When following your own path it can be hard to feel like you aren’t having a quarter or mid-life crisis Darling. Thinking about the rebels of society who often stand out. We can observe by and large humans are creatures of habit because it suits our physiological needs, so when your favourite series ends no wonder it sends you into inner turmoil darling.
As a human it is very natural for us to have introspective thoughts, these are the sort that cause us to microscopically zoom in and focus on one thing rather than seeing the bigger picture. As the awesome Dolly Alderton points out in Life Honestly “marvel at something massive” ‘and we aren’t talking big appendages here, go look at the vast ocean that connects every being on the planet, go visit the Yew tree in Wales that has existed for 4000 years, get some perspective.
We talk about mindfulness a lot today, this isn’t a new concept, it harks back to meditation and encompasses one of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing; Taking Notice alongside fulfilling the mantra of ‘being in the moment’. Though this looks a little bit like a game of semantics essentially the premise is to achieve zooming out and look at that bigger picture darling. The world is full of amazingness and people who have survived beyond what you could ever imagine.
It is easy in times of vulnerability to lie about our true self, but as we learnt in our vulnerability blog so much courage comes out of being you. The other amazing effect of opening up about our flaws and experiences is that we share and break stigma because before you know where you are someone else is also talking about their bad experiences in the bedroom. Beautiful relationships are born out of truth, what are you hiding from others or indeed yourself darling? Learn more about your inner self.
Surely one of the benefits of getting older is finally being able to be who you bloody are darling! So tell other women they look great, be happy for people who live differently to you, don’t lie to Leboni’s pizza at 2 am about both the pizzas being for you – laugh about it and bloody enjoy it, because we have all been there, we are all human, right?
In juxta-position often in life when things get tough we have act and hope the rest will follow, but perhaps this is with a different premise as we can be open about the fact we really didn’t want to change our bedsheets or have a shower – however that when we did although it started out feeling like a performance by the end it got us going again. Routine and habit, especially habits we don’t mind boasting about are good for human nature, the trick is not allowing them to take control and stop us from progressing or sampling life.
Research shows that you doing you strongly correlates with “self-esteem and aspects of both subjective and psychological well-being”. Researchers Wood et al show this in this diagram:
It shows us that authenticity first involves what we perceive vs fact, this links with what we the concept of cognitive bias e.g. judging a book by its cover and that in fact, your reality might not be your reality. Research suggests we will never know true reality because we all hold some bias.
Secondly our perception of our reality then links with how we behave, as well as behaving in line with how we feel. This is what the Hot Cross Bun of CBT illustrates, that NATs (Negative Automatic Thoughts) can start to determine how we feel, behave and physically react to situations. Simply put authentic living means to be true to yourself in most situations including going through life based on your values and beliefs.
Lastly, the third level considers how much we are influenced by peers or how much we feel we have to fit in with peers, sadly it is natural for us humans as social beings to alienate from our true self just to fit in. Often this fits with also putting others first and not listening to what we want, so always remember to be selfish darling.
Much psychopathology (mental ill-health) is derived from a “departure of authenticity”. To not be yourself really upsets the mind, so in the words of Shakespeare:
“This above all: to thine own self be true. And it must follow, as the night the day. Thou canst not then be false to any man” (or indeed woman).