5 Ways To Get Into Alignment With Your Authentic Self
We’re all on a journey. It’s part of what brings you here to this post at the very moment you need it. Trust that you are where you should be in this process and that as you seek your truth, the answer will reveal themselves.
Sometimes, however, you need to get into a proper position to recognize truth when it appears. How can you open the way to receive this vital information? Furthermore, what does it mean to align with your authentic self?
Let’s step forward together and explore the beauty and bounty this alignment can bring into your life.
What Does It Mean To Get Into Alignment?
We use this phrase a lot and we’re sure you hear it elsewhere. It’s a common theme among people seeking mindfulness. In fact, mindfulness is a powerful tool you’ll use to identify your core values and beliefs.
But it’s also ambiguous, right? Before you can begin paying attention to whether your actions reflect your authentic self, you have to figure out who that is.
Getting into aligment means doing some soul searching to discover what’s truly important to you. What do you value and when do you feel your best?
Why Should We Get Into Alignment, Anyway?
If you want to live a mindful, purpose-driven life, you need to understand what your goal is. Everyone’s goals are different, but we feel that most seekers want to know and continually improve themselves. This is the foundation your other goals spring from.
By identifying what’s important to you, you unlock a powerful measuring stick you’ll compassionately use to observe your actions, reactions, and emotional health.
For instance, when we have decisions to make or feel out of sorts, we ask ourselves, ‘Will this bring me closer to who I truly am? Does this reflect my authenticity?’
Because life is full of nuance and gray areas, there’s often no ‘right’ or perfect choice. However, we think you can’t go wrong if you choose to be more authentic and move closer to who you are. Even if things don’t work out, you’ve learned things that will help you tune your life in the future.
Once you identify your authentic self and begin making decisions and choices that honor it, you’ll notice that life becomes more effortless. You say yes to things that nurture you and that brings more, similar experiences into your awareness. As you continue to say yes to what serves you and no to what doesn’t, you build a life that’s tuned to success.
Who Are We, Really?
There are many answers to this question. You’ve probably heard people say we are spiritual beings having a human experience. Or, maybe you’ve heard variations of the phrase, ‘we are all one.’ When we talk about the observer self relating to mindfulness and meditation, we are hinting at this deeper, truest you. It’s the essence that can compassionately observe your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and actions as if they’re happening to someone else.
This idea is at the core of many spiritual paths.
However, we are also our personalities. You are the person reading this blog right now. That person is the sum of your experiences, desires, emotions, and thoughts. Even though in many ways this personality is a mask you choose to wear in order to engage in the world around you, it is also a part of who you are right now.
Your authentic self resides somewhere in the beautiful space between these two concepts. It understands that you are a vast being capable of love and compassion but also understands that you are having a reality experience that requires you to make choices and manifest the life you desire.
The concept of the authentic self can help you remain spiritually aware while practically navigating all the trappings of the culture you’re experiencing as a human being on Earth. After all, we can’t all check out of society completely and attain monk-like levels of enlightenment.
Someone has to pay the cell phone bill and do the laundry. Your personality can take care of that while your authentic self continues to appreciate that at your very core, you’re so much larger.
Now it’s time to get into alignment!
Tips On Aligning
With that imperfect but workable understanding, we want to share some tips and tricks we use to identify our authenticity and get into alignment with it.
1. Discover Your Core Values
We like to steer clear of the word ‘belief’ because it feels like a closed system that has stopped taking in new information. We feel that identifying your core values is a better approach to learning about yourself.
A value is a principle that adds meaning to your life. It’s something that matters to you and you probably seek out friends and partners who embody them.
You probably already have a few in mind. Pull out your notes app or grab a piece of paper and start making a list.
If the list is long, that’s ok! You can start very generally and refine it through journaling. Maybe you value intimacy, honesty, service, and pleasure. Or, perhaps things like security, comfort, kindness, and compassion are the first values that come to mind.
If you struggle, pretend you’re filling out a dating application. What are you looking for in someone else? Chances are good that your own values are similar or complementary.
Once you have a list, spend a few days keeping it in mind while you go about your life. Make some journal entries about how your days stack up to your list of potential core values. In other words, if you think security is a big value for you, but you spend most of your time pushing the envelope to feel the adrenaline rush and that makes you feel good, you may have to think deeper about what security means to you.
