Thursday, October 26, 2017

Focus Word: Authenticity

Authenticity. This is the first word I am going to further explore in my new Focus Word series

As you may recall, at the very beginning of this year I shared this post: 7 Focus Words for 2017. Each of the focus words on my list has a special meaning to me, that of which I would like to further explore in a series of posts.
"Living an authentic life opens up our daring and creative sides and finally releases us to pursue and live our dreams." -The Resilience Journey
This year, I have practiced being more authentic not only to others but, more importantly to myself. I've been working on being more authentic to myself this year by not letting what other people think of me affect the way I do life.

This is a hard one for me because I'm a people-pleaser by nature but, it is necessary to stop trying to please others so much. If I start letting go of what others think about my decisions then, my decisions will be more influenced by what I truly want rather than what others think is acceptable for me.

While letting go of what other people think of me is hard, reaffirming myself in my faith has made it so much easier. I am free to be authentic in this life because, I am loved by God. I don't need to strive to please people, I need to strive to please Him. I take a sigh of relief just in writing those sentences.

In a lot of ways, before I came up with this focus word for 2017, I had already been living life by my own design. I started my own business in 2015 and I have stayed true to my vision, despite adversity. There were times where I felt like I should throw in the towel but, I didn't. 

I actually had a friend tell me, in a round-about way, that what I was doing with my business at Anything Rustic wasn't really considered "work" at all. Well, then why was I working so hard? Why was this taking up so much of my time? Why was I paying taxes? That simple opinion from my friend spurred many questions for me; the root of which was, "is what I'm doing enough?" Then I came to realize, that just because it wasn't enough to them, doesn't mean that it's not enough. More importantly, just because I enjoy my work and I'm doing something I love each day, by my own design, doesn't make my work any less "work". I am being authentic by chasing my dream of owning my own business by my own design. This is my truth though and I respect that they have their own truth, too.

Another way I'm choosing to be more authentic this year is by using my actual name here on the blog. This blog use to be authored by "Kay @ GoalOfLosing", because I thought it was easier to remember, but my name is Kalyn. And while you're all welcome to call me Kay, you're going to see a lot more from Kalyn.

In some ways, being authentic has always come quite naturally to me. I have always been authentic in all of my relationships. I am incredibly open and real {obviously, since I write a blog sharing my life with you all}. I won't commit to doing anything I don't think I can handle. I admit when I'm overwhelmed. I live a fairly shameless life; I'll admit all of my faults. I have always striven to be true to myself and this year, I have come a long way in being authentic in all of my interactions with others, too.

Here's a list of actionable items you can do {and that I've done this year} to live a more authentic life right now.
1. Dive into your faith.
2. Take a break from people who don't appreciate you when you're being authentic.
3. Build stronger relationships with people that do appreciate your authenticity.
4. Unfollow people or pages on social media that make you feel like you aren't enough.
5. Spend a little time each day doing something that makes you happy.
6. Share your truth, and share it often.
I'll end this post on authenticity with a quote from Steve Jobs:

"There is no reason not to follow your heart. Don't be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary."

2 comments:

  1. I agree! So often, the voices and expectations of others shame us into doing things we don't want to or in ways we don't want to. Many years ago, my husband and I decided we didn't want to have kids. Definitely not what society (or my mother-in-law) would want for our life - but it was what we both knew deep in our hearts. And once we decided that, we realized we didn't want to be homeowners (the worry, the repairs, the huge space) and chose to go live in apartments. We are so much happier doing what is right for US - and not making excuses to others for it.

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