In a world of conformity, embracing our genuine values, beliefs, and desires requires courage. Understanding and living by these core beliefs can cultivate a profound sense of integrity and coherence in our lives, leading to greater satisfaction and a stronger sense of purpose. Authenticity allows us to live a life that is true to our essence, bringing us joy and fulfilment.
However, truly being ourselves and living an authentic life takes unlearning years of societal conditioning, making peace with our flaws, failures and trauma, and developing self-compassion. At Kaasiḏa, we are dedicated to empowering women to feel confident in their own skin. To aid you on your journey toward authenticity, here are some practical tools that can serve as valuable guides:
Always, always, always start by going inwards:
- Introspect: Engage in activities that allow you to discover your passions, interests, and values. Reflect on what truly brings you joy and fulfilment rather than following what others expect of you. This process helps you uncover your authentic desires and aspirations.
- Cultivate Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself as you navigate the path of authenticity. Practice self-compassion and self-acceptance. Remember that authenticity is a journey, and it is okay to make mistakes or face setbacks along the way. Treat yourself with kindness, patience, and understanding as you grow into your authentic self.
- Recognise What Makes You Unique: Authenticity flourishes when you accept and appreciate your quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Comparing yourself to others only hinders your ability to live authentically. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, an artist or an athlete, a bookworm or a globe-trotter, embrace what makes you different and use it as a source of empowerment.
- Embrace Failure and Mistakes: Living authentically often requires stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing vulnerability. It means facing fears, taking risks, and embracing uncertainty. Authenticity requires the courage to express your true thoughts and emotions, even when it feels uncomfortable or challenging. Through vulnerability, you create opportunities for growth, learning, and deeper connections with others.
Once you start to gain clarity of who you are, turn your attention to your surrounding and what needs to change about it to align with your values:
- Become Aware of Conditioning: Recognise how societal conditioning has influenced your beliefs, values, and choices. Society often imposes standards of success, beauty, and happiness that may not align with our authentic selves. By becoming aware of these influences, we can start questioning and challenging them.
- Redefine Success: Society often defines success as external achievements, such as wealth, status, or material possessions. However, living an authentic life means redefining success according to your own values and priorities. Ask yourself what truly matters to you and how you want to measure your own success. This shift in perspective allows you to pursue a path that aligns with your authentic self.
- Set Clear Boundaries: Learn to say no to activities, relationships, or situations that do not align with your values or authenticity. By setting boundaries, you protect your energy, time, and emotional well-being, allowing space for activities and relationships that nourish your authentic self.
- Build a support system: Authenticity fosters deeper connections, as it encourages vulnerability, openness, and emotional honesty. Surround yourself with a supportive community or seek guidance from mentors, friends, or therapists who understand the importance of living authentically. Sharing your journey with others who value authenticity can provide encouragement, accountability, and a safe space for exploration.
While the tools shared here will gradually help you reclaim your power and embrace your uniqueness, it's essential to remember that living an authentic life is an ongoing journey. It requires commitment and consistency. Many people find practices like meditation and digital detox extremely helpful and enriching as they go through this transformative process of self-discovery and self-acceptance.
If you feel triggered by your past experience or trauma at any point during your journey, remember to pause and seek help from a friend or therapist. We will leave you with a beautiful quote by Emma Stone, "What sets you apart can sometimes feel like a burden, and it's not. And a lot of the time, it's what makes you great."
Meet the women of Kaasiḏa who are celebrating their individuality every day.