What is an authenticity mindset? Being authentic is all about being true to yourself. It’s about making sure that what you do and say is well aligned with what you believe, and what matters to you. Our mindset is all about the underlying belief systems that that shape who we are, what we do, and what we allow ourselves to be capable of. So an authenticity mindset is when we are able to connect with what we believe and show up fully as who we are.
This sounds so easy, but for many of us it can feel too risky to show ourselves in this way. It can be easier to fit into other people’s world view than to risk exposing our own, and if this happens there is a cost – and the cost is often internal and invisible. When we don’t feel able to be our true selves, we can trigger our inner critic, or spend a lot of time second guessing ourselves and others. It’s an uncomfortable place to be – full of fear and a sense that we somehow lack what is needed. When we find ourselves here, we’re in what I call a ‘scarcity’ mindset.
So how do we go about establishing a mindset that is authentic with who we are? Something that feels more healthy and sustainable for us? The key lies in tuning into three things.
- Who we are is Enough. It can be so powerful to work on your inner belief that you are is loveable – exactly as you are, with all your flaws and your talents. Of course you can change and grow, but as a starting point, you are simply who you are and that is enough, in and of itself. Tara Brach calls this ‘radical self-acceptance’. For many of us, this is the work; to spend time learning to accept ourselves, and to go further than that – to love ourselves.
- Acknowledge things as they are and focus on what’s there in the moment. Acknowledging things as they are, means that we have to start from the present moment, not an idealised view of what should be. This belief helps us to see that perfection is a fantasy, so we release ourselves from its clutches. Sure, we can strive for excellence – and we do this from a position of knowing that giving the best of ourselves to things that matter to us will be enough. We seek flow in what we do, rather than constantly pushing ourselves to work more or harder. Again, this is about being true to the reality of who you are, and moving away from a sense that you need to be different in order to succeed.
- Remember that the world is abundant – resources are replenishable. It can be easy in today’s world to get pulled into a scarcity mindset, where we fear that everything that we need in life will run out. Try reminding yourself that that isn’t how the world actually works. It’s much more circular than linear; think of life’s most basic patterns – when we get tired, we can sleep, if we’re hungry, we need to eat. There is usually a resource available to give us what we need when we need it, if only we stop to remind ourselves of this fact. So developing a belief that the world is full of abundance that we can trust in and source our energy from, can be a great relief. It can move us away from the fear of scarcity so that we can focus instead on what does really matter to us.
The great twenty-first century psychologist Carl Jung said, “until we make the unconscious conscious it will control your life and you will call it fate.” Our mindset is a bit like that. We want to start becoming aware of where we are coming from, so that we can give ourselves choices to change it. Start by noticing what your belief systems are, and then reflect – are these working for me? You can then make a choice and re-set to something that feels authentic to you. Accepting yourself, being in the present moment and trusting in your resources, will help you to show up – as you are – safe in the knowledge that your authentic self is enough.