The secret to happiness.
Happiness depends on many factors. You can be financially successful, you can have a dream marriage, family, home, your health, and you can still be unhappy.
According to the World Happiness Report, happiness is on the decline in America. It calls for more social supports and anticorruption and suggests that a focus on minimizing social comparisons and promoting mental well-being could transform how Americans view their life satisfaction.
At an individual level, happiness is about living your life, your way. It’s about being authentic. And it’s what happy people do.
Underneath it all, most people want to feel their life, to experience it to the fullest, and to be guided by something powerful and meaningful. But, if you’re anxious, stuck, frustrated, living on autopilot, or living someone else’s life, you may not be living authentically.
Being authentic is about being true to yourself, knowing who you are and being proud of it. If you’re not being as genuinely as you could be, there is hope. You can cultivate authenticity.
Here are 7 things authentic people do differently that you can do, too:
1. They get to know themselves.
This is the foundation of authenticity. Authentic people take the time to uncover their strengths, growing edges, needs, motivations, values, beliefs, preferences, and passions. The dig deep and look at themselves with curiosity and compassion. They don’t try to change themselves; they work with the beauty that is theirs.
Carl Jung said, “Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”
If you are having difficulty finding yourself, here are a few ways to get to know yourself better:
Imagine yourself as your younger you. Who and what did you want to be when you grew up — before outside pressures limited you? What were you most happy doing as a child?
When have you felt most in alignment? What were you doing?
Take some assessments and work with a coach to find out more about yourself and how you can bring it to the world.
2. They live with purpose and vision.
Authentic people's lives are guided by meaning and direction. They stick to their goals and enjoy the journey along the way.
Some of my clients swear by journaling to uncover what matters to them. Meditation is another way to ask the universe for guidance – and connect to your own inner wisdom – so that you can figure out what you’re meant to do.
Finally, many happy and successful people create a vision board. They use it to anchor them visually and manifest their dreams.
3. They live honestly.
Authentic people state their truth freely and openly. And they hold their ground. Instead of living in the shadows, proudly stand out front.
Practice ways to live honestly by revealing a bit about yourself. It could be with the next person you meet, or on social media. Dare not to care!
4. They honour themselves.
They realize that it’s okay to say “No.” They put themselves first because they know they can’t be happy unless they do. Furthermore, they get that they can’t take care of anyone else until their needs are met.
Recognize that self-care isn’t selfish. Set boundaries around your needs, values, beliefs, and actions. And protect them fiercely.
5. They compare themselves with no one.
Authentic people don’t compare themselves to others, nor do they put others down. They are comfortable in their own skin. They are anchored in their own lives and feel no need to impress or 'one-up' anyone.
Celebrate your individuality and the brilliance that you bring to the world. It’s easy to look to others for validation and doubt yourself, but when you do, you lose your footing
6. They are courageous in the face of their fears.
They don’t hesitate to go after what they want. They know things can go wrong, but they know that things can go very right, too.
Authentic people trust in themselves and in the universe.
Feel your fear and live your life the way you want to live it anyway.
7. They take responsibility for their lives.
Authentic people own up to their mistakes, learn from them, and move forward.
Be grateful for everything. Let go of imperfection, and view every experience in life as an opportunity get better.
In the end, authentic people realize that each person has something unique and special to contribute.
Be you and be fabulous. Live as these authentic people do and you, too, will live a full and joyous life.
Lisa Petsinis is a career and life coach who works with resourceful people who want to create a life they love. Contact her today to bring more authenticity into your life or sign up for her newsletter for advice and inspiration.