is a life-long process, though! Have patience with yourself.
It can also help to ask God to help you.  After all, He created you in His image for a specific purpose. He wants you to be authentical – for yourself, but also others so that His purpose for your life can come to fulfillment.
It is your choice.  Be genuine!