Resilience Through Authenticity: 5 Easy Ways
The Fall and Winter holidays are a tough time to be authentic. We often find ourselves pulled to meet others’ expectations, spending beyond our means, participating in ways we would rather not, and maybe biting our tongue a bit more than usual. On the other hand, this time of year brings with it celebrations, hope, the promise of a new year ahead, and remembrance of those for whom we truly feel grateful. It can seem hard to find the balance between the pressures and the joys until we remember that these all track back to a straightforward concept: Authenticity.
In existential psychology, authenticity is the degree to which our actions match our beliefs and desires, despite pressures from others to go along with their wishes. Authenticity bears many gifts: A sense of felt satisfaction that emanates from the congruency between your actions and who you are; deep happiness that comes from knowing that you honor who you are; a sense and calm and peace that is the foundation of resilience in health, which is particularly important in our times of pandemic; and it is a powerful example you set for others, your contribution to the collective Oneness that can heal the Universe.
It can be much easier to practice your authenticity. Here are five easy things to practice:
- What is your first instinct? What does your gut say before you have time to think about it? That is where authenticity lies.
- Take a moment of pause before responding to others’ requests, especially if they feel like demands. Ask yourself, Do I feel an inner resistance to going in that direction? If you do or you don’t, you have your guidance about how to respond.
- Nurture the relationships that nurture you the most. This time of year is filled with a sense of obligation that often goes against inner guidance. There may be a good reason to go along with some of them. But when you cultivate the relationships that support you most, you build resilience that will counter moments of unavoidable inauthenticity.
- Be mindful of situations that play on your sense of authenticity. It can be deceiving to feel called to do something inauthentic because you feel like being a peacekeeper is part of who you are. Perhaps you are a peacekeeper! But even peacemakers know how to meet their needs by acting out of genuine authenticity. Talk it over with a friend if you need to. The choice will become clear!
- Get some outside guidance. Want to save 21%? – 2021 Empowered!
Authenticity = peace and calm = low stress. Stress is the biggest contributor to emotional and physical illness. Stress is, directly and indirectly, the United States’ biggest public problem, the current pandemic notwithstanding. Want to see this more graphically? Take a look here: https://www.stress.org/americas-1-health-problem.
When you make decisions from a place of authenticity, especially at times of year that are stressful by nature, you inoculate yourself against a litany of ills. Never has this been more critical than in these times of pandemic.
There is nothing selfish about being authentic. That mindset is perhaps the biggest block for most of us. Yet, at the same time, we value authenticity! Joe Biden won the presidency because he ran from a place of authenticity. Kamala Harris did the same. Jesus always taught from a place of authenticity, as have all great teachers. When I am authentic in how I mentor my students and clients, they grow by leaps and bounds. Not because of anything I do, but because my authenticity gives their authenticity room to grow.
Practice authenticity this season! Shore up your health. Improve your relationships – with yourself and with others as well. There is no more extraordinary gift you can give. None whatsoever.
With blessings and gratitude this season and always,
from Santa Fe, NM