Authenticity Is the New Black: Why Being Yourself Is Always in Style

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Authenticity Is the New Black: Why Being Yourself Is Always in Style

Have you ever felt like you’re searching for something more in life? Like there’s a missing puzzle piece you’re trying to find? That’s how I felt until I stumbled upon something that changed everything: the idea of really knowing myself.

Let me tell you a little story about how it all started. I was going through life doing what I thought I was supposed to do but feeling lost and unsatisfied. Then, I came across a book called “The Power of the Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy. Reading it made me realize that there’s a whole world inside our minds that we don’t pay enough attention to.

I started thinking about who I really am and what I truly care about. It’s like when you stop and ask yourself, “What do I really want?” or “What makes me happy?” I have noticed that very few people ask these questions, and many actively avoid asking. It’s what Socrates, an old philosopher, meant when he said, “Know yourself.” It’s about figuring out what makes you tick, what you believe in, and what really matters to you.

As I started this journey of self-discovery, I faced some challenges. It wasn’t always easy to confront my fears or understand my emotions. But I learned a lot along the way, especially from people like Carl Jung, who talk about how being honest with yourself can change your life.

So, why does all this matter? Well, knowing yourself is like having a compass for life. It helps you make better decisions, understand your relationships and find true happiness. And that’s what this article is all about—exploring why self-awareness and knowing your values are so important, and how they can lead you to a more fulfilling life. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets to living authentically and finding true happiness together.

Awakening to Self-Discovery

Let me take you back to a pivotal moment in my life that illuminated the path to self-discovery and changed how I view myself and the world around me. It all began with a familiar ritual for me: picking up a self-help book. This time, the book was “The Power of the Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy.

As I cracked open the pages, I was immediately drawn into Murphy’s exploration of the subconscious—the part of our minds that operates beneath the surface, influencing our thoughts, beliefs and actions in ways we may not always recognize. It was a concept I had encountered before in my journey through self-help literature, but something about Murphy’s approach profoundly resonated with me.

As I delved deeper into the book, I reflected on my own life and the patterns that seemed to govern my behavior. I realized that I had been living on autopilot, allowing my subconscious mind to dictate my actions without fully understanding why. It was a moment of awakening, of recognizing the power within us to shape our destinies.

This revelation prompted a period of introspection—a journey into the depths of my own mind in search of answers. I began to notice patterns of thinking and acting that seemed to be driving me in directions I didn’t necessarily want to go. It was as if I had been living in the shadows, unaware of the deeper motivations lurking beneath the surface.

In this journey of self-discovery, I found solace in the wisdom of ancient philosophers like Socrates, who understood the importance of knowing oneself. His words echoed in my mind as I embarked on a quest to uncover the hidden truths.

For me, self-help books had always been a source of inspiration and guidance, but “The Power of the Subconscious Mind” was different. It wasn’t just another book to add to my collection—it was a roadmap to self-awareness, a tool for unlocking the secrets of the mind and harnessing its power for personal growth.

So, why does all this matter? Because understanding ourselves is the first step on the journey to living authentically and finding true happiness. It’s about peeling back the layers of conditioning and expectation to reveal the truth that lies at our core. And as I discovered, it’s a journey that can lead to profound transformation and a deeper connection to ourselves and the world around us.

Embracing Growth and Healing

Embarking on the journey of self-discovery opened the door to a profound process of growth and healing—a journey marked by challenges, breakthroughs and moments of deep introspection. As I delved deeper into the depths of my own psyche, I found myself confronting demons I had long ignored, grappling with addictions that had held me captive, and navigating the labyrinth of psychological concepts that shaped my understanding of myself and the world around me.

In this journey, I found solace and guidance in the groundbreaking work of Dr. Richard Schwartz and his Internal Family Systems (IFS) framework—a revolutionary approach to therapy that views the mind as a complex system of interrelated parts, each with its own unique perspectives, needs and desires. This framework resonated deeply with me as I grappled with the complexities of my own inner world and sought to understand the dynamics at play within.

Drawing on insights from Carl Jung’s theories on individuation and the integration of unconscious aspects, I embarked on a journey of inner exploration—a journey that would lead me to confront the myriad parts of myself, both light and shadow, and find healing and wholeness in the process. It was a journey that required courage and vulnerability as I faced the painful realities of my past and sought to integrate the fragmented aspects of my psyche into a cohesive whole.