By the way, you can add whatever context to each value that YOU identify with. You can be loyal but self-honoring at the same time. You may value both security (financially, for instance) and the exhilaration of skydiving.
Your core value list will evolve and change as you do, so keep your thinking flexible, and don’t be afraid to change your mind as you grow.
2. Examine Your Emotional Self
Although emotions are simply things we experience and not things that define us, they can be tools that help us discover what we love and what drags us down. Paying attention to our emotions can also help us identify areas we struggle with so we can seek help from professionals.
If you put your hand on a burning stove, for instance, you’ll feel pain. You haven’t become your pain. This pain isn’t defining or controlling you. However, it does let you know that you should take your hand away so you don’t do serious damage to your body, right?
That type of example is very simple, but emotions can be a bit trickier. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable emotions that block us from actually having what we want. We might value love, for instance, but fear being vulnerable with someone who matters to us because we’re worried they’ll reject us.
If we didn’t look closely, we might get stuck in the weird, confusing space between why falling in love makes us anxious but we long for a close connection with a partner. When we compassionately examine our emotions in a detached way, however, we can see that we’re just afraid. Now we can work with ourselves and our therapists or loved ones to help clear that blockage.
After you’ve kept a value list and your reflections on it for a few days, do the same with your emotions. Make a list of feelings you have frequently that feel very present in your life. Now take notes for a week, focusing on when you felt them, how you processed them, and what the outcome was if any.
3. Compare Your Lists
Now you have some data to process. When you look at your value and emotion journal entries, do you see clear relationships between them?
It might look something like this:
My values are honesty, compassion, growth, and serving others. I felt joy when I volunteered at the animal shelter even though it’s sad to see unwanted pets waiting for a home. That makes sense because I have compassion but also value serving others. This feels true to me, so I can safely leave both of those values on my list for now.
I wrote that I value growth, but my emotion journal reveals that I felt anxious when I stepped out of my comfort zone. I have some work to do in this area to identify how I can stretch my boundaries in a healthy way while still feeling secure.
This exercise will give you a greater understanding of how you relate to the IDEA of who you are. It’s a step that will help you on your journey to get into alignment with your true self.
4. Practice Making Value Driven Choices
You’ll eventually have at least a working list of values that you feel pretty sure about, for now. It’s time to practice making choices that align with these values.
Remember that this is a process and things will change! You might discover that you’re incorrect about a value because choosing to align with it makes you feel genuinely bad. It’s ok to think that through, ask yourself if it resonates with you, and let it go if that’s what feels right.
However, the opposite might also be true. You may decide that you want to try to push through your uncomfortable feelings because you sense the truth in the value you’ve identified. Be gentle, but test it out! Experience can be the best teacher, as long as you’re careful to stay safe as you experiment.
After a month or so, do you notice that your life feels or looks different than it used to? Are you feeling better or worse?
You’re creating a check and balance system that you can use to guide your life. Your emotions say X, how does that compare to your values? The answer may reveal whether you want to indulge and honor that emotion, or if you want to work to rise above it. This works in reverse as well.
Your value says Y, but you feel consistently unsettled as you make choices that align with that value. Why might that be the case? Is it time to reevaluate that value?
5. If You Were A Business…
Businesses and brands create things called value statements and purpose or mission statements to anchor their choices. You can do the same to get into alignment! It’s a wonderful exercise and gives you simple, concrete pivot points to refer to.
Once you’ve written these statements, keep them somewhere visible. Refer back to them and evaluate them regularly. You’ll find some great tips on how to create these statements if you follow that link.
You’re essentially boiling down the data you’ve been gathering into a couple of catchy phrases to help you get into alignment and make sure you stay there.
So, Who Are You, Authentically?
Once you walk through these tips you’ll have a greater understanding of who you are at your core. This understanding will power the choices you make. These choices create the experiences you have and, in turn, those experiences create the life you live. That’s why we want to get into alignment in the first place.
Our experience shows us that life becomes more effortless and success flows freely when our actions reflect our authenticity. We aren’t struggling against who we are. Instead, we focus our efforts on figuring out how to get more of what makes us feel grounded and how to avoid what moves us further away from what we want.
Your creativity will probably explode. Your relationships will benefit. You’ll feel joy and satisfaction while you grow.