Tag Archives: inner truth

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 We All Need a Creative Outlet

The other day I got to talking with a client about writing.

She used to write several years ago and was even published in a magazine, but stopped because she, basically, got all caught up in working her full-time job and, well, living life. Currently, she has been feeling the urge to start writing again, but has been really struggling to get started.

Needless to say, I could definitely relate.

About two years ago I started my coaching business and setup this website.

I knew I wanted to blog in order to help market my coaching because I absolutely loved writing, but, to be completely honest, I had no clue what to write about.

The coach I was working with at the time told me to write something around at least 20 titles for potential blog posts. Needless to say, I could only come up with five titles and then found myself saying, “But that sums up everything I need to say”.

Clearly, my ego was having a heyday with this one.

This struggle of coming up with 20 different blog titles, then led to being highly self-critical about the articles I did write. My coach offered to look over some of my articles that I wrote to critique so I would send her every single article I’d write.

About 95% percent of the time, she would simply respond in saying “Great job!” or “I love this one!” without very minor critiques. Needless to say, I would then react with, “But… are you sure? There’s got to be something terribly wrong with it, right?”

I was constantly worrying about if my articles made sense, if people resonated with anything I said, if what I said was good or correct, and if I had all my grammar, syntax, and spelling errors all figured out.

I was stuck in that place where nearly everybody goes when they have a creative outlet… a place of resistance.

A place that is saturated with inner voices of “That’s not good enough” or “You’re doing it wrong”. A place where we can find ourselves with a motivation to be “perfect” and nothing less.

Fortunately, for me, this wasn’t the first time I had to deal with this kind of resistance when doing a creative outlet. A year earlier that I had taken up watercolor painting while living in South Korea. I had always wanted to learn how to paint, but I never had the opportunity to learn. I heard about a local art teacher who spoke English, so I took advantage and signed right up.

I went in thinking it’d be fun and relaxing.

Boy was I wrong…

My very first class my art teacher gave me a picture of a sunflower and told me to paint it. No instruction. No guidance. No help whatsoever. She just wanted to see “what I could do”.

Needless to say, I freaked out. I spent the majority of that first class stopping to second guess myself and then looking her direction asking, “What do I do now?” but getting little to no guidance.

Even once we started the actual teaching and learning process, this didn’t change very much for me. Yes, I was learning skills, techniques, and getting a lot more help and guidance, but my inner critic certainly didn’t quiet down. In fact, it got louder.

I’d spend my 3 hours painting two nights a week dealing with this voice in my head saying, “You’re gonna mess this up”, “You’re doing it wrong”, “You can’t do this” and so on.

It seemed that my biggest struggle in learning how to paint wasn’t actually getting the techniques down, but gradually learning how to quiet my mind down enough so that I could paint really well.

And, eventually, it managed to quiet — just as it did in my writing as well. Of course it’s not fully 100% gone, but it’s not nearly as loud as it was. I’ve learned how to manage it — and, because I learned how to manage it, I’ve been able to create many beautiful paintings and written many beneficial articles.

Getting through the mud is tough, but once you manage to break through it, it is so miraculous to finally be able to bloom.

There’s a flow that starts to happen and your intuition seems to guide you to things that start to really energize you and make you feel inspired and excited about what you’re doing. You start to feel more in-tune with your own inner truth.

And that’s why we all need a creative outlet — its not to simply create things — but because we allow ourselves to fully express our true selves. We allow our own inner light to shine through in our creations.

InnerLightCreations

Click to Tweet: We allow our own inner light to shine through in our creations. via @jenilyn8705

That’s why expressive arts therapy can be so effective. The process of confronting and overcoming the inner blocks in our minds allows a great healing to take place.

We can heal old wounds and release old blocks, so that we can express what our souls truly want us to express.

So pick up that paint brush, commit to doing the work, and allow yourself to shine.

Take action now!

In the comments below, share with me one creative outlet that you would like to take up then make a plan to do it!

When the New “Cool” Becomes Getting Married and Having Kids

I’m 28 years old. Single and childless.

And even though I’m currently in a relationship, marriage and children are hardly on the top of my list of “things to accomplish in the next 5 years”.

With just a simply glance at my Facebook timeline, it’s apparent that I’m part of a minority, as it appears that the majority of people around my age are heavily immersed in weddings, anniversaries, and babies.

When the whole “wedding fever” began when I was in my early 20s, it honestly used to really bother me. I’d have friends who I was once really close with now rarely have time to hang out because they’d “like to be home” with their husbands. And even when I would hang out with my married or soon-to-be married friends, the conversations mostly evolved around weddings, decorating new homes, and who was getting pregnant.

I felt so, well, confused.

My first thoughts when this “wedding fever” began was something like, “Wait, so we’re all just graduating college and getting married now? Why? Isn’t there anything else we all want to do?”

But, alas, the weddings continued and became even more frequent as time when on.

These initial feelings of confusion quickly turned into feelings of feeling left out. It was as if I were trying for the varsity volleyball team and, despite all my hard work and effort, I just didn’t make the cut.

I dated quite a bit and had a few more serious relationships, but I was hardly ever able to get into a relationship that was capable of more long-term stability. Communication, boundary, and simple “he’s just not that into you” issues were abound.

I wanted to do the new “cool” thing like all my friends were so we could talk wedding and marriage stuff and I could feel like I was a “part of the group”, but it just wasn’t happening. And I had no idea why.

Then, around the age of 24, I decided to stop trying to make things work that weren’t going to and I decided to move… halfway around the world.

So I moved to South Korea with the intention to teach English for a year then move back to the Midwest. Needless to say, one year turned into a year and a half and rather than moving back to the Midwest I found myself moving to the West Coast to go to grad school.

