Authenticity is so important — and at times, it feels so hard. Perhaps it doesn't have to be that way…

This is Part 1 in a free three-part series.
  • Part 2 (understanding authenticity) is here, and
  • Part 3 (practicing authenticity) is here.

This article is for you if:

  • you believe that living with authenticity is important, and
  • you agree with the phrase: to live authentically is to live a life true to yourself.

If you're like me, you have an Instagram feed or Pinterest board filled with quotes that encourage you to stay authentic and live true to yourself.

I always feel great reading those quotes, but I’ll also admit that reflecting on the quotes and phrases prompts me to wonder:

  1. What does that phrase: “live true to yourself” really mean? and
  2. What does authentic living really look like?

Since 2009, I’ve been on a journey to answer those two questions and learn about authenticity and authentic living.

In 2009, I first heard about Bronnie Ware’s article “Top Regrets of the Dying.” Reading the article fueled a fire in me — I was determined to avoid all of the regrets — especially the first one:

“ I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. “

As I began to focus on living true to myself, I discovered some challenges — mostly in the form of authenticity-crushing “self-talk.”

My “self-talk” lead me to justify or validate "inauthentic" decisions. Often those phrases were one of the following:

  • Don’t rock the boat: It is safer and better if you go with the flow and fit in;
  • Don’t do (or say) that: Fill-in-the-blank person won’t like it — go with something that is expected instead.

How about you? Do you have authenticity-crushing “self-talk”? Perhaps your self-talk is holding you back from authenticity living like my self-talk held me back?

Through years of self-reflection and self-work (with the help of coaches, counselors, books, and courses), I discovered how the “inauthentic” actions I took were directly tied to my beliefs, perspectives, and self-talk. I learned how to shift my perspectives and beliefs to align with what I wanted for my life, and thus I started to live more authentically.

Living authentically is life-changing; it empowered me to make significant life shifts:

  • From feeling stuck in a “well-paying and secure” career — to creating a career that I love
  • From renting an apartment that I hated — to owning a home that is warm and welcoming
  • From feeling distant from my family — to building close connections despite living hundreds of miles apart
  • From having stress-induced sleepless nights — to sleeping well and waking up feeling relaxed
  • From feeling frustrated in my relationship — to a delightful and laughter-filled marriage

My eleven year (and counting) journey to cultivate authenticity hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worth the work!

Over the years, I studied and implemented a variety of frameworks, including:

  • research-based self-assessments like the MBTI, Kolbe A™ Index, StrengthFinder,
  • applied counseling techniques like CBT, and
  • alternative approaches like the law of attraction, mindfulness, yoga, intuition, and Ayurveda.

In 2018, I was introduced to a tool that changed everything and made living true to myself so much easier — Human Design.

From my perspective, Human Design complements everything that I learned via the other methods and provides extra layers of depth that help me cultivate authenticity. The time, money, and energy that I’ve invested into understanding the Human Design System has paid back again and again. Through Human Design, I now have invaluable insights about myself, how I interact with other people, and how I can navigate life with more ease and authenticity. [I discuss Human Design and how it relates to authenticity in Part 3.]

My intention for you and my aim in creating this three-part series is to make it faster and easier for you to enjoy the benefits of living true to yourself.

Avoiding that top regret of the dying doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems — you simply need the tools to shift your perspectives and beliefs to align what you want for your life. That is what I’ll discuss in Part 2 - Understanding authenticity. Specifically, I define authenticity for you, describe my Four Components of Authenticity™ and share a daily practice for each component. For each daily practice, I'll also list the common missteps to watch out for. Being aware of the missteps will help you catch and replace your authenticity-crushing “self-talk.”

Are you ready for the next step? Click here to continue with Part 2: Understanding Authenticity.