Tag Archives: genuine

11 Signs of a Truly Authentic Person

In the last week or two, the topic of authenticity has been coming up in my life.  The discussion of authenticity came up a couple times in a class and then it came up again during a therapy session.  This led me to sit back and ask myself: What actually constitutes a truly authentic person?

Upon deeper introspection, I came to the conclusion that becoming authentic is a lifetime — and beyond —  process.  It’s like peeling an onion and over time as we grow, heal, and love ourselves more and more, we become more of who we truly are.

There can be moments when we are truly expressing our authentic selves and then there are moments that trigger our inner wounds.   We then find ourselves acting in a way that’s out of alignment with our own inner truth and, instead, acting as a reaction to our wounds being reactivated.

So as I said before, it’s a lifelong process, but this doesn’t mean that it’s something we shouldn’t aspire to.  Just because it may take time and practice to do a headstand in a yoga class, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bother doing the work so you can eventually do it with ease.

So here are the 11 signs of a truly authentic person:

#1 – They recognize the emptiness in material things

They’re not out buying Gucci with the hope that it will make them happy.  While they may enjoy material things, they don’t see it as “If I just have this one item, then I’ll be happy”.  They also don’t rate other people based on the material items that they have or don’t have because they know it doesn’t hold much meaning.

#2 – They recognize that experiences make their lives richer

They’re aware of how life experiences create more meaning and richness in our lives.  They are open to explore and learn, both externally and internally.

#3 – They truly listen to others

They don’t listen in order to respond.  Nor do they listen to others while being distracted by their phone, the TV or whatever else may be a distraction.  They’re able to be fully present with another person.  They’re able to listen to others with a genuine interest and care for the other person.

#4 – They express their true thoughts, feelings and views unapologetically

They don’t say things that they don’t truly mean.  They don’t do things that they don’t really want to do.  They are able to share their own unique thoughts, feelings and views without fear of other’s opinions.

#5 – They’re not out to please people

They know that by living their lives to please others all the time disconnects them from their own inner experience.  The know the importance of being aware, acknowledging, and expressing their own unique thoughts, feelings and views to the world.  They know that by expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world.

TrulyAuthenticPeople

Click to Tweet: Authentic people know that expressing their true internal experience, they are able to share their gifts with the world. via @jenilyn8705

#6 – They see value in giving love to others

They see value in giving love and kindness indiscriminately.  They understand that we are all connected and are willing to give others a helping hand.  They know that by helping others, they are helping themselves.  They allow and encourage others to express their own truth with love and acceptance as well.

#7 – They love themselves

They see themselves as a person of value who deserves love, kindness and support.  They provide themselves with adequate care to support their own health and well-being.

#8 – They are willing to see and acknowledge their own faults

They are aware they we are all wounded and may have various prejudices.  They don’t judge others for their own prejudices, but rather see it as a part of the person’s own inner wounding that has yet to be healed.  They know that there are aspects of themselves that they don’t like either, and they’re willing to swallow their ego and acknowledge those parts regardless. 

#9 – They understand that we are all unique — and that’s okay!

They know that not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time.  They are accepting of differing views and opinions.  They don’t label themselves as “right” and another person as “wrong” or visa versa.

#10 – They take responsibility for their lives

They don’t blame other people for what happens to them in their lives.  They take personal responsibility for how they’re actions created a certain outcome.  They are willing to look at how they influenced each and every situation and act accordingly.

#11 – They’re connected to their own inner guide

They’ve been able to clear their minds of the constant mind chatter in order to hear an inner voice that is greater than them.  They are able to act in accordance to their inner guidance with trust and faith, despite not having external validation.

Take action now!

Out of the list above, are any of these 11 signs of authenticity harder for you to do than others?  Do some come a little more “natural” to you?  How do you struggle to be authentic in your relationships and life?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Why the People We’re Attracted To Don’t Like Us Back

Have you ever been in a situation where you really liked someone but they didn’t like you back?

Maybe you dated a couple times and you really wanted to continue dating but they didn’t. Or, maybe, you really liked the person but they had no interest in going out with you ever.

I’ve been there more than enough times, and I’m sure you’ve been there as well. We’ve all dealt with this at some point or another (and, yes, I’m sure George Clooney and Brad Pitt have even dealt with this at least once at some stage in their lives). And, frankly, it really just flat out sucks.