One of the most transformative aspects of this journey was adopting a growth mindset—a mindset rooted in the belief that we are capable of change and growth, no matter how deeply ingrained our behavior patterns may be. It was a mindset that empowered me to confront my addictions, to challenge the limiting beliefs that had held me back, and to embrace honesty with myself in a way I had never before thought possible.

But perhaps the most profound aspect of this journey was the process of processing childhood trauma—a process that required me to confront the wounds of my past, acknowledge the pain that had shaped my sense of self, and embrace forgiveness and compassion as pathways to healing. It was a journey marked by moments of profound vulnerability and raw emotion, but also by moments of profound healing and transformation.

In embracing growth and healing, I discovered the power of honesty with oneself—the power of acknowledging our flaws and imperfections, our fears and insecurities, and embracing them as integral parts of who we are. It was a journey that taught me the importance of self-compassion, of treating myself with the same kindness and understanding that I would extend to a friend in need.

As I reflect on this journey of growth and healing, I am reminded of the words of Carl Jung, who once said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” It is a privilege that I am deeply grateful for—a privilege I continue to embrace with each passing day as I journey ever deeper into the depths of my soul, seeking truth, healing and wholeness. In the wisdom of Dr. Schwartz and the Internal Family Systems framework, I have found invaluable tools and insights to guide me on this journey, helping me to navigate the complexities of my inner world with courage, compassion and grace.

Navigating Relationships and Change

As I journeyed deeper into the realms of self-discovery, I found myself navigating a landscape fraught with challenges and complexities, particularly in personal relationships. Relationships, whether familial, romantic or platonic, serve as mirrors reflecting back to us aspects of ourselves that we may not always be ready or willing to confront. In these relationships, I encountered some of the most profound lessons and transformations of my journey.

One of the foremost challenges I faced was the tension between my newfound sense of authenticity and the expectations and dynamics of existing relationships. Virginia Satir, a pioneering family therapist, emphasized the importance of authenticity and healthy connections in relationships—a sentiment that resonated deeply with me as I grappled with the complexities of my own interpersonal dynamics. It became clear that to truly live authentically, I would need to navigate the delicate balance between honoring my own truth and respecting the needs and boundaries of others.

In the process, I found myself reassessing and renegotiating boundaries in existing relationships, setting clear expectations for how I wanted to be treated and how I wanted to show up in the world. It was a process marked by both courage and vulnerability as I confronted fears of rejection and abandonment, and embraced the possibility of deeper connection and intimacy.

But amid the challenges, I also found moments of profound alignment and connection with like-minded individuals—souls who resonated with the truth of my journey and supported me in my quest for authenticity and self-discovery. These connections served as beacons of light in the darkness, reminding me that I was not alone in my journey and that others shared my values and aspirations.

In finding alignment with like-minded individuals, I discovered the importance of surrounding myself with supportive communities—communities that nurtured growth, fostered connection and celebrated authenticity. Whether through online forums, local meetups or intimate gatherings, I found solace and inspiration in the company of those who understood and supported me on my journey.

In navigating relationships and change, I learned valuable lessons about the power of authenticity, vulnerability and connection. I learned that true intimacy requires courage—the courage to show up as our authentic selves, speak our truth, and embrace the light and shadow within us. I learned that by embracing supportive communities and like-minded souls, we find strength, resilience and the courage to continue on our journey of self-discovery, knowing that we are supported, valued and loved just as we are.

Aligning with Core Values

As I journeyed further along the path of self-discovery, I found myself increasingly attuned to the evolving nature of my core values—those guiding principles that serve as the compass of our lives, shaping our decisions, actions and relationships. Among these values, two emerged as particularly significant: freedom and independence.

For me, freedom was not merely the absence of constraint but rather the opportunity to live life on my own terms—to chart my own course, pursue my own passions and embrace the fullness of my potential. It was a value that had been simmering beneath the surface for some time, but it was during the global lockdowns of 2021 that its importance came sharply into focus.

Faced with the prospect of prolonged confinement and restriction, I made the bold decision to relocate, seeking greater personal freedom and autonomy in a new environment. It was a decision rooted in the belief that life is too short to be confined by circumstance and that true freedom lies in the ability to live authentically, in alignment with our deepest values and aspirations.

