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How Authenticity Can Grow

Authenticity is not stagnant. It is meant to flourish.

I realize more about who I am now than when I was twenty. This is a result of the growth of authenticity in my life. The attention I give to learning about myself and aligning my values and behaviors leads to organic growth.

Growth occurs when you use the following steps:

  • Recognize the need to attend to your authenticity.

  • Create daily routines to give your values attention.

  • Prioritize authenticity above all else.

What you give attention to will grow.

Each spring I begin to think about the beautiful garden I will have. A few years back, my husband made four large garden boxes for me to plant. They are beautiful. He takes care of adding soil and he ensured the water source for these beds was automatic. This was an addition after the first year in which we grew tired of daily manual watering. I organize it on paper and begin planning when I will harvest. This helps me determine what vegetables will go into each bed.

Every year on Mother’s Day, we do the planting. Many items come from seed and some are small plants which we purchase from the local nursery. It’s a lovely sight to see the freshly tilled soil. It’s richness and fertility is evident. The young plants rise to the occasion when planted as if to say “Thank you for returning us to the earth”. Once planted, these young plants will need attention. Some attention comes naturally through sunlight, water and the soil. However, the plants and seeds must be protected from the daunting weed. Yes, we have weed block paper and our beds are raised. This alleviates some of the problem. But, in our garden area, there is a prolific weed which is determined to attack and choke out any plant which dares to enter the soil. The weed is an enemy which we encounter each year.

To help the plant remain intact and growing, my husband and I have to give attention to the invaders which seek to claim the territory as their own. It only takes a couple of days in the intense July sunshine before land can be lost to the weed. When we clear them out and stay ahead of them, the plants grow into beautiful plants which produce an abundant harvest for our family.

This concept is applicable to authenticity. Your authentic self will be challenged by the demands of your life, perceptions of others and a desire to be accepted. The fertility of your authenticity is only maintained if it is given attention. If your attention is drawn to others, your work, projects, to name a few, those are the things in your life which will grow and the territory your authenticity once held will be lost.

Discover how to grow your authenticity by following these steps:

Recognize the need to attend to your authenticity.

Your authenticity needs your attention.

Watching the plants be taken over by the weeds is an overt reminder of the need my plants have for my attention. Without my attention, they captured the attention of the weed. My authenticity is no different. Without my attention, it will catch the attention of the world around you to be influenced, distorted and destroyed.

Giving attention to your authenticity is carried out through these steps:

  • Know that you are worthwhile.

The measure of your self-worth is found in the type of attention you give to yourself. If you are unsure of your self-worth, ask others around you why they believe you have importance and value.

  • Envision how your authenticity can grow.

Think of the parts of yourself which you would like to see expand. This could be a role you have, a characteristic you possess or a relationship you are a part of.

  • Understand that your values need to be practiced.

Every value you have needs to be activated in some way. You do this by connecting your behaviors and your values so that each behavior is intentionally carrying out an authentic part of who you are.

  • Notice what happens when areas of your life are not attended to.

The weeds of life will overtake the essence of who you are. What is valued by yourself will not be seen. Instead, what becomes visible is the discontent you live in as a result of being misaligned.

Your values will be healthy when they receive your attention.

Create daily routines to give your values attention.

Intermittent attention creates inconsistent results.

When we don’t have routines, we spend much more energy doing something. We first have to think of it, decide if we can do it or how we will do it. We determine if we need other people to perform the task and how we will get them to help. We gather the tools we need and then, we do the task. How much less energy it would take if we do this every day. The time and energy we spend each day becomes more productive and we become proficient at the task. This is what we must do with our values. We give them attention and the daily routine of this makes the attention a priority.

Daily routines are created by doing the following:

  • Determine how you can give attention to your values.

Many behaviors you already do are a part of your values. You just need to attach the value to them so they are identified as authenticity. You may also want to consider values which don’t have attributed behaviors and begin to find ways to activate these.

  • Decide when you will do this.

Creating new behaviors requires you to make a plan. Having the idea will never be enough to enact sustainable habits. You may consider the environment or the time in which these behaviors will come to life.

  • Create a plan around what you need and the time you will need to accomplish this.

Your plan should include any tools or supports you will need to be successful. In addition, ensure you give yourself enough time for preparation and the reasonable time it will take to integrate these behaviors into your daily life.

  • Give yourself reminders or prompts about the purpose of doing this.

New routines require reminders. Your reminder could be physical or emotional. Reminders must be purposeful and relevant to who you are.

Your energy will be channeled toward authenticity.

Prioritize authenticity above all else.

The priority values is essential to remain in authenticity.

If I had to rely upon my garden as the only source of food for my family, this would definitely prioritize the attention I give it. The reliance I have upon my values for daily living is similar. They ARE the only source of my authenticity. Without it, I am confused about who I am and others are confused by me.

Learn to prioritize your authenticity by the following:

  • Determine your reliance upon your values.

Reliance upon your values to guide you and direct your actions should be critical. Without this reliance, you will lean towards the influence of others to guide your life.

  • Identify what else in your life competes with your values.

Our values always have competition for our attention. Think of the other elements in your life which distract you from giving attention to your values.

  • Ask yourself why you must choose giving attention to your values over the attention to other things.

The purpose behind prioritizing must be personal. Merely accepting a suggestion will lead to an unsustainable habit.

  • Remind yourself of your value.

Always keep in your mind how valuable you are. Each contribution you make to the world around you impacts the world you live in and the world you will never see.

Your world impact will increase.

Authenticity will grow within you.

The growth of your authenticity is determine by the investment you make.

My authenticity is challenged daily by the influence of the past as well as the demands of today. To protect it, I must be focused on how I can grow my authenticity to allow who I am to be visible to myself and to others.

Authenticity grows by using these steps:

  • Recognize the need to attend to your authenticity.

  • Create daily routines to give your values attention.

  • Prioritize authenticity above all else.

Your authenticity is sustained through growth.

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