013. Embracing Authenticity: The Power of Being Yourself

Are you living authentically? Or do you hide and seek approval and belonging? Embracing your authenticity shows you the power of being yourself. This episode talks about what it means to embrace your authenticity and the power of being yourself that comes with it. Let’s explore what it means to be authentic (it’s not throwing […]

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Are you living authentically? Or do you hide and seek approval and belonging? Embracing your authenticity shows you the power of being yourself. This episode talks about what it means to embrace your authenticity and the power of being yourself that comes with it. Let’s explore what it means to be authentic (it’s not throwing your unfiltered emotions at people!) and how it can deepen your relationships. There lies a power in being yourself, and it starts with attracting the right people, the ones who value you for who you really are. Are you curious to learn more? Grab your drink and dive into today’s episode with me.

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Nadja Hagen [00:00:14]:
Are you ready to go from am I good enough to is this good for me? Welcome to the Self Love sessions podcast. I’m your hostess, Nadja Hagen, and I’m the self love coach for ambitious women recovering from people pleasing and starting to laugh the heck out of themselves. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. It sets the tone for all other relationships in your life and your overall quality of life. It’s worth cultivating. In the Self Love sessions podcast, I share nuggets of wisdom on setting healthy boundaries, prioritizing your needs without shame and guilt, and building relationships that enrich your holding life, starting with the one you have with yourself. Lets dive into todays episode were about to dive into a topic that has the potential to transform your life authenticity if you’ve ever felt like you are not quite living up to your true self, or that you are stuck in a pattern of pretending to be someone you are not, this episode is for you. Grab your favorite drink, get comfortable, and let’s explore what it means to be authentic and how to embrace it.

Nadja Hagen [00:01:42]:
I know that authenticity is a word that gets tossed around a lot, but we are diving deeper here. So let’s start with the basics. What does it mean to be authentic? At its core, authenticity is about being true to yourself. It’s about expressing your thoughts, your feelings and beliefs without pretending or hiding behind a mask. It’s about living in a way that aligns with who you really are, not just who you think others want you to be. But lets be honest, being authentic can be challenging. From a young age, we are often taught to fit in, to conform and to follow the rules. This conditioning can make it difficult to embrace our uniqueness and to speak our truth.

Nadja Hagen [00:02:36]:
The pressure to conform can be intense. Whether it comes from societal norms, peer pressure, or even our families, we live in a world where there is a lot of pressure to be normal, to fit into certain models, and to meet specific expectations. Whatever normal means. Anyway, this pressure can be overwhelming, leading us to compromise our authenticity. So let’s break down some of the common barriers to authenticity. The first is the fear of rejection. This fear is deeply rooted in our human need to belong and to be accepted. We are born with a need to belong and we need our caregivers, our parents acceptance to survive.

Nadja Hagen [00:03:28]:
So if you’ve ever felt like you had to hide parts of yourself to fit in or to avoid criticism, then you are definitely not alone. This fear can lead us to compromise our values and put on a facade just to keep the peace. And while it might seem like a small price to pay in the short term. Over time, it can take a toll on our mental and emotional well being. Another major barrier is the need for approval. Social media has amplified this, with likes, followers and comments becoming measures of birth. It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeking external validation, constantly looking for approval from others. But here’s the thing.

Nadja Hagen [00:04:18]:
When we are focused on what others think, we lose sight of what we actually want. So this can lead to a disconnect between our true desires and the choices we make in life. And then there is the fear of judgment. We worry about being judged for our choices, our appearance, or our beliefs. This can be paralyzing, leading us to play it safe and avoid taking risks. But the truth is, playing it safe often means suppressing our authenticity, suppressing who we truly are, which can leave us feeling unfulfilled and disconnected from our true selves. And that’s not a good feeling. Now that we’ve identified some of the barriers to authenticity, let’s talk about the consequences of living inauthentically when we are not being true to ourselves.

Nadja Hagen [00:05:11]:
It creates a sense of emptiness. You might find yourself going through the motions of life without feeling truly engaged or passionate. And this can lead to a lack of fulfillment and a sense of disconnect from your own desires, and even to a sense of disconnect from life in general. It can all feel empty, kind of dead. Even so, living inauthentically can also affect our relationships. When we are not authentic, we are not allowing others to know the real us. And this can lead to superficial connections and a lack of depth in our relationships. So people might like the version of us that we present.

Nadja Hagen [00:05:55]:
But if it’s not our true self, there is a gap that can never be bridged. It’s like building a house on a shaky foundation. It won’t stand the test of time. Another consequence of inauthenticity is burnout. When you’re constantly trying to meet the expectations of others or pretending to be someone you are not, this can be exhausting. You might find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or even resentful because you are not honoring your own needs and your own boundaries. And this exhaustion can affect your work, your relationships, and your overall quality of life. But let’s focus on the positive side.

Nadja Hagen [00:06:42]:
What happens when you embrace authenticity? When you start living in alignment with your true self, amazing things can happen. You begin to attract people who resonate with you, leading to deeper and more meaningful relationships. You start to feel a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment because you are living according to your values. And perhaps most importantly, you experience a sense of freedom. The freedom to be yourself without apologies. The freedom to express what is there, what is truly there as emotions, as feelings, to express who you truly are. So how do we embrace authenticity? The first step again, I talk about this so often, but again, the first step is self awareness. Take some time to reflect on your values, on your beliefs and desires.

Nadja Hagen [00:07:43]:
What truly matters to you? What are the things that bring you joy and fulfillment? When you understand your core values, you can start to make decisions that align with them. Journaling can be a really helpful tool here. Write about your thoughts, about your feelings and dreams. This process can help you uncover whats most important to you. The second step is practicing vulnerability and I know this can feel really scary, especially if youre used to keeping your guard up. Vulnerability is about being willing to share your true thoughts and feelings, even when its uncomfortable. Start by opening up to people you trust. Close friends are family members.

