3 Things Preventing You from Living Authentically

Why is being and living as your true self so . . . revolutionary?

When we discover what our self-care needs are, sometimes we think about where authenticity fits in.

To be authentic means to be worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact. (Merriam-Webster)

We, as a people, are receiving more and more messages from the media on what we are supposed to be doing, how we are supposed to look and who we are supposed to be at an incredible rate. I’ve got to say, I know I am impacted by the sheer amount of pressure that these messages hold. Are you?

More than ever, generations of people (people that grew up with social media in particular) have to really dig deep to discover what authenticity means to them. Because to be authentic in this day in age means being a rebel.

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Photo by Designecologist on

So come on, you rebel-in-the-making: let’s look closer into three ideas that get in the way of us living authentically:


Let’s put it out there: a lot of us are truly afraid of being our true, authentic selves. These fears are based upon being afraid of not being accepted, not being understood or a fear of being isolated because of your identity, your differences, or your true thoughts, ideas and dreams.

This fear is a powerful barrier, as the fear of not belonging can drive us to conform and even assimilate into mainstream cultures and peer pressure that we would otherwise not connect with. Even in adulthood, these feelings can drive us to not live out what or who we really want to be.

Vulnerability. (Or lack there of.)

As we recognized with fear, sometimes we fear that being authentic will cause us to be vulnerable. Sometimes we are not able to live as our authentic selves because we have reservations about being vulnerable, or our safety will be compromised if we are our authentic selves. In essence, authenticity requires a particular level of vulnerability.

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Photo by Leah Kelley on

Many definitions of vulnerability use words like “risk”, “openness”, and “capable of being hurt”, further indicating the power that being your true self can hold. You may feel exposed if you are your authentic self in some spaces and therefore, protect yourself to preserve your safety.

Unsure of who your authentic self is.

This may seem plain as day but, how can you be your authentic self if you are unsure of who that is?

Some of us are still in the process of learning who we are, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It may be that you are in the beginning of your self-exploration journey and are just learning who you are authentically. Or there may have been experiences that prevented you from getting to know who you really are. To help you begin discovering who your authentic self is, check out out guided self-care journal, Self Explore, Self Restore.

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Photo by Mwabonje on

For some, being an authentic person feels as natural as breathing. For others, connecting to your authentic self requires more energy, time and self-reflection. Take some time to revisit where you are on your journey to being your true self. You may notice that you may have to tap into your courageousness, strengthen your self-awareness or look into the fears that are your barriers to your authenticity.

Questions to think about:

  • What does it mean to me to be authentic? What’s my definition of authenticity?
  • Who is my authentic self? What words help describe my authentic self?
  • If applicable, what’s getting in the way of me being my authentic self?
  • Are there times, places or people that I feel safe being my authentic self? What about these times, places or people help me be my authentic self? How can I recreate these experiences in other parts of my life?

You are so deserving of living and being your authentic self, so take the time you need to figure out your next steps for living authentically.

What is preventing you from living authentically?


  1. Ali, The Mindful Gardener says

    As usual, I love this! I think in the past in relationships I have had a tendency to be subsumed by someone else’s identity, and to trust their opinions, knowledge, force of personality more than my own. I would like to think that I am more conscious now, and I trust my instinct more. I have realised that my opinions, knowledge and personality is just as valid and valuable to me, and that my voice is worth hearing.

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