How To Be Authentic
When I first started teaching yoga, I was scared.
It’s scary to get up there in front of people and act like you know what you are doing. It’s scary to try and remember which leg goes where, when to inhale and how long to exhale. It’s scary until it’s not. Until you get up and just do it.
It stopped being truly scary for me when I finally stepped into my own skin.
What has stayed with me is this revelation: As long as I keep being me, as long as I keep staying true to myself and who I am, it doesn’t matter how many jobs I get or don’t get. What matters is that I am living in my truth, and the people who need me will find me. And I will find the people I need. I will find the answers I need.
But more importantly, I will find the questions.
When I started really being authentic, success came. When I started writing again. When I started talking about my hearing loss and my history with anorexia and how I am kind of a slob and that I swear. When I said that I drink wine and coffee. And, when I created Karaoke Yoga®.
None of these things in and of themselves are necessarily “inspiring,” but rather, it is the willingness to say: "This is who I am dammit! Take it or leave it."
4 Ways to Be Your Most Authentic Self:
1. Find What Makes You Feel Good
What makes you come alive? Go do that! Find people who also like to do that, and hang out with those people. Maybe it’s a wine tasting club, maybe it’s yoga, maybe it’s yodeling. Just do it. Surround yourself with those people who will appreciate your passion instead of squashing it.
When something bothers you, speak up. When you love someone, speak up. Tell them. Open your mouth, and use your voice. It’s yours. Own it.
3. Be Creative
What makes you, you? Thankfully we are all different. Imagine how boring it would be otherwise? Find out what makes you stand apart. That’s not to say that you should purposely walk the streets naked, so that everyone stares at you because you are standing apart. It’s to say that by finding your own voice, you connect to the part of you that is the most original, the brightest and most unique. It’s there. Find it. Karaoke Yoga was a scary thing for about five minutes when I let myself ponder, "What will they think?" But as soon as I embraced it, nothing felt more right or joyful.
I am not saying that if you just imagine yourself as a best-selling author or the driver of a new BMW that it will come to fruition. That would be amazing, but it doesn’t exactly work that way. I am saying that if you dig deep in the well of your imagination, you do indeed start to feel as if you are a best-selling author or whatever your personal dream may be. Once you get a taste of that feeling, you are more likely to keep digging into your imagination and finding new things that make your soul do its happy dance and keep yourself working toward that goal. Our imagination is the key to everything.
Readers - Do you feel as if you are living authentically? Why or why not? What do you do to be authentic? Tell us about your journey to be more true to yourself. Leave a comment below, and share your story with the LIVESTRONG.COM community. You may help to inspire someone else!
Jennifer Pastiloff was recently featured on Good Morning America and CBS The Doctors. She has attracted a huge following from her writings and her unique style of teaching yoga. She is also an advocate for children with special needs. The creator of Manifestation Yoga®, she leads retreats and workshops all over the world. Jennifer is currently writing a book, and she has a popular daily blog called Manifestation Station. Los Angeles is Jennifer's home base, and you can find her teaching yoga at Equinox Fitness Clubs and Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, where her classes are also available online.