We all know a "highly authentic person." These are the type of people who radiate REALNESS. They have the courage to share their voice. They walk with dignity. They use their talents and gifts with pride. They allow themselves to be- no matter how imperfect and ultimately they work hard towards having an integrated life.
You know you've came across a "highly authentic person" when at least 2 out of 3 things happen:
1) You feel happy after leaving the person
2) You experience peace by the person's presence
3) You feel encouraged or inspired to be a more whole person because of how they live
It may be hard to find sometimes, especially in a world that praises plastic, artificial and filtered BUT these people are out there and they live within us too.
So how can we become like these people and live out our own "Highly Authentic Self?" Well much like anything, you have to develop a habit. You have to train your body and mind to authentically live. Habits are only created through persistence and conviction. You have to be dedicated to making authentic decisions and you have to strive for a more authentic self, everyday in a way that makes sense to you! Remember, if it doesn't matter to you, it won't change you. The hope is that as you practice living authentic, the habits you form become involuntarily. It just becomes a natural part of your daily experience.
So if you're like me and want to live a highly authentic life, here's some habits I learned from the highly authentic people in my own life. I hope these 7 habits will be useful for your own journey!
1. Listen Well
Highly authentic people (HAP) listen well. They listen well to others AND they listen to what their mind, heart, body, and soul is communicating. HAP's know that all that makes us who we are (our mind, heart, body, and soul) is constantly communicating messages to us that need to be heard. HAP's understand that when we fail to listen, we ignore important aspects that will lead us to a more authentic version of ourselves.
2. Respond Responsibly
HAP's know when we listen to our heart, mind, body, and soul it's important to respond to the messages. For instance, when a HAP is feeling anxious, they will slow down and uncover why they are feeling anxious and what the feeling may be communicating to them. HAP's understand when we fail to respond to the messages, it makes us less aware of ourselves and further away from our authentic self.
3. Know Yourself
HAP's also know when we're listening and responding to ourselves, we begin to know ourselves very well! However, HAP's are aware that even when they think they know themselves well, there's still work to be done. HAP's make sure to continuously make an effort to soul search. They search for what they are most passionate about, what their hearts are yearning for, what they still need to improve on, what's still holding them back etc. In other words they ask the BIG questions and they don't stop asking them.
4. Embrace Imperfection
HAP's understand the reality is that we're all going to mess up constantly AND they're okay with that. HAP's see imperfections as something good. They see it as something that remind us we're alive and keeps us engaged in deepening our self-knowledge. HAP's embrace imperfection, rather than shaming it, deflecting it, hiding it, or denying it. They keep themselves rooted in compassion, grace, patience, peace, which are all of the fruits of an authentic life. The HAP isn't authentic because their lives are perfectly held together but because they are capable of holding their self together, in light of their imperfections. In other words, HAP's see their imperfects as important aspects of the self that serve to keep us whole and connected to who we really are!
4. Love Yourself (which also means practice self-care)
HAP's believe that practicing self-compassion and creating time to care for your needs are important ways to love yourself. Too many of us fail to love ourselves which robs us from authentic living. HAP's avoid this trap and are not cruel to themselves. They do not harbor angry feelings towards themselves or harshly criticize themselves. They allow room for error and celebrate their achievements, gifts, and talents. They take time to know their worth and their unique intricacies. They also take time to nurture themselves, giving their body, mind and soul opportunities to replenish and enliven!
5. Stay Rooted
HAP's understand that each person has beliefs they identify with and values that are important to them. They believe when you're unaware of these beliefs and values, or you do not allow yourself to be grounded in them, you can easily fall into an inauthentic trap. Therefore, HAP's courageously practices their beliefs and values so that it shines from within. They do not hide it or allow themselves to be easily swayed by another person's beliefs or values. They stand firm in what they find valuable and important.
6. Surround By Love
HAP's make sure to spend time with people who they can give and receive love from. They also create boundaries when they are not receiving love. Highly authentic people also have a clear understanding of what sets their soul on fire and they make time to pursue whatever that is; whether it's spending time in nature, painting, listening to music, meditating, praying, gardening, they allow themselves to be immersed in love!
7. Speak Truth
HAP's speak the truth. They are not afraid to say "I am not doing okay." They are not ashamed to admit their faults. They do not hide behind a facade of false beliefs, disingenuous relationships nor fictitious identities. They know who they really are and are not afraid to reflect their true selves in their behavior. Highly authentic people are also able to effectively communicate their feelings and express their opinions and ideas, even if that means offending or hurting someone else. They understand that living a lie often results in causing more hurt, therefore they are committed to living truthfully out of respect for themselves and others.
I hope these 7 habits helped inspire you! If you noticed the abbreviation HAP is just two letters away from spelling HAPPY. Remember the point of being a highly authentic person is to live happy. As you pursue an authentic life you may discover different habits or add to this list, but whatever you dedicate yourself to and repeatedly practice, I hope it leaves you feeling fuller and happier.
Leave a comment with the habit you're going to try practicing in your daily life!