Authentic living can be confusing, especially if you’ve been living inauthentically and don’t even know it. Authentic living essentially means embracing who you really are and living in alignment with your real values and beliefs. Part of this to start off with first identifying what your true values and beliefs are to begin with. This is not necessarily easy or easily recognizable. A lot of values and beliefs we live by may be ‘inherited’ from friends, family members, education, religion, romantic partners and those we surround ourselves with most. Some say who we are is a reflection of the 5 people we spend the most time with. If this is true or not, the core of this idea is that we are directly impacted by the environment we surround ourselves with and beliefs and values around us. So first, identifying the values and beliefs of people around you can help to understand your own. If their behaviors or values are upsetting to you it can be helpful for understanding that they aren’t in alignment with your authentic self.
Some ways you can know that you aren’t living authentically are that you ignore negative emotions. You are either in denial or suppress how you really feel. Sometimes, someone can be so used to ignoring negative emotions they don’t even know they are doing it. It can almost feel like second nature to ignore negative emotions to the point where you just think everything is fine. This can result in anxiety, depression, stress, and definitely looking for additional ways to suppress emotional pain like using alcohol or drugs.
Another way to know you aren’t living authentically is that you put yourself last and and neglect your own needs. This is similar to ignoring negative emotions in some ways but different because these are not addressing needs. These can be needs to get enough sleep, to workout, eat right, and generally take care of yourself. Other types of needs can be for human connection, healthy relationships, safety, and more. Depending on your situation in life you may be experiencing different needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be helpful for understanding where you’re at in terms of what needs are being met or not met in your life. So part of living authentically is knowing what your needs are and identifying which ones are being met and which ones aren’t. A by product of not having your needs met can also be anxiety, depression, addiction and other mental and physical health related concerns.
A third component of not living an authentic life is stagnation. Living an authentic life means questioning and challenging your values and beliefs continually. Life is always changing and going in new directions. So what was authentic to you in the past, may not be authentic in the future. As we grow and evolve, how we feel and see the world can change.
Ways to start feeling in alignment with your true life are to find what activities and pursuits bring you joy, what feels most natural and easy for you and when do you feel most ‘like yourself?’ Other questions you can ask yourself are what are you most drawn to doing when you have free time and are feeling happiest? How do you most honestly most enjoy spending your time? These are all helpful indicators for pointing to your most authentic life and who you truly are.
The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
~ Carl Jung
Activities that promote being your most authentic self are an important component to recovery and sobriety. They also impact addiction and how you approach and manage your life. Silver Lining understands that you have spent a lot of time dealing with feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and shame. These feelings make it that much harder to obtain and stick with sobriety and a treatment plan for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other diagnoses. Our policy of treating small numbers of people in each group allows us to get to know you and the exact type of help you need to learn to be kind to yourself and achieve your goals. We help you flourish now and in the future. Let our Huntington Beach location be where you begin again! Call us today for more information. (866) 448-4563.