In making this decision, I drew inspiration from the work of Dr. Jordan Peterson, a renowned psychologist and author who has explored the transformative power of personal responsibility and purposeful living. Peterson’s insights reminded me that true fulfillment comes not from avoiding hardship but from embracing life’s challenges with courage and determination.

And so, armed with a sense of purpose and determination, I embarked on a new chapter of my life—a chapter defined by freedom, independence, and the unshakeable belief that authenticity is the key to living a life of meaning and fulfillment. As I settled into my new surroundings, I felt a sense of liberation wash over me—a feeling of expansiveness and possibility that reminded me of the infinite potential within each of us, waiting to be unleashed.

In aligning with my core values of freedom and independence, I discovered a newfound sense of purpose and vitality—a sense of being truly alive and engaged with the world around me. In doing so, I found myself inspired to continue on the journey of self-discovery, knowing that each step brings me closer to living a life of authenticity, passion and purpose.

Tools for Self-Awareness

Now that we’ve explored the journey of self-discovery and the transformative power it holds, let’s delve into some practical tools and techniques that you can apply in your own life to foster greater self-awareness and personal growth:

Journaling: One of the most powerful tools for self-awareness is the practice of journaling. By putting pen to paper and allowing our thoughts and feelings to flow freely, we create a space for introspection and self-reflection. Try setting aside a few minutes each day to write about your experiences, thoughts and emotions. You might be surprised at what insights you uncover in the process.

Reading: Another invaluable tool for self-awareness is the act of reading. Whether it’s books on psychology, philosophy or personal development, reading allows us to expand our horizons, gain new perspectives and deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Make it a habit to set aside time each day for reading and exploring topics that resonate with you on a personal level.

Engaging with psychological concepts: Delving into psychological concepts can also be incredibly enlightening when it comes to self-awareness. Whether it’s exploring the intricacies of personality theory, learning about cognitive biases or understanding the workings of the subconscious mind, engaging with psychological concepts can help us better understand our own behavior and motivations.

Self-reflection and radical honesty: Perhaps the most important tool for self-awareness is the practice of self-reflection and radical honesty. Take time each day to reflect on your thoughts, feelings and actions, and be brutally honest with yourself about what you discover. This means acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses, facing your fears and insecurities and embracing the truth of who you are, without judgment or self-criticism.

Drawing parallels with Eckhart Tolle’s teachings on presence and consciousness, we can see that self-awareness is ultimately about being fully present with ourselves in each moment and cultivating a deep sense of inner knowing and clarity. By embracing practices such as journaling, reading, self-reflection and radical honesty, we can embark on a journey of self-discovery that leads to greater fulfillment, authenticity and joy in our lives.

So, I encourage you to take these tools and techniques and apply them in your own life. Start small, be consistent, and be patient with yourself as you navigate the ups and downs of the journey. Remember, self-awareness is not a destination, but a lifelong journey of growth and discovery. Embrace it with an open heart and an open mind, and watch as it transforms your life in ways you never thought possible.

Overcoming Self-Doubt and Fears

Self-doubt often feels like an opponent we can’t defeat, a shadow that looms over us, threatening to extinguish our confidence and determination. Yet, as I’ve journeyed through life, I’ve discovered that self-doubt is not an insurmountable obstacle but rather a challenge that can be overcome with the right mindset.

In sports, we find numerous examples of individuals who have conquered their self-doubt to achieve greatness. Take Michael Jordan, for instance. Despite facing setbacks and rejection early in his career, Jordan persevered, using his doubts as fuel to propel him to unparalleled success. His relentless work ethic and unwavering belief in himself earned him the title of one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Similarly, in the world of music, we see figures like Eminem who have battled with self-doubt and adversity on their journey to success. Despite growing up in challenging circumstances and facing criticism and rejection, Eminem refused to let his doubts hold him back. He became one of his generation’s most influential and acclaimed artists through sheer determination and a refusal to give up.

So, how can we learn from these examples and overcome our own self-doubt? One strategy is to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success—to see setbacks not as evidence of our limitations, but as opportunities for growth and learning. Another is to surround ourselves with supportive mentors and peers who believe in our potential and can offer guidance and encouragement along the way.

The most important lesson we can learn from these figures is the power of self-belief. By cultivating a strong sense of self-confidence and resilience, we can confront our doubts head-on and push through obstacles with determination and courage.