We’re in a place of really wanting to be with this person and give them all the love, care, and compassion that we have to offer. We want to make this person the center of our universe and really show them just how amazing they truly are… but this person just doesn’t want to be with us.

… and, honestly, I don’t blame them.

Let’s really sit back and think about this. Think about the last time (or a time that you remember very well) where you really liked someone and they didn’t like you back. Maybe you dated them for a while and they decided to end things cause they just weren’t quite “feeling it” or they made some excuse about being “too busy” with work or school or [insert any not fully reasonable excuse here]. How did you act when you were around them?

Were you confident? Were you comfortable? Were you really acting like yourself? Or, were you feeling nervous, insecure, and unworthy? Were you trying to act like someone else rather than yourself?

More often than not, when we’re really attracted to someone but they don’t like us nearly as much in return, it’s because we are in that space of insecurity, neediness, and unworthiness. We feel like we’re not good enough and we’re nervous about being rejected.

Now let me be clear: it’s not something that we need to beat ourselves up about. It’s completely normal. If we really like somebody, then of course we are going to get nervous when around them, because getting rejected by them is going to hurt us so much more than if we get rejected by someone we don’t like. It’s only natural.

However, if we find ourselves constantly in this place of the other person breaking things off with us early on because they’re just “not into you”, then that’s a problem that really needs to be fixed if we ever want to experience a healthy and loving relationship. We can’t really experience love in our lives when we’re bounded by feelings of fear on the inside.

ExperienceLoveBoundedFear

Click to Tweet: We can’t really experience love in our lives when we’re bounded by feelings of fear on the inside. via @jenilyn8705

So how can we shift from feelings of fear when around people we are attracted to and connect to love within so we can become a love-magnet? Here are 3 steps:

#1 – Recognize the nature of your fear — then let it go!

What is it that are you are most afraid of experiencing when developing a relationship with someone you are attracted to? Are you nervous about the relationship eventually failing due to some heartbreaks in the past? Do you believe that you are not worthy of love? Do you believe you’re incapable of having a healthy, loving and successful relationship? Are you terrified of being rejected? Are you simply expecting to be rejected?

It’s a slightly different “flavor” for everyone, so it’s important to identify what your patterns of fear are. Write down a list of how your fear manifests for you in the dating world on a sheet of paper or journal. This is critically important because we can’t heal and change something in our lives that we are not consciously aware of!

Once you’ve recognized the nature of your own fear, then simply make the intention to release that fear. This doesn’t have to be complicated. All we really need is to have the desire to change.

#2 – Observe how you act around people who are attracted to you — even when you’re not attracted to them.

Do you act more like you? Are you being your genuine self? Are you expressing your own unique thoughts and feelings without hesitation? Are you comfortable and at ease? Recognize how you behave around these people and write it down on a sheet of paper or journal.

#3 – Envision yourself acting the way you act when around people who are attracted to you.

Close your eyes and in your mind’s eye envision yourself acting the way you act when around people who are attracted to you. See yourself feeling comfortable and confident. Envision yourself completely being your own genuine self and expressing your truth to those around you. Then notice how you feel in your body while envisioning yourself acting this way. Are you hunched over or do you have a straight back? Do you feel energized and strong? Just notice.

This is a great activity to do if you’re about ready to go on a date. The activity can be that before the date, you can take some time to envision yourself being confident and genuine while on the date. Also, if you have made the decision that you’re ready for a new relationship, then do this envisioning activity at the beginning of every day to really shine your own inner truth and love to the world.

Take action now!

Let’s do step 1: How do you experience fear in your romantic relationships? Share it in the comments below!

It Starts With You

This past weekend I found myself in a little bit of a debate with my boyfriend.  It wasn’t like a full-out argument or anything like that, but it was just enough to ruffle my feathers a bit.

The truth is, I hate any kind of debates.  It just doesn’t sit well in my being.  All I ever want is for there to be harmony.  I’d take just some simple empathetic understanding over a more intellectual debate any day.

So when things got into a bit of a disagreement I found myself getting more and more frustrated, upset, and, honestly, just sad.

Shortly after the conversation ended, he came up and asked me, “How are you feeling?  Are you okay?  Was I being a jerk?”  This followed up with, “I’m asking because, well, I’m not good with all this emotional stuff”.

