Insights: Living an Authentic Life

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Author and relationship consultant Barbara de Angelis said that “we need the courage to say no to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to discover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.”

Not an easy thing to do. Unconsciously, we allow certain things or people into our lives that do not serve us. So many factors play into why we do the things we do.  As humans, we can often be very complicated.

Fear is one of the main reasons we hold on to what we do not need. That list of what we might be afraid of is long: Fear of hurting others, fear of rejection, fear of offending people, fear of what others might think, or how we might regret letting them go, fear of “am I doing the wrong thing.” So many concerns, so many possibilities.

Then there is the letting go of possessions. We might worry that we may need it one day, or my great aunt gave it to me. Maybe we grew up during a time when people did not get rid of things, or we were told about how others are so less fortunate than us. Maybe we are just attached to it for sentimental reasons.

Letting go is not easy for anyone. We want comfort, we want to feel safe, and we want what we know, rather than what we do not know.

Our brain does not like change; it likes consistency and stability, even if it is negative and not a positive in our lives.

Letting go is an important part of being congruent with ourselves, in being authentic. One of the hardest things to let go of is a relationship that is not working. What is imperative is looking at each of your relationships and assessing if they bring out the best in us. If not, we may need to consider if they are worth the cost of having them in our life, or maybe you do not invest so much time or energy and you see them less frequently.

We so often hear about how precious our time is, but really our energy is our most valuable resource, and therefore we have to carefully consider what we do with our energy.

When we reflect daily on how we are choosing to live, we can check what may need to change, and what we need to let go of, to be the best version of ourselves.

Letting go is a process, so it might mean letting go a little bit at a time.

When we have things or people in our lives that are not congruent with who we are, it’s difficult for us to be our authentic selves.

Here are some ways to make this easier.

  1. Before buying anything, wait 24 hours before making the final decision.
  2. Do not hesitate to give something to charity if you do not love it.
  3. Do not give your time away to others that does not have a benefit.
  4. Forgive people who hurt you and then either repair the relationship or let it go. Holding old hurts gets in the way of authenticity.
  5. Know what you like and do not like, and hold what is true for yourself.
  6. Keep your agreements and be honest.
  7. Take care of yourself.
  8. Remember no one is perfect, and do not expect perfection of yourself.
  9. It is okay to say no.
  10. Make your words have meaning.

Being authentic takes being present in the now, being honest with ourselves and not being afraid of what others think.

Be your authentic self, it is the only way to truly “be” in the world.

Reach Dr. Shelly Zavala at or [email protected].



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