In the words of Brene Brown, “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let your true selves be seen.”
When I learned how to be authentic and accepted who I was with all my flaws, I could recognize them, own them to others, and make better choices for my life. When I embraced my authentic self, I moved more freely within relationships by accepting and giving feedback. This fostered growth and awareness.
These five actions will help you accept yourself and choose to be authentic in relationships.
Here is how to show up as your true self in every situation.
1. Clarify your values.
Often, we make choices based on what we think others want us to do or what we think we should do. Daily choices determine our life’s direction and, as a result, our outcomes.
Showing up and being authentic means we must think clearly about what we value, want, and need for our well-being. This doesn’t mean making choices without considering others. It means our needs are a big part of our choices.
2. Set boundaries.
To show up and be authentic, you must know who you are and what you want for your life. Ask yourself, “Who do I want to be in this situation or this relationship? How can I be real and let people know what my needs are?”
Once we know those answers, it is easier to express our needs to others and to have our needs met. Boundaries can be as simple as telling others what we will and won’t accept or what is helpful to us in a particular situation or relationship.
3. Stop the negative self-talk.
Honesty is simply being who you are in a given situation. It doesn’t mean you are open and vulnerable to everyone and every situation.
Give yourself a break from negative self-talk and embrace all the wonderful about yourself. You can shift styles so we can relate to others, but we still need to be our honest selves.
There is value in honesty and integrity about who we are. So love who you are.
4. Explore and be open to growth.
One way to do that is to be open to differences in self and others. Try new things and new experiences. Walk a different path and see how you feel about it. Looking at yourself in a different situation can help you better understand yourself.
Photo via Getty
5. Take feedback without feeling criticized. It is someone else’s opinion.
Someone reminded me, “Perception is reality”. When we let others see who we are, they get a chance to be open and show who they are. It may be that you will decide this situation or relationship is not for you based on the open honest self.
That’s OK. Not everyone can like everyone, and not every situation is right for you.
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Pat Magerkurth is a life/business coach who studied women in the workplace.