When you go through that many changes in your life due to traveling, it’s hard to continue to be concerned about the same things that were once really troubling you while you were in your old culture. You’re constantly changing and growing because your outer world is always changing. Anything that just really doesn’t effect us very much in our current environment, simply falls away and becomes hardly a concern.

That is the interesting thing about travel — when everything in our external world is shockingly turned upside down there is much less room to worry about “fitting in”, so the main focus becomes “Who am I?”

Essentially, the only thing that becomes the same in your world is you…

You at the very core of your being…

You that is unchanging regardless of time, age, and location…

You as your own truth self.

So I got out of the “I need to fit in” mentality. I stopped caring about the fact that everyone was getting married and having babies. I stopped caring about what other people thought.

Instead, I did my own thing…

…enjoying the life of traveling and taking up hobbies of painting, photography, and writing. In doing so, I gradually became more and more in-tune with me… the real me. The me that has always desired to explore and learn about the world and, simply, enjoy the beauty and love of this world fully and completely. The me that is fascinated about about psychology and what makes people tick.

As I became more in-tune with my true self and allowed the part of me that was so worried about “fitting in” with the marriage culture to dissipate, something else happened. Something that, at that point, I wasn’t expecting to happen…

I finally found a stable and loving relationship.

It has never been about getting a stable job, a house, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence with your spouse by the age of 30 in order to “keep up with the Jones’s”. Nor has it ever been about judging others for not getting married and having kids or for getting married and having kids.

What it is about, and always has been about, is being true to yourself.

It’s about doing what you know in your heart is true for you regardless of what everyone else around you is doing. After all, they’re not who you need to live with for your entire life. The most important person you have to learn how to live with is you.

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Click to Tweet: The most important person you have to learn how to live with in this world is you. via @jenilyn8705

Choosing Happiness Doesn’t Mean You Should Settle

This past week I posted on my Instagram and Facebook the quote, “Happiness is a Choice”.

While I obviously agree with the idea that happiness is a choice, the post got me thinking about it a bit deeper and thinking about how others may interpret its meaning.

Yes, happiness is something we choose to do. We can get a new job, live in a new location, get new friends, and find a new partner but if we continue to stay in this state of mind of pessimism or negativity with beliefs like “I’m the victim” or “I’m not worthy” then, clearly, we’re not going to be very happy.

If we don’t make a conscious choice to be happy then we’re going to keep ourselves locked up in this cycle of self-defeating thoughts. So even if something really good and amazing does come into our lives then, chances are, it’s not going to last very long cause we’ll either A. Mess it up our relationship with our super awesome new boyfriend or B. Never really appreciate them by realizing how good they truly are for us.

It’s our own inner shifts that really determine the level of satisfaction and happiness that we experience in our external world.

But — let me be clear — just because happiness is an internal choice that we have to make, it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to settle.

Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we all need to settle for our less-than fulfilling job. Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t mean that we need to settle with our romantic partner that we don’t quite fully “gel” with for whatever reason. Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t mean that we should never pursue our inner desire to travel the world.

Just because happiness is a choice, it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to settle for living a life that others expect us to live rather than how we, deep down in our core, truly want to live.

Yes, happiness is a choice but that doesn’t mean that we also need to repress our own inner truth in the process of doing so. Listen to that inner voice that is guiding and leading you to great things.

ListenToInnerVoice

Click to Tweet: Listen to that inner voice that is guiding and leading you to great things. via @jenilyn8705

Honor that inner guide fully and completely — but don’t expect that the action of breaking up with your boyfriend, quitting your job, or moving to another country is going to be the one thing that is going to completely transform your life. ‘Cause if you think it is, you’re going to be really disappointed.

… trust me. I know.

I did it 4 years ago when I decided that I was going to move half-way around the world to South Korea to teach English for a year. I was feeling very unfulfilled, out of place and as if I had lost myself somewhere along this path of becoming an adult.

I figured, well, maybe if I move out of the country and decide to just do “my own thing” that will be all I need to do to solve my problems.

“Ha!” the Universe said, “Oh silly, naive girl, you have so much more to learn…”

Oh boy was I wrong.

So very wrong.

The joke was on me.

I thought I was stressed, unfulfilled, and had relationship problems when I left the US, but within the first 4 months I started to experience even more stress, unfulfillment and relationship problems.

I found myself in the most challenging and emotionally damaging romantic relationship of my life.

It wasn’t until after that relationship ended that I gradually started to do the inner work. It was then that I really started to focus less on others and begin to really look at myself. It was then that I started to make self-care a priority.

It took me a while to fully realize that it’s the inner shifts that need to happen before I can really experience the outer shifts. But had I never gone. Had I never taken the leap of faith to hop on a plane an fly half way around the world by myself, would I have experienced the same inner shifts?

It’s very unlikely.

I never would’ve ran into the right people that would have guided me to the right books that would’ve never instilled in me the right ideas to cause such changes. And for that —regardless of how painful those relationships may have been — I am forever grateful.

After all, the lotus can’t bloom if there isn’t any mud.

Happiness is a choice that we have to make, but that doesn’t mean we need to settle. Trust the guidance of your intuition. Trust that sense you may feel to get out of that relationship, to move, or to quit that job. Of course, think ahead and plan effectively and rationally, but listen to it and trust it. Trust it even if everyone in your life doubts you or thinks it’s a bad idea because it is your choice and your inner truth — not theirs.

If we follow our inner guidance in faith and act with a willingness to learn, grow and experience change, a transformation will occur. The journey is hardly easy, but, at the end of the day, it’ll be nothing short of miraculous.

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!