In that moment I kind of chuckled to myself a bit because he used the same exact words that I had used earlier that day when I had made a joke that I realized may have offended or hurt him.

It was in that moment that I fully realized: It all starts with me.

Many of us wish to have a fulfilling relationship.  We may desire to have more intimacy or a better connection.  We may wish our partner was more open and honest with us.  We may wish that our partner was more affectionate or more open to sharing their emotions.

Many of us desire these things but we struggle to get these things to happen and can’t understand why.  We wish that our partner would change.  “I wish he was more honest” or “I wish he was more aware of his own emotions” is what we may tell our friends.

Though it is true that the compatibility of each person’s unique traits are a huge factor in determining success of our relationships, it is also true that modeling the behavior you desire in the relationship yourself can drastically change the relationship for the better.

That is the mindset shift that many of us struggle to make and it keeps us in this place of suffering: That it is our own personal responsibility to model the change.  We fail to take personal responsibility.  We fail to realize our half of the equation and how our actions can dramatically impact the relationship.

Instead, many of us habitually focus on the external.  We focus on what we are getting or not getting.  “He’s not….” “She’s not…” are our common thought patterns.

But what we need to do is look back at ourselves and ask: What am I not doing?  How am I not allowing this to happen?  We have to realize the importance of our actions.  We have to be willing to step up and do the behavior we wish others would do so that we can help them develop their weak points.

Like Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  What is it that you want to see in others?  Whatever it is, then be it!

starts with you

Here’s another example: For years I couldn’t understand why none of my boyfriends or friends would stand up and be honest about their feelings before a big “blow up” would happen.  Now I realize that they reason they did it with me is because I wasn’t being open and honest with my feelings.  I was off repressing all of my stuff and rather than openly sharing it with them.

As a result, they felt uncomfortable and it came out as a “blow up” rather than in a calm and collected manner.  Fortunately I now know that if I want other people to do be open and honest about how they feel then I myself have to be open and honest regularly and often.

The more we express and do the thing that we wish others would do, then the more they will do it.  The more that we embody what it is that we desire in others, they then feel more comfortable doing it with us.

So now it’s time for action…

(And seriously — do this!  Don’t just read it or do it in your head!)

Write down a list of things that you wish you had in your relationships.  What is something that you wish a partner, friend or family member would do for you?  Do you wish they were more honest?  More genuine?  More emotionally supportive?  More sensitive to your feelings?  More open to talk about conflict?  More vulnerable?  Write down whatever comes to mind right now.

After you make your list, look at each wish and very honestly ask yourself: Am I doing this in the relationship?  Am I really being genuine?  Am I really being honest?  Am I really being sensitive to their feelings?

Then reflect on how you can help bring more to that in the relationship.  How can you be more genuine or sensitive?  How can you be more supportive?  Search for ways that you can better embody what it is that you would like them to do through your actions towards them.

Why Embracing Our Inner Child Transforms Our Lives & How to Start NOW

A few days ago I traveled back east to spend Christmas at home. This has actually been a pretty big deal for me because this is the first Christmas that I get to spend back home in three years. The last two years I spent abroad in East Asia where there was virtually no Christmas decorations or “Christmas spirit” to be found.

Not only did it lack in the whole “Christmas spirit” department, but it hardly ever snowed there and, if it did, it was the kind of snow that only lasted for a few hours or a day and melted. It certainly wasn’t anything that anyone could sled on, make a snowman with, or really enjoy in any real way.

So the other night it began to snow and it carried on through the morning. It wasn’t too much or two little – just right. And even if it was less or more I still would’ve felt excited and filled with gratitude for being able to experience snow: the crunch of snow under my boots, the white snow covering the bare tree branches, and the sight and feel of snowflakes falling.

Despite my own elation and appreciation, I quickly began to hear all the natives who haven’t lived in other locations that don’t get snow start the classic complaints of: “Why do people have to drive like idiots in the snow?!” or “Darn now I have to shuffle the driveway!”

I guess that’s just a mere representation of the irony that is our common way of living: We wish we had the things we don’t have rather than to simply accept and appreciate the things we do have. It seems that it is not until we actually experience not having something that we really allow ourselves to genuinely appreciate and enjoy it.

But this was not always case. We weren’t always this bitter. When we were kids seeing snow falling outside the window would make us so incredibly excited. We would run to the coat rack and and try to bundle up as quickly as possible just so we could try to catch snowflakes on our tongue before the snow stopped falling.

