Authentic Happiness - Living authentically 1 - February 14, 2007
Two of the most important factors in the development of a healthy “sense of self“ are:
- When we believe that we are being accepted and loved in a way that is meaningful to us.
- When we self-actualize: living life authentically by expressing our uniqueness, creativity, and independence.
Living authentically is living life according to the direction and manner YOU decide, based on YOUR thoughts and preferences–NOT based on the thoughts, preferences, choices, or opinions of others. (Certainly, you can glean from the wisdom and experiences of others. In fact, it’s wise and demonstrates maturity. But this should be a decision you WILLFULLY make, not something you do because you think you HAVE TO.)
Living out of your uniqueness brings freedom. It sets you free to live life the way you decide.
Authentic living reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, and all of the symptoms these behavioral disorders can cause. It also means exercising the God-given RIGHTS that you inherited the moment you were born. (Some people would prefer that you didn’t. They prefer you believe that you AREN’T entitled to exercise your rights. But that’s just THEIR desire, preference, and opinion.)
Freedom of choice, one of those God-given rights, gives you the RIGHT to say “yes” or “no” based on YOUR choices and preferences, and not because you feel you “have to,” “must,” or “should.”
If you are saying “yes” or “no” because YOU want to, you are freely exercising one of your human rights. This is healthy and allows you to live authentically.
If you are saying “yes” or “no” because you think you have to, or think that someone or something is MAKING you, you are not exercising this right. This is unhealthy and compromises your uniqueness (you are allowing someone or something to direct your life and how you live it).
As a general rule, whenever you think that you are being MADE to do something in opposition to your free will, you are voluntarily relinquishing a human right. Doing so robs you of a part of your authentic self. The more rights you voluntarily relinquish, the less authentic you will be. (Also note: when you relinquish your freedoms, you are voluntarily giving your power away to someone or something else.)
Naturally, we all have to abide by the laws and regulations of our community, province or state, and country. But why wouldn’t we want democratic laws and regulations? Democratic laws and regulations are generally developed by the people, and for the people. And while we may not agree with all of them, they usually have our best interest and protection in mind. (If you don’t like a few of them, you can always exercise your freedom and democratically work to have them modified or changed.)
Freedom of choice is a RIGHT that you are entitled to. Saying “yes” AND “no” are part of this right. Are you using this right, or are you willfully giving this right away to someone or something else? Are you making choices based on YOUR thoughts and preferences, or do you often feel you HAVE no choice but to comply?
This week, note how often you say “yes” or “no” when you WANT to, rather than saying “yes” or “no” because you think you HAVE to. Then, before next Monday, click on the link below and let us know what you discover about yourself by participating in our mini-poll:
[Sorry, this poll is no longer available.]
Saying “yes” AND “no” is your right. Are you exercising this freedom?
Have a great week!
For more information about anxiety symptoms, see our Anxiety Symptoms section.
NOTE: The Recovery Support area of our website contains a more comprehensive section on anxiety symptoms, including completed descriptions, why they occur, and tips on how to get rid of them.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.
For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Symptoms of Anxiety; Anxiety Attack Symptoms; anxiety Recovery Support area; common Anxiety Myths; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate graphic below:
Return to our anxiety tips page.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated August 2015.