Being Dedicated to Living Your Life As Your Authentic Self

Terri Kozlowski
Your life flows more easily when you live authentically. So being dedicated to that process allows you to be fully engaged with your life.~ Terri Kozlowski

Many people struggle to be their authentic selves depending on whom they are interacting with or what role they’re playing at the time. But being dedicated to living your truth is more beneficial than wearing a mask or conforming to what other people think you should do.

When I was volunteering in different organizations, me being a strong woman seemed to upset many of the men. Like you, I have some amazing qualities, like organizational skills and planning abilities. But taking direction from me was difficult for some older men in the group. Who was I, a much younger girl, challenging how things were previously been done?

But I had the self-worth to stick to what I thought I needed to do and be authentically me. In the end, not only did I help the programs, but I grew them in ways never done before. Why? Because my enthusiasm for what I was doing was a shining example to those around me that new ideas, change, and growth were in fact positive things for the organization, not negative. I led them by setting the example and challenging their outdated beliefs.

See, being dedicated to allowing your authenticity to shine means you are inspiring others by your example. You are influencing them to see a different perspective. You are encouraging them to believe in themselves. Furthermore, you are serving them by making an authentic connection with them.

Be your authentic self. Your authentic self is who you are when you have no fear of judgment, or before the world starts pushing you around and telling you who you’re supposed to be. Your fictional self is who you are when you have a social mask on to please everyone else. Give yourself permission to be your authentic self. ~ Dr. Phil

Why You Struggle with Being Dedicated To Authenticity

There are several underlying causes why you resist being dedicated to living authentically, but fear encompasses them all.

1. There’s anxiety about being alone in the world, called fear of separation.

2. Fear of not fitting into the group or situation because of personality quirks, which is fear of rejection.

3. Afraid of looking weak or not having the answer is fear of failure.

4. You're too rigid in your thinking to change because you’re concerned about having to give up something or change is fear of loss.

You create your fears by listening to the egoic mind. Therefore, you have the power to dissolve the anguish, too. When you hear the authentic voice of the soul and are awakened to who you authentically are, overcoming the egoic mind is a natural process. Let’s tear down these egoic fears one by one.

No one man can, for any considerable time, wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which is the true one. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Fear of separation is a lie of the ego.

In all actuality, everyone is connected to everyone else. These connections to others are vital to you and your growth. From a physical perspective, the brain is wired for human associations, which enhances your social relationships. This oneness that naturally occurs with others means you’re never alone. The problem is you believe the ego's lies, that something separates you from everything. Your consciousness is one with the Universe, and as you recognize your connectedness, you allow the duality to slip away and oneness to take hold. Dedicate yourself to building authentic connections and allow the fear of separation to melt away.

We need to find the courage to say no to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity. ~ Barbara De Angelis

Fear of rejection is the egoic mind trying to protect you.

Underneath your desperate efforts to be accepted, your true self, the exposed, innocent, and unguarded authentic self, is suffering. It takes mindfulness and self-care to encourage yourself to be just as you are and release the fear of rejection the ego holds on to. You cannot abandon the egoic mind, as it is an integral part of your being. What you can do is to evaluate if the danger the ego reveals is genuine — being embarrassed isn’t life-threatening. Neither is being rejected. Therefore, when these feelings come up, you can appraise them and determine they aren’t harmful to you. From this assessment process, you can decide how to move forward.

Everyone wants authentic connections with others. It’s foundational to living. Being vulnerable is how you connect by sharing the good parts and the parts you don’t like to talk about. Learn to be dedicated to sharing your thoughts and feelings with others honestly. In doing so, you allow them to share their true selves with you as well.

Don't let others define you. Don't let the past confine you. Take charge of your life with confidence and determination and there are no limits on what you can do or be. ~ Michael Josephson

Fear of failure allows the ego to maintain a mediocre life.

Moving into the unknown is scary. But being concerned about what others think about you is the ego exerting itself to keep you from exploring new things. Although success is hard to define unless you are specific about goal setting, failure is also hard to describe. Missing the mark, but having growth isn’t failing. If you learn, then you didn’t fail. The ego will do its best to keep you from attaining any objectives, as there are risks of failure involved. You need to overcome the fear of failure by learning to move out of your comfort zone. When you are on the right path and anxiety builds, you know the ego has returned to keep your life ordinary. Dedicate yourself to explore, grow, and live authentically.

Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, “This is the real me,” and when you have found that attitude, follow it. ~ William James

Fear of loss is a powerful motivator.