As adults, do we ever do that? No, because we are putting so much more energy into disliking what is happening rather than simply enjoying it. We reject what is happening rather than to accept it and move with the flow of what is happening. And to top that off – we may also have an internal inner critic telling us not to do really enjoy it and “play” because we are “adults” and that’s a “childish” thing to do. We tell ourselves that only kids can excited over such little things and enjoy it.

As a result, we don’t really allow ourselves to be joyful and excited or sad. We ignore and repress either emotion, so what we do express is negativity and complaints.

That’s one of the big differences between children and adults. As children, we acted out of impulse. We were present. We accepted the moment and lived out of the present moment. As a result, we were easily excited and joyful and if something upset us we cried right then and there and then let it go.

We didn’t hold on to and repress all these emotions. We expressed them in the moment. As a result, we were more in touch with our true sense of self – all because we were young and we weren’t filled with a ton of unexpressed emotional baggage.

As adults however, we are often rejecting what is happening rather than accepting it. Then we’re wishing that things were like they were in the “good ol’ days” or hoping that things will get better in the future.

Clearly, focusing primarily on the past or future is an illusion that only keeps us trapped in this miserable cycle of unhappiness. It causes us to feel disconnected from our true selves. And so, we are unhappy and we don’t know how to fulfill ourselves. As a result, we fall into habits to gain false short-term satisfactions by becoming consumed with material items, alcohol, drugs, TV shows, our relationships, and so on. In other cases, we may feel the need to have kids because, deep down, we know that our children possess the tremendous amount of excitement, joy, and love that we ourselves are lacking.

So how can we start to truly embrace our inner child and feel more reconnected to our true selves as adults?

Focus on the present moment.

Though it may not make sense right away, everything happens out of the present moment. Nothing ever happens in the past or future – it is always in the present. The present moment is the only thing that is actually real.

Something that happened 10 years ago is over. It’s done. It doesn’t matter because it doesn’t impact the present moment – at least not if you cause it to impact the present. It’s when we allow the past or future to impact the present that it negatively effects us because it takes us away from what is happening right in front of us.

Change can happen only in the present moment. As children, we did this naturally because we had no past or future to think about, so in order to reconnect, we must focus on being present.

Cry.

Seriously – when someone or something upsets you, cry. All of our negative emotions – fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, etc. all stem back to a sense of suffering and sadness. Now, I’m not saying just go off and force yourself to cry over every bad thing that happens to do (that can take you out of the present). Rather, when the emotion comes up to just let it out and cry then cry. As children we naturally did this, but as adults we often don’t let ourselves do this because we tell ourselves it may not be “socially appropriate” (a common thing that we were “shamed” for as children). But the truth is that by expressing it in that moment you’ll feel better.

If you’re concerned about others seeing you, there are ways to cry in public places without really drawing much attention to yourself (sunglasses, bathroom break, etc.). And even if someone does see you, so what?

Also, it’s worth noting that you won’t always cry over bad things. We cry over good and joyful things as well. If that comes up, then allow it to happen. I’ve found that allowing ourselves to simply cry really allows us to process what we need to in order to heal and release what we need to release.

Play!

Be spontaneous. Be creative. Have fun! Take a go dancing or take a Zumba class. Start a new craft. Take a trip. Build a snowman. Go sledding. Paint, color, or draw. Play softball. Sing or play a musical instrument.

Put forth the effort to “play” every day. And if you catch yourself making the excuse of “I don’t have time”, then shut off the TV. Make it a pact that rather than watch any TV, you will “play” instead. When we allow ourselves to “play” we can begin to become more aligned with our inner child’s natural way of being.

InnerChild

Start Embracing Your Inner Child NOW!

In what ways have you been keeping yourself away from the present moment? In what activities or situations can you start to be more presently engaged?

What kinds of emotions have you been repressing? What kinds of things should you just let yourself “cry” about?

How can you start implementing more “play” into your life? What kinds of activities can you start doing that you’ve always wanted to do but you have never done?

Share in the comments below! I’d love to help you on your journey!

