By definition, self congruency means...in harmony of one's essential being. It's about having congruency and alignment, internally and externally.
And so far this year, I've been on this quest to understand what authenticity means.
What does authenticity actually look like?
What does it feel like to be authentic...to be who we are authentically and to live our life authentically?
And I've come to realize the journey to authenticity is certainly not one that's finite. It's a journey that begins with self awareness. Letting go of the shame and resentment through our healing work, and reclaiming our personal power that comes when we finally decide to live our truth and accepting who we truly are.
We are NOT our past. Our past, our failures, and our mistakes do not defined who we are, nor our destiny. And as human beings, we have different parts of who we are that makes us complex, but also unique and powerful because we have the ability to be co-creators of our own lives. We have the power to shape our destiny and to change the course of our life.
And through our own lived experience that is unique to us, we've developed certain parts of who we are that we've integrated along the way subconsciously in order to feel safe and to survive. We inherit certain adoptive behavioral patterns or coping strategies along the way that we leverage unconsciously. Some of the common adoptive behavioral patterns or coping strategies include people pleasing, avoidance, putting other people's needs above yours, perfectionism, and lack of boundaries to name a few. And part of this journey to authenticity is all about welding and integrating all parts of us with grace and gratitude for helping us cope and survive through different chapters and seasons of our journey.
Doing the inner work and embarking on a healing journey is incredibly essential to our journey to authenticity.
I truly believe one of the main challenges in our journey to authenticity is the fear of judgment or being criticized. And this gets amplified depending on our conditioning. And it gets amplified when we were raised in environments that perhaps did not allow freedom of self expression or environments that did not foster a safe space for exploration, for discovery, for trying new things and failing along the way.
It can also be through moments when we were invalidated or shamed for doing things a certain way, whatever it was. The problem with this is that when we're young, especially during our formative years, we don't have the ability to reason. Therefore, we subsconsciously accept the things that were said to us as true that shapes our identity as we enter adulthood - also known as our self-image.
The self image concept is incredibly essential because it is what shapes the person we become. It is what shapes our perception and our physical reality. And when we have this disillusioned sense of self, we develop a self image that is not supportive and does not support our goals and our desires.
Why do we end up creating the opposite of what we want in life?
This is where self image comes to play. It shapes the lens in which you see things, in which you see and view the world. It is why it is incredibly important to have awareness around your limiting beliefs, and unearth outdated beliefs and bring them to your conscious awareness.
When you have a poor self image, you have very low confidence in your own abilities. You often feel invaluable, incapable, and unworthy at the root of this identity that you've developed of you. It is what drives every choice you make, every action you take. It is what draws events and people to you that reflects your belief system - what you have accepted to be true about you, what you've accepted to be true about your capabilities, and what you believe you are deserving to have and deserving to be.
Perhaps subconsciously, you repeatedly tell yourself you're never good enough. And it's through events and experiences that you draw to you that validate this belief, which becomes a cyclical self-fulfilling prophecy. You are essentially co-creating a life you don't want in the first place.
The journey to authenticity is never ending and it's one that you constantly have to nurture. And the more you know yourself, the more you uncover your own limitations and the more you begin to expand your own awareness. You begin to see things differently and experiencee things differently. It is this unfolding process, but it's also the becoming process.
While it can be difficult and challenging to face our fears, our pain, our shame, our resentment, our shadow...parts of us that we try to suppress or hide, there's something so beautiful on the other side of the storm...and that is freedom and serenity within. This is when we feel at ease. And this comes when we fully embrace our flaws, because we have innate wisdom that's only unique to us. This is what makes us remarkable beings.
So when we begin to shift our perception that our experiences and how we've been able to move through challenges and tragedy is actually what makes us resilient, unique, valuable, and capable people. And this conscious realization is both freeing and liberating.
So embracing our flaws, and embracing our experiences without judgment and seeing them as they are...as growth opportunities that connect us to our life's purpose and to who we are meant to become.
This is the esssence of life. This is what the journey to authenticity means. It is infinite. It is never ending. But it is one that enables us to live our lives authentically. It is always evolving as we continue to grow and heal.