This anxiety is when you grow attached to things and people and aren’t willing to let them go, even if the potential gains outweigh the potential loss. When you allow fear to interfere with your decision-making, you choose to do nothing, which is still a choice. This keeps you from your dreams. If you’re only concerned about maintaining your current status then, you can never move forward. Fear of loss is a key way the ego keeps you from growing into your full potential. What you’ve needed in the past may not be what you need in the present or the future. Being dedicated to your authenticity helps you determine how to follow your dreams, then the ego who just wants to maintain the norm.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma–which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~ Steve Jobs

Qualities Of Being Dedicated

When you wear the mask of conformity, it leads to feelings of self-denial, depression, and inner turmoil. You are less engaged with others and life. This withdrawal is the soul's yearning to be authentic.

Several qualities help ease the struggle to live in alignment with your authentically each day. These characteristics show maturity, integrity, and understanding of your authenticity. Most of these you already possess if you learn to get quiet and go within because you know yourself better than anyone else.

Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion: it is about loving what you do… tapping into your natural energy and your most authentic self. ~ Sir Ken Robinson

Self Knowledge

Knowing yourself helps you be authentic. To do this requires you to be aware and responsible for your thoughts and choices. Learning about yourself involves objectively observing how you interact with others, what words you use in your self-talk, what behaviors seem automatic. Journal about how you feel. How do you respond under stress or when confronted? Do you perceive the masks and armor you wear, and in what situations? Seek those moments where you feel you’re speaking your truth.

Look at the beliefs and values you have to see the differences between them and your actions. Are you regurgitating statements you heard as a child, or is the declaration something you feel is true for you? What feels deeply ingrained may be a lie the egoic mind wants to hold on to as it doesn’t like change, not because it’s true. Be dedicated to your self-growth.

A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity…. one must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul. ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

Self Acceptance

Acknowledging all of your strengths and weaknesses as a part of your whole being is self-acceptance. Learning to love yourself can be challenging to accomplish, especially if you’ve had trauma in your past. Unfortunately, you all record the voices of others who have made negative comments to you and replay them repeatedly. The ego internalizes the negativity and believes the words are valid. This process causes your self-loathing and self-doubt.

You need to examine the places and things about yourself you don’t like to unearth your authentic being. Self-acceptance and self-love are about recognizing all parts of yourself, the positive and negative attributes. Then, understand that you can choose to alter those that no longer serve you. You can also learn to integrate negative attributes in ways that are beneficial rather than harmful.

To find yourself, think for yourself. ~ Socrates

Self Compassion

Be compassionate to yourself when missteps are taken. Forgive yourself for believing the egoic voices and for any destructive behaviors. Let go of the past and consciously choose to focus on the present moment. The only place change can occur.

Who you authentically are is always present under the masks, labels, and armor. Therefore, when you have a misstep, give yourself some compassion and know you will do better.

Being dedicated to being yourself means you like who you are. As a result, you enjoy your own company. Being yourself means you respect yourself and know you are worthy, just as you are. This self-love is true empowerment, which allows you to be dedicated to living the life of your dreams.

The most common form of despair is not being who you are. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

Self Growth

Seek opportunities to learn and grow. You have an innate capacity to absorb knowledge. When you consciously choose to learn, you open yourself up to infinite possibilities for the direction of your life. Allowing yourself to try new experiences, see a unique perspective, or do things differently, you increase your knowledge base. The key to a long-term learning process is to be fearless and consciously choose not to live a life of mediocrity. You need to go boldly and confidently out of your comfort zone.

Realize that every day there is something new for you to learn, unlearn, or re-learn. Be mindful of choosing how to grow and mature. Look within yourself for guidance. With dedication and bravery to use your knowledge and intuition to make intelligent decisions about what’s best for your life to thrive, it moves you away from egoic immaturity. Using your innate wisdom is enlightenment.

Inward dedication magnetizes outward opportunity. ~ Caroline Casey

Moving Forward Dedicated To Authenticity

When you are mindful of your thoughts and emotions, you can integrate your authentic self into all your relationships and circumstances without compromising or conforming. Who you authentically are wants to be fully engaged in life while contributing to society.

Remember, vulnerability is a strength in your dedication to being authentic because when you are honest with others, it inspires them to be their true selves too. It’s your act of self-love and an act of social justice. Your authentic self helps you become stronger and allows balance to take hold in your life. Take the risk and be dedicated to your journey back to your authenticity.

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway. ~ Mother Teresa

As you become more mindful of your commitment to your authenticity and become conscious about intentionally being authentic, you can alter the course of your life.

Do you need accountability for you to be your authentic self? Are you looking for support in learning how to choose to live authentically every day? Do you want a strategy to help you create an extraordinary life? If so, please get in touch with me, and we can put together an action plan for you to live authentically.

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Native American Terri Kozlowski has a BS in social science, certified life coach, blogger, author of "Raven Transcending Fear," & host of the Soul Solutions podcast. She specializes in empowering people to overcome their fears and limiting beliefs.

Woodstock, GA

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