Nadja Hagen [00:08:37]:
You don’t have to share everything at once, and you don’t have to share your deepest desires. But taking small steps towards vulnerability can help build your confidence and being authentic. Brenny Brown, a researcher who studies vulnerability and shame, often talks about the importance of daring greatly taking risks to be real and honest. This is a great approach to authenticity. Another important step is setting boundaries. Again, here are my lovely boundaries. If you’re used to people pleasing or avoiding conflict, setting boundaries can feel challenging. But boundaries are essential for protecting your authenticity.

Nadja Hagen [00:09:24]:
They allow you to say no to things that don’t align with your values and to say yes to what truly matters. Practice setting boundaries in small ways, like declining invitations that don’t interest you or drain your energy, or speaking up when you disagree with something. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable with asserting your needs. Let’s talk about embracing your uniqueness. Each of us has something special to offer, whether it’s our skills, talents, or our unique perspective. What makes you unique? What are your passions and interests? Embrace those things. They are what makes you you. And instead of trying to fit into a mold, celebrate your individuality.

Nadja Hagen [00:10:19]:
When you start embracing your uniqueness, you will find that it attracts the right people and opportunities into your life. I’d like to share some stories of authenticity to inspire you. My client Kim was so overwhelmed. She was building her business and she is a mom of a toddler, a two year old son, and this in itself is a huge task every single day. Her husband was taking care of working, but he didn’t support her a lot. In all the day to day requirements as a family. And Kim was so overwhelmed. In our coaching sessions, we worked towards enabling her to express her desires and her needs.

Nadja Hagen [00:11:07]:
She noticed that she had too much on her to do list, and she wanted to share more of the responsibilities. So we practice how she can express this desire to her husband in a very transparent, clear, but kind way. And it was really a task for her at the beginning because she wasn’t used to asking for help and support. But in the end, her relationship got so much better and she got freed up a lot. I mean, when you’re a toddler, mom, even 30 minutes are a lot, but you get more than 30 minutes. Kim is an example of how being authentic, how to express what you really feel, and how to ask what you really need, can massively improve and deepen your relationships, especially your close and intimate ones. Another inspiring story is the story of my client, Julia. She was taught at an early age to avoid conflict at any cost.

Nadja Hagen [00:12:11]:
Peace was the highest value in her family. In the meantime, she’s a grown up woman. She’s married, and she has two kids, and she never spoke up when something happened that didn’t feel good to her. She stayed quiet for a lot of time, and that led to a lot of resentment building up towards her husband. And when you have ever been in a situation where you feel resentful, then you know that this is not something you want to have in a relationship, because it’s a quite disturbing feeling, and it pops up at the most inconvenient time. So when you’re discussing something, when you have a disagreement and the situation is already more challenging to navigate, then this is the time where normal resentment pops up and makes it even worse. So Julia worked towards standing up for herself and taking a stand for her needs and asking her husband to listen and to participate and to help with the duties as a family. Quite often for women, the topics we work on are topics related to the distribution of responsibilities within a family.

Nadja Hagen [00:13:27]:
So if you feel something similar, let me tell you, you’re definitely not alone. We are living in times where the distribution of responsibilities is changing more and more. So the old, traditional ways of doing things do not necessarily apply to every modern family anymore. And I don’t judge this at all. I don’t say one is better than the other. That’s maybe a point of discussion for a later episode. But for today, it’s about having two people founding a family and feeling good in this family. So Julia learned to express this, and it has a similar result to Kim’s story.

Nadja Hagen [00:14:13]:
She was so much more happy because she felt as a real family and not a single mom with a husband, if you know what I mean. So there are so many inspiring stories where authenticity and vulnerability really brought connectedness into a relationship and made it possible to come closer. Instead of what a lot of people pleasers are actually afraid of is that as soon as they express what they want that they experience rejection. But it’s quite often the opposite. Remember that embracing authenticity is a journey. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there will be bumps along the way. Be patient with yourself and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This is how we learn.

Nadja Hagen [00:15:04]:
The key is to moving forward and to trust that being yourself is the best thing you can do because you want people to connect with you because you are who you are and not because you pretend to be someone else. It’s also important to surround yourself with people who support you, and I know that this can too be challenging if you’re not used to these kinds of friendships. And in this case, I highly recommend that you start a new friendship. One single friendship can be enough to experience true connectedness and to have someone where you can firsthand experience that authenticity and vulnerability are a massive gain to a relationship. And this can encourage you a lot so that it even enables you to bring these qualities into the other existing relationships in your life. So when you’re on the path to authenticity, having a support system can make a big difference. Seek out friends and mentors who encourage you to be yourself and who value your uniqueness. If you find that certain relationships are toxic or unsupportive, it might be time to set a boundary or even let them go.

Nadja Hagen [00:16:24]:
Your mental and emotional well being should always come first. Thank you so much for joining me on this episode of the Self Love Sessions podcast, and I hope that you find today’s episode helpful. If so, please leave a five star rating and review for the podcast so that other people know too that this podcast really delivers massive value. It helps me so much in supporting people, in setting healthy boundaries and recovering from paper pleasing. Thank you so much and I talk to you in the next episode. Thank you for listening to today’s episode. If you found this valuable, please give a five star rating and tell other women that this show is worth listening to. I talk to you in the next episode.

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As a recovered people-pleaser, I know how frustrated you feel when you care for everyone else but yourself. I've learned to set healthy boundaries and prioritize myself to create the life I want to live (not one where I comply with other people's guidelines). I'll show you exactly how to build YOUR life - the way you want to live it (and yes, boundaries play a huge role in that!) Start living unapologetically and totally YOU.

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