The Zone - Volume 68
What is the authentic self? This past year has pushed us to slow down and re-evaluate what is important to us. What is important to us can be sometimes difficult to figure out. We have been raised many times to fit into societal norms and to almost act as a chameleon, able to change our colors depending on the environment. The ability to camouflage ourselves serves to protect and keep us safe. However, it separates us from the authentic parts of ourselves.
The authentic self can be defined as what you say in life is aligned with your actions. It is who we are at our deepest core. It is about being true to yourself through your thoughts, words and actions and having these three areas match each other.
The process of exploration to identify the authentic self is one that involves time and examination of beliefs and actions that we presently practice and to see how accepting we are of them. The process of discovery allows us to confront parts of our life that we are uncomfortable with and to seek a depth of understanding about the conflict of beliefs and actions.
A result of this exploration is to live more intentional and being present with what we are doing and thinking. Staying focused on our meaning and purpose of living becomes a biproduct of being authentic. We can fully embrace ourselves as instruments that can have a major impact on creating our lives.
Becoming more authentic comes with some risks and rewards. Some of the risks include people might not like you, people might not accept the real you, people may judge you and your feelings may get hurt, and overall, you are more vulnerable to the unknown. The rewards can include being present in the here and now, doing what makes us happy, following our passions regardless of how it may be perceived by others, creating more intimate and honest relationships and allowing for true acceptance of unconditional love.
How do we know when we are being authentic? When our relationships are based on honesty and respect of who we truly are. When our actions, words and thoughts match our sense of purpose and are fulfilling. In social settings, when we are present, we are our authentic self rather than a chameleon, and we are pleased with who we are and we present this to the world.
It is less painful to be a chameleon than authentic.
Being authentic comes with its benefits and risks.
The path to authenticity takes time, effort, awareness and is ongoing.
Turn off social media, including television and radio for 2 weeks to clear your mind of outside influences.
Journal to explore the deeper sense of self.
Volunteer for a cause that holds deep meaning for you and is not something that is the present cause celebre.
Things to Limit
Listening to social influencers.
Thinking that you can become authentic overnight.
Looking to others to tell you who you are.
Quote of the Week
“Authenticity is when you say and do the things that you actually believe.”
The process of examination of the congruence between our thoughts, beliefs and actions can be both daunting and exhilarating. It is a spiritual process that involves a widening of awareness of who we are becoming. Fear can keep us from our exploration and result in us not being fulfilled by our choices and not living the life we can. Knowing that we are safe in our discovery and that we can grow from it, is the energy that can move us forward.
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The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.
We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.
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