In the end, overcoming self-doubt is not about eradicating it completely but rather about learning to manage it and channel it in productive ways. It’s about recognizing that self-doubt is a natural part of the human experience but refusing to let it dictate our actions or limit our potential. With perseverance, self-belief and a willingness to embrace vulnerability, we can rise above our doubts and fears and achieve the success and fulfillment we desire.

Cultivating Authentic Living

In a world that often prioritizes conformity over authenticity, the journey toward living authentically can feel like an uphill battle. Yet, as I’ve discovered in my own life, the rewards of embracing our true selves are immeasurable—bringing a sense of fulfillment, purpose and deep connection that cannot be found elsewhere.

One of the key ingredients in cultivating authentic living is curating supportive environments and relationships that encourage us to be our true selves. Surrounding ourselves with people who accept us for who we are—flaws and all—creates a safe space to express ourselves freely and without judgment. These relationships serve as support pillars, grounding us in our authenticity and giving us the courage to stay true to ourselves even in the face of adversity. 

In addition to nurturing supportive relationships, it’s also important to examine the paradigms that shape our worldview and influence our behavior. Paradigms, or the mental models through which we interpret the world, can either empower us to live authentically or constrain us within limiting beliefs and expectations. By challenging and shifting our paradigms, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and ways of being, allowing us to fully embrace authenticity in our lives.

Through self-awareness and introspection, we can begin to identify and examine the paradigms that may be holding us back from living authentically. By questioning the assumptions and beliefs underpinning these paradigms, we can break free from their constraints and forge a path that is true to ourselves.

Socrates famously asserted that “an unexamined life is not worth living,” highlighting the value of self-knowledge in guiding our life choices and actions. When we take the time to examine our beliefs, values and motivations, we gain clarity about who we are and what truly matters to us. Armed with this self-knowledge, we can make decisions that are aligned with our authentic selves, leading to greater fulfillment and satisfaction in life.

I encourage you, dear reader, to embark on your own journey of self-discovery—to explore the depths of your own psyche, confront your fears and insecurities, and embrace the fullness of who you are. It may not always be easy, and there will undoubtedly be challenges along the way, but the rewards of living authentically are well worth the effort.

Through self-discovery, we unlock the potential for transformative growth and fulfillment, discovering hidden strengths and talents we never knew we possessed. We forge deeper connections with others based not on pretense or superficiality but on genuine understanding and acceptance. And we find a sense of purpose and meaning that infuses every aspect of our lives, guiding us toward a future rich with possibility and promise.

So, I urge you to embrace the journey of self-discovery with an open heart and an open mind. Embrace your authenticity, celebrate your uniqueness, and trust in the wisdom of your own inner voice. Through this journey, we truly come alive, living our lives with courage, passion and unwavering authenticity.

So, Maybe It's Time To Go Deeper?

As we end this short journey of my own view on self-discovery, one truth I hope becomes abundantly clear is that self-awareness is the key to living authentically and finding true fulfillment in life. Through introspection, reflection and the cultivation of self-knowledge, we unlock the door to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us, paving the way for greater authenticity, purpose and joy.

I invite you, dear reader, to embrace curiosity and self-exploration as you navigate your own journey of self-discovery. Draw inspiration from the experiences shared in this article, knowing that you are not alone in your quest for authenticity and meaning. Each step you take toward greater self-awareness brings you closer to living a life that is aligned with your values and passions—a life that is truly your own.

It’s important to recognize the urgency of living in alignment with our values, for our time on this earth is finite, and none of us know how much time we have left. Embracing our authenticity allows us to make the most of every precious moment, to live with intention and purpose, and to leave a lasting legacy that reflects the truth of who we are.

In the words of Carl Jung, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Let us heed these words and commit ourselves to the ongoing journey of self-awareness, knowing that it is through this journey that we uncover the true depths of our humanity and find meaning in the fleeting moments of our lives.

If this article has given you a bit of a shake and you are curious about developing yourself and making some improvements, I recommend taking my FREE 4-Week  ‘Self-Discovery Blueprint’ which will help you get clear on some of these themes written about above. Click here to enrol.

I am a Freedom Coach and Mentor – I mostly help freedom-loving people create a Successful Mindset. If you would like to explore some of these themes and move towards achieving more freedom this year, let’s connect and set up a call below