The definition of Authentic is ‘of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine. Another definition by Merriam-Webster states the definition of Authentic ‘worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.
From both of these definitions I have taken that authenticity is defined by something genuine, it is about acceptance, and about belief. Authenticity is a proven fact that something is real, therefore being your authentic self is about finding your way towards awareness of what is your true self.
In order to do that it does require diving deep into the ocean of our unconscious, exploring what is under the surf
ace of our behavior's and triggers. It is important to understand that 95% of what we do, our behavior's, are unconscious and only 5% are conscious. We have a set programming as such and with hope and belief I have been working on myself to have a better understanding of my own unconsciousness, my surface behavior's, my beliefs and values and importantly my main fears and needs.
For me personally I like to imagine myself as a mountain, my counsellor uses an iceberg analogy here. My mountain is surrounded by a beautiful deep ocean, from what you can see on the surface is what I want you to see, or what is conscious to myself. On the surface we all have our behav
ior's, and then just as the mountain reaches the clear blue ocean we have our thoughts, some of which are visible and some we hide underneath the rocks. Then a little deeper we have our emotions and feelings, for myself I have chosen to suppress these, I am a strong mountain after all. Underneath our emotions and feelings, we have our values and beliefs, and at the deepest darkest parts of the ocean we have our needs and fears.
Throughout my life, I have told myself that vulnerability is weakness, and showing emotions and feelings is also weakness, therefore never willing to even dip my toes in the ocean and explore these part
s of myself. Recently I have learnt not to fear the unknown, unconscious, parts of myself, and with this constant learning and growth I have found more strength in my vulnerability and therefore have been taking steps to living with my whole self, my authentic self. From a very young age I have created a protective strategy to block out emotions and feelings, always being strong on the surface meant that no
one, not even myself, could see my pain. Over time my protective strategies were wearing thin, and the pain became too big to push down, that is when I found the motivation to take a dive.
From understanding where my emotions and feelings stemmed from, I was able to identify my core values and beliefs around who I was and who I wanted to be, and then by diving even deeper into my past I explored my needs and fears, for me my need is to be loved by others and myself, and my fears are abandonment. Therefore my behaviour on the surface reflected this, sometimes not aligning with my values and beliefs, and without conscious awareness of how my behaviour was really just a way for me to be loved and not be abandoned.
With authenticity comes vulnerability, and to be vulnerable and dive deep into your own ocean can be a challenge, the deeper you dive and the longer you explore the easier it gets. By bringing awareness to my vulnerability, my needs and fears, I have more awareness of my emotions and feelings, and also more acceptance of my behaviour. Being vulnerable and having emotions is not weakness, there is a strength in being vulnerable, the key is to accept how you feel, sit with the choppy waves in the ocean and not drown. With vulnerability comes authenticity, and in that there is strength.
When you can climb your mountain, and dive in from the highest point into your own unconscious endless blue ocean, and learn how to swim around, and not drown in your emotions, you can find your authentic self.