I am going to take you on a journey. The Authentic Alignment journey is one for those who are aware of their potential but feel stuck or held back. I am here to explain that you can be yourself, no matter what, and all areas of your life can coexist. And when this happens you will experience so much happiness, joy, and ease you will wonder what took you so long to get started.
BIRTHRIGHT: TO BE SEPARATE & STILL BELONG
Did you know that from ages 6-12 months is when humans begin to develop into their birthright of “I can be me and still belong”? At that stage of life, a baby has already developed the birthright to need. They are with a caregiver around the clock because they are in constant need of food, diaper changes, and comfort. After the first 6 months, infants start to learn more about sitting up on their own and begin to be mobile. When this happens, a baby starts to distinguish “me” from “them”. They start to understand that they can be without someone there all the time - to be separate and still belong. They learn to move, roll, crawl, or wiggle independently. They are understanding that they can have independence but they are still going to be cared for.
We have all seen children who are fearless and truly show that they are going to the “beat of their own drum”. They’re kids, it’s what we expect! But what happens to that cute fearless unique individual as they get older? They start to conform as they grow older and we see fewer adults following their passion. Is it because someone they look up to told them they wouldn’t make enough money or that it would never work out for them? Why don’t we see more adults with mismatched socks or expressive hair? Because that would be weird, right? It’s not “normal” to do these things but if you’re not causing anyone harm then why not do what makes you happy and brings you joy?!
Those who laugh at or put others down are not reliable sources of self-worth. If people are laughing at you and not with you, forget them! There will always be people who laugh at something you love and people will always disagree with something you're passionate about. Always. It may not be easy to take the criticism but you are capable of it. And like most everything else, the more you practice it, the easier it gets and the better you will be at it. Your happiness should not and will not be interrupted by someone else's jealousy, insecurities, or expectations of you. You don’t need to waste your precious thoughts and mental state on those folks.
It is more appropriate to explain authenticity now that you know and understand that you can be separate and still belong; your individuality is going to rub some people the wrong way but you are capable of handling it.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE AN AUTHENTIC PERSON & WHY DOES IT MATTER
To be authentic is to be your truest, most genuine self. It is not to be fake or to conform. When you are living authentically you will feel light and at ease because you aren’t having to put on a facade. You can be yourself in all areas of your life. When you are authentic you are an honest version of yourself. What I see in my coaching practice is that most people feel the need to conform due to peer pressure, social conditioning, or parental aspirations (basically someone else telling them who they are and what to do). Often, humans are put into some kind of box that limits and labels them. To be authentic is to live outside of that box or build your own box. I always think of the movie Wall-E as the exact opposite of what an authentically flourishing world looks like in the future.
JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE
The problem I see, is if we aren’t authentic then we will have a whole lot of people doing what they are told is normal & acceptable (which they probably believe because of conditioning and being a creature of habit). They are doing what is expected of them from someone they think has power over them. After you turn eighteen and become an adult you are flooded with choices to make on your own. Yet somehow people are dressing similar to fit in, going to the job that they are told will be best for them, getting married & having kids, and probably avoiding any “weird” hobby they love. This is a huge problem! If we are always teaching kids, and even adults, what to think and not how to think we will probably all lose what matters most, ourselves! And guess what, authenticity is directly linked to our happiness, our creativity, and our intuition!
Also, all those things mentioned above may be a perfect fit for some but when we all just follow and don’t make choices for ourselves we aren’t being authentic. Taking that high-paying job or having kids could very well be the perfect fit for you! I am suggesting to do these things because you want to, not because you have to. Actually think about the life choices you are making and have a purpose behind them. If it isn’t in line with your values and what you believe in then why are you wasting your time?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ALIGNED AND WHY DOES IT MATTER
If you look up the word align you will find definitions like: to arrange things so that they properly form a line or are in proper position; to change (something) so that it agrees with or matches something else. When I read these definitions I think of balance, working together, efficient, light, even effortless. If I look at the opposite when things are out of alignment, I think of pain, difficulty, unevenness, and sometimes broken. If you take this understanding of alignment to all areas of your life you can clearly see how having them all align is beneficial.
