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3 Signs You Are Living Authentically

Janet Bernstein
By Janet Bernstein |Carrollton, TX

The Merrium-Webster Dictionary defines “Authentic” as being true to one’s own personality, spirit or character.

I know what you’re thinking; the word “authentic” has been tossed around lately like a bad fruitcake at an overcrowded family holiday party. We use it to describe friends, artwork, restaurants and even our latest handbag purchase on Ebay. Everyone seems to be flooding our social media feeds with quotes and memes about being authentic, though are they truly walking the walk?

Here are 3 signs you are living authentically

You Sleep At Night

So I know this may spark a few debates, and a lot of amazing people I know struggle with insomnia, (including me at times.) Despite how common it is, I absolutely believe there is a correlation between sleep and living authentically. When you are not being true to yourself, your body is out of whack. You struggle with stomach issues, headaches, and other various ailments. In recent years, many researchers and therapists have supported a connection between emotion and disease. Though still controversial, many are realizing that unresolved childhood trauma, abuse and even anger can contribute to or cause disease later in life.

I can now share that I was battling insomnia for several months while working with a difficult client. She was not being authentic in her life and business, and was exhibiting a false image of herself on social media, while revealing her true self and character in my office each week. I came close to firing her as a client, when our 90-day project suddenly stretched past the 6 month mark, but I refrained and pushed through. Every time my phone rang and I saw her name, or whenever I received an email from her, I cringed. I bit my tongue in my interactions with her, and even found myself praising her superficial ramblings on social media. Just by silencing myself and playing along with her inability to be authentic, I was squashing my authentic self in the process. It manifested itself in various ways, from not being able to go to sleep until one o’clock in the morning most nights, and even being unable to get out of bed in the morning on time. I finally spoke up to her, following an incident where she hurt the feelings of a mutual friend. She flew off the handle, reacted with anger and defensive remarks, and then un-friended me on social media. I was initially disappointed and a bit upset, but then magically, I slept better that night than I had in months. Sometimes living your authentic self has more to do with how you are interacting with others, especially toxic people, because the feeling of not being able to speak up is perhaps the most damaging to our spirits.

You Attract Like-Minded People

While discussing with a fellow coach in my circle the challenges of finding ideal clients for a specific mastermind program I was creating, she brought to my attention that I was attracting the wrong clients. I was frustrated after receiving three applications for my program, only to find they were all seeking a scholarship (free opportunity.) Because I had lowered my pricing and offered the scholarship option to appeal to a broader audience, I was actually underpricing my value and worth, thus attracting less than ideal clients. They were great people, but they were not ready for the program, mentally or financially. After realizing this information, I quickly closed my mastermind program and made the decision not to move forward with it at that time. As soon as I made that move, I brought in two new clients who didn’t question my value or fees. If you are constantly having to justify your worth to potential clients, then they are the not right clients for you. Move on. Raise your standards and stick with them. If you are selling luxury cars, don’t post your flyers at the dollar store.

You Aren’t Easily Distracted

One of my incredible daughters has ADHD, and struggles with focus and being attentive. She has battled this since she was six years old, and she is now fourteen. At times, she finds herself drifting away with her thoughts, unable to stay on task or finish her assignments at school. She is also highly creative, with a passion for music and art.

She is going back to school in the next couple of weeks, and we have been diligently picking up supplies and such to prepare. She showed me a binder she had already begun to fill and organize, and when she opened it, my mouth dropped. She had crafted, by hand, a pencil pouch that had all sorts of pockets for gadgets, and an impressive post-it note assortment attached to the back of it. She made this completely out of items in her room, and it looked pretty amazing. The funny thing is she didn’t struggle with staying on task while she was creating it. She didn’t lose her focus or get distracted, and she certainly didn’t care what anyone else might think should they see it. She just poured herself into it and created something she was proud of and wanted for her new school year.

When we are living our most authentic selves, distraction isn’t an issue. When I am coaching clients, and we are hitting the gold, time seems to fly by us. A 60-minute session suddenly becomes 75 minutes, or in some cases, two hours! When you are doing what you love, staying focused is not a problem. What do you do that makes you forget the time or ignore the Facebook notifications popping up on your phone? Do more of that!

So the bottom line? Listen to your body and pay attention to how you feel and what/whom you are attracting. If things feel “off,” they probably are. Be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to live authentically and unapologetically.

Here’s a couple pictures of my daughter’s handmade binder pouch.

Authentic

Janet Bernstein
Janet Bernstein |Carrollton, TX
Janet Bernstein spent 17 years in the corporate world, and was the youngest founding partner of AmeriCap Insurance Agency in Addison, Texas. Upon leaving her partnership in October 2015, she launched her own business, Savvy Girl Media, where she helps women entrepreneurs and business owners share their stories online through blogging, social media, website content creation, photography and more. She is the current North Dallas Circle Leader for Plaid for Women. In addition, she is the co-founder of the Every Heart Project, providing workshops, retreats, resources, mentoring and relationship building for their members. She is a best-selling author, executive coach, published photographer, singer/songwriter and speaker.

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