The Extremely Awkward Situation I Caused Myself Due to People Pleasing

A few months ago I made a new friend. We met at this community get-together and we had a few interests in common. I felt happy to be making some new connections in the area. We made plans to go hang out. We debated to ride our bikes around or just get some coffee at the local Starbucks. Eventually we decided to on see a movie and get a bite to eat. Just a simple friendly Friday-night hangout… or at least that’s what I thought.

It was within the first 5 minutes of walking into the movie theater that I came to the awkward realization of “Oh wait… he doesn’t think this is a just a friendly hangout like I thought… he thinks its a… date”.

Very awkward situation – and I had NEVER found myself in this situation before. I was petrified, nervous and really didn’t want to deal with a confrontation right smack dab in the middle of his perceived date. So what did I do? I did the very thing that I’m best at… being a people pleaser. I focused on keeping him comfortable despite my extreme uncomfortableness.

Now, when I say “people pleaser” here I don’t mean that I went along with this and pretended it was a date too. Oh no no! I set my boundaries, but I did try to avoid the confrontation that could potentially lead to a very awkward situation, which would result in hurting his feelings or embarrassing the hell out of him. I filtered my words in order to avoid mentioning “boyfriend” when at all possible at this point… all the while trying to remember if I did mention “boyfriend” at all in our first meeting and then asking myself over and over again if why I didn’t say that word in EVERY sentence I spoke to this guy from the very moment I met him. And then recreating what tI should have said in that first meeting so I wasn’t stuck in this god-awful situation. It was something like:

“Where are you originally from?”

“The Midwest. I HAVE A BOYFRIEND.”

“How long have you been coming here?”

“I HAVE A BOYFRIEND. It’s only my second visit. BOYFRIEND! DID YOU HEAR THAT?!”

Maybe they should just make t-shirts for women to wear who are already in a relationship, I thought to myself. Then we never EVER have the possibility of this happening (cause, trust me, I really hope NO other woman finds herself in this situation).

I implied buying my own dinner, though he didn’t seem to get the hint or notice my extreme awkwardness about the whole thing. I ended up letting him pay for my dinner at the time to avoid the awkward confrontation I could see it would cause. And, though it confused him, I was sure to make it known that I was NOT interested in any of his advances.

Most. Awkward. Situation. Ever.

Eventually, even though I dreaded the thought of doing it, I build up enough guts to tell him. It didn’t go as well as I hoped, but, realistically, could that have turned out well?

Needless to say, I spent the next day beating myself up over it. Feeling bad for hurting him, his reaction when he did find out, and over-thinking how I should’ve did things differently when we first met.

I was really stuck on all those bad feelings, so I took a little break and began to write down a prayer on a piece of paper. The prayer was to help me release all of the feelings from this situation and to heal. As I was writing the full reality of the situation hit me:  When you’re people-pleasing, you are not really “pleasing” anyone — you’re just making a mess of things.  In every moment, just be honest.

people pleasing

I realized that in this situation, if I actually told him the very second I recognized that he perceived our hangout to be a date, then the whole situation would’ve turned out so much better. It was simply because I waited it out due to fear of embarrassment (both mine and his) that the end result became as bad as it did. If I said something right away it would’ve been easily forgotten and things would’ve carried on smoothly.

This same idea can be applied in many situations, such as:

  • Avoiding to ask a friend you drive with to class if she could split the cost of gas with you because you feel bad asking for money.

  • Being annoyed with your roommate because she is cleaning the kitchen after 5 PM and now you have no room to cook yourself dinner. Yet, you avoid telling her your feelings because you don’t want to hurt her feelings.

  • Telling your boyfriend that you will go out tonight with him even though you’re tired and you have a lot of work to do.

Every time we avoid expressing our authentic thoughts and feelings it doesn’t mean that our own half of the equation has just “disappeared”. It’s still there. It’s just that now it’s hidden, repressed, and chances are it’s still going to come out one way or another. Either by the person finding out or just making ourselves miserable.

So next time you find yourself avoiding to tell someone your truth in hopes to please them, keep in mind that you’re actually not pleasing anyone by not saying it. The only TRUE way to “please” is to be honest.

And, hopefully, that can help us to not only diminish the severity of conflict, but also help us avoid some pretty awkward situations.

Stop people pleasing and start being more authentic today!

How has people pleasing hurt you and your relationships? Has there been any awkward situations you’ve put yourself in all because you’ve wanted to “please” someone else? What can you tell someone today in order to truly “please” you and others?