More often than not I hear from clients “I have been spending so much time at work that I have lost touch with my relationships” (relationships can be romantic, friends, family, etc) or “I am so busy that I never cook at home anymore”. There are always exceptions but I am focusing on the overall longevity of alignment - balance. If you are putting all your time into one area of your life you aren’t balanced, efficient, or aligned, and probably feel exhausted, tired, and maybe even some pain.
It is important to fully look at all areas of your life when you are feeling off or out of alignment because if you are stressed at work and only trying to fix the problem at work you still aren’t balancing things out; rather you are making that area more heavy and difficult. To be aligned matters because life: living, working, loving, experiencing, eating, breathing, creating, exercising, participating, doesn't have to be so hard and difficult all the time. You just have to zoom out, see what’s off in your “wheel” so you can balance it out. From there you will see that all areas of your life can be in alignment, helping each other & working together.
WHEN AUTHENTICITY & ALIGNMENT WORK TOGETHER
The beauty here and what I stand so confidently behind is this: when you put effort into breaking down the fear and judgments of being yourself you will have friends, environments, hobbies, a job, partners, lovers, mentors, & routines that are all in alignment with YOU. Your beliefs, morals, goals, joys & core values can all be supportive of each other. And when you put the work in to make this happen you will increase your happiness 10 fold! You will move through your day with so much ease because you have created a support system all around you. You will feel lighter because you aren’t carrying the weight of others' expectations of you. When you achieve this starting point and begin your journey toward Authentic Alignment the following will be graciously waiting for you.
HOW DOES THIS HELP YOU
1. Confidence - When you are confidently rocking your badass authentic self you aren’t wasting time trying to fit in or worrying about what others will think of your outfit or a new job. Instead, you are happy with yourself, all parts of yourself, and know that it matters most for you. When you have put the effort in and made tough decisions to get to this point your confidence will be effortless because it wasn’t just handed to you, you worked for it.
2. Self-Awareness & Capability - Nobody knows you better than yourself. You are always learning more about your own personal boundaries and limits because you are exploring them and aware while doing so. This is extremely difficult to do when you are following along and not making decisions for yourself. Self-awareness and knowing you are capable are keys to balanced living. You open the door to endless possibilities.
3. Set yourself up for success - This one is a favorite of mine. When you are confident and self-aware you can set yourself up for success because you are paying attention. You’re not wasting time hiding, worrying, and questioning everything you do. It becomes easier to put yourself in situations you thrive in because you know where you belong most and can put yourself and your skills to good use.
4. Overcoming Doubt From Others - I am focusing on doubt from others because self-doubt is a conversation for another blog. I’ve said it already, there is always going to be doubt from other people but if you can exercise the self-confidence muscle and remember that doubt from others will always be there (I can’t stress this enough!) then you won’t be so sensitive to their comments and reactions. If you’ve read the 4 agreements then you have heard it before: “Don’t take anything personally”. Don himself said it best “Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you.” When you are your truest self, and accept that someone will always disagree, your confidence will bring ease in overcoming their doubt.
TAKE THE LEAD & OTHERS WILL FOLLOW
It isn’t easy to be a leader. Leadership can have a lot of stress and pressure. But let me ask you this, have you ever been inspired by someone? That person inspiring you may not consider themselves a leader but they are in fact leading you through inspiration. I believe that the more you are showing up wholly, fully, & authentically as yourself that others will do the same. And as you already know (because you read this whole article) is that when you are authentically yourself you are happier, more confident, more self-aware, & balanced.
I had my positivity glasses on while writing this. I just explained all the positive aspects of the Authentic Alignment journey but what I didn’t mention was where authenticity gets lost. Thanks to social media, movies, and magazines at the grocery check out, it has become easy to compare and despair your individuality but I invite you to try out the positivity glasses. Look through the lens and see all of what makes you, you! Give yourself a big hug and go show the world what happiness truly is!
If you read this and felt it in your body and know you want a taste of this magic then send me an email because I want to hear how this made you feel & what you’re most excited about. Okay, if you don’t want to write to a stranger then get your pen and paper because what you are feeling wants to be seen and heard.
Go get’em, tiger.