One of the greatest adventures you’ll ever have is not only becoming your authentic self but learning who that is. This means figuring out what you really believe or don’t believe…what you really care about…what your true values are. It can be difficult if we are looking to everyone and everything else to understand who we are, and what direction we need to go in. If we look to others, or to circumstances or titles to define us, we will always feel incomplete and somewhat insecure. When we become aware of who we really are, and are living in alignment with that…we are living in a sense of purpose, flow, and feeling of contentment with ourselves.
Living authentically and being your full self is a huge part of recovery. When we aren’t authentically ourselves and aren’t living in alignment with what feels best or is our purpose, we are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, unhappiness and wishing for an escape or anything to make us feel better. Instead of making tough choices for positive changes, drugs and alcohol can be a quick escape…a quick fix. But, a temporary ‘fix,’ and the reality that we aren’t living our most authentic life will keep popping up until we face it.
So what are you escaping from, or not looking at? What are you not facing about yourself? Is it something about your relationship? Your job? Where you live? Where in your life are you lying to yourself or others? Lying doesn’t necessarily mean consciously lying either, it can just be that you are altering yourself or your needs to accommodate situations. We may often find ourselves doing this out of fear of losing something, or for survival. Living falsely and not being honest about your needs and bigger aspects of yourself can feel like survival mode, and in fact if you’ve been doing it long enough it may just feel like a normal chronic discomfort. The way out of the discomfort of maybe feeling stuck in a job, a relationship, or situation that doesn’t feel like it fits you may seem to be drugs and alcohol. The more stuck you feel, the more that those things may seem like your only refuge to the life you may feel trapped in.
So how do you start to live authentically? The best place to start is to reflect on what authenticity means to you. Sometimes we don’t question things, because if we really did look, the truth might seem too overwhelming or painful. But if you do find at some point that you are questioning your life and situation a bit, it can help to look at the possibilities of what living authentically may be, instead of the overwhelm of the current situation.
Here are some tips on how to live more authentically.
- Speak honestly – even if it feels uncomfortable, speak honestly whenever it’s possible. If you find yourself afraid to speak honestly or hesitating…ask yourself why? Are you afraid you will lose something? Or are you thinking positively and that you could improve your life and connection with the truth?
- Practice Self-Awareness– the practice of self-awareness is important for seeing how you aren’t living authentically. Without self-questioning and self-awareness we can’t fully see and understand our truest values and beliefs. They can get accidentally wrapped up in societal, religious or family beliefs. You can practice self-awareness by talking to good friends, journaling, doing art work, mindfulness, cognitive exercises or reflecting back on times in your life where you felt most like ‘yourself’ or most freely you.
- Fill in the blank– “If you really knew me you’d know this: …” This prompt can be helpful for defining the things about yourself that maybe you only admit to yourself or you feel are hidden. But they can be a helpful start for understanding how much you are living in alignment with “if you really knew me you’d know…”
- Be Open– Be open to new possibilities. Even if life feels stuck and that it will always be the same, or we can only consider certain ways to live or maybe even become rigid, there ARE other ways to live and other possibilities to consider. Openness and saying “yes” to life helps you to feel it’s safe to be your authentic self and that there are other possibilities.
- Trust Yourself– Trust that you inherently know best what you need. You have the answers within you but when we aren’t living authentically it can be hard to trust yourself. When we aren’t living authentically, we get used to not trusting ourself, and instead we trust and listen to everyone and everything else besides ourself. So learn to practice listening to yourself and trusting yourself.
- Define or Redefine Your Values– Understand what your values are. What do you believe in? Define, question or redefine your values. Define how you want to live your life and follow your values like a roadmap and a form of self love. You don’t need to compromise your values. Living authentically means being aware of your values and living them everyday.
An important part of recovery is living authentically. Authenticity is something that can be practiced, improved and helps in every aspect of your wellbeing! Silver Lining understands that you have spent a lot of time dealing with difficult emotions and triggers during your time using drugs and alcohol. These experiences impact your sobriety and a treatment plan for living your best life in recovery. 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.