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The Art of Being Yourself- How to Live Authentically

art of being yourself: live life authentically

The Art of Being Yourself- How to Live Authentically

The more yourself you are, the less competition you have.

I can’t remember where exactly I heard someone say this. Perhaps I read it somewhere.

All I remember is writing it down in my phone, the minute I heard it.

I think that most of us can identify with the feeling of being conditioned. I know that my childhood experiences shaped certain behaviors I had to learn to let go of. Like, for example, constantly worrying about other people and their opinions.

Growing up in a very conservative and strict family, I couldn’t always dress the way I wanted- because girls shouldn’t wear baggy pants. I would constantly hear “what will people say!?” whenever I wanted to do something different. Even as a young adult I was at times told that I should never argue with others and that I should just “let it go,” even when other people left me feeling very upset.

I also remember always comparing myself to one of my classmates (who, coincidentally, was also my best friend growing up). She was beautiful, exceptionally smart, and completely different from me. Not to say that I was ugly or stupid, just that I was a bit of a rebel. I found myself thinking that perhaps I should be more like her, that perhaps girls shouldn’t listen to underground hip hop and dress like boys. Even though I loved my friend, I began to resent her, because being so close, I was always compared to her. Long after we parted ways and went to different schools, I still felt that she’s the one who has her shit together, everything figured out, and I’m the one who’s lost, confused and… well, to put it bluntly, a loser.

Turns out, we do the same exact thing as adults. We let other people define “success” for us.  By immersing ourselves in other people’s lives, we lose ourselves and we try to hide our differences.

Not all of us are academically gifted, not all of us can sing, paint, play an instrument or have a photographic memory. All of us, however, are gifted. We all have something special and unique to offer to this world. The thing is that somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that.

Competing with yourself, instead of “competing” with other people, is a much healthier way to measure your success. As you decide to live more authentically and explore the art of being yourself, you get to define your own success, instead of allowing other people to do it for you.

It’s what the art of being yourself is all about.


The Art of Being Yourself


Grow your sense of wonder. That child-like need to seek new and exciting things, that we’ve somehow lost along the way. Seek adventure, even in your daily routine. We’ve given up on that sense of adventure, the courage to open more doors, once we’ve realized that there are other things to worry about. Things like paying bills, finishing school, having a mortgage and taking care of our family. The weight of our responsibilities sometimes makes us feel drained, uninspired.

Life tends to remind us, constantly, about the things we don’t have, places we have yet to visit, things we have yet to discover or accomplish. You can’t let that curb your appetite for excitement and adventure. The only person who can bring change to your life is you.


One of the easiest and simplest ways to find yourself again and connect with your true self is with regular meditation practice. It can help you find that silence inside your head, which many of us long for.

Get some alone, quiet time- even if it’s just 5-10 minutes a day. Teach yourself to slow down. Start with guided meditations, you can also try an app like this one.

Meditation will help you find and embrace that inner peace, bring more calm into your life, more stillness. When I first began my meditation practice, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been brought to tears of joy due to this magical, overwhelming feeling of peace. If you feel like you’ve lost yourself, meditation is a great place to start.


This is by far one of my favorite ways of connecting with myself. Journaling will allow you to look at things from a new angle, you will see yourself, your life and your desires more clearly. It also clears your emotions and will help you identify any misplaced fear or anxiety.

Ask yourself some questions, and write down the answers.

You can try some prompts, a great place to start is with a workbook/guide like this one. Some of the questions to ask yourself can be:

  • What are my goals?

  • What am I afraid of?

  • What are my strengths?

  • What makes me feel good?

  • What are some of my personal gifts?

  • Is there anything that holds me back from living a more authentic life?

When we lose touch with who we really are, when we constantly agree with other people despite us having a different opinion, when we say “yes” to things we don’t feel like doing, we sometimes forget what we really want. You need to talk to yourself, find yourself again, ask yourself what your needs are, what your desires are- journaling can help you with all of that.


Have you ever had an idea to do something fun, something new and different, but then immediately thought “nahh… that’s stupid” and pushed the idea away? You need to take risks and move in the direction of your goals.

Living authentically takes courage. Being yourself takes courage. To some people, it comes naturally. Others, however, have that strange fear of showing their quirkiness or embracing their uniqueness.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Challenge yourself to do things that scare you a little, especially things that you get to do alone. It might feel weird, scary or awkward sometimes, but there is that incredible sense of accomplishment you will feel afterward. Take yourself out to a nice dinner, go see a movie, travel solo, take a class, go for a long drive, volunteer and try getting more involved in your community.

Don’t be afraid to explore solitude. Doing things alone can teach you a lot about yourself, especially when you try something you don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing, when you do things that are out of your comfort zone. I, for one, learned that I’m braver than I give myself credit for. Even when you already spend a lot of time alone, trying something new can be a little scary, but also very rewarding. You can find something you really enjoy doing or discover a talent you never knew you had.

Being fearless isn’t easy, but it will help you discover new things about yourself and it can give you the courage to live your life on your own terms.

The Art of Being Yourself: Live Authentically

When you spend a lot of your time being immersed in other people’s lives, browsing through Facebook or Instagram, you become addicted to living according to other people’s agendas. You define your success according to lives of other people. That is not authentic living. That is not being yourself.

Stop trying to please everyone.

Stop doing things you don’t feel like doing.

Don’t wait for other people’s approval.

Don’t agree with everyone, if that is not the way you feel.

Don’t focus on what the world tells you to be. 

You can’t care so much about being accepted by everyone. You are beautifully unique and unless you choose to live your life authentically, and unless you finally decide to be yourself, you can’t share your gifts with the world. Isn’t that what life is all about? You’ve wasted enough time worrying about other people, their opinions and their ideas of “success.” It’s time to be you.  


  • Reply
    Charlotte C
    January 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Love love LOVE this post! The hardest thing I’ve done is caring less about what other people think, but it is by far the best thing I’ve decided to do! The quote ‘the less you care, the happier you’ll be’ is so true :)

    -Charlotte x

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 28, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you SO SO much, Charlotte! It definitely is hard, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. I’ve always admired people who just didn’t care what others thought and I’m so happy that now I’m one of those people, too. x

  • Reply
    January 28, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Not caring about what others think is something I’ve struggled with all of my life. I’m not entirely sure where the desire to be liked all the time came from, but I’d say it stems from being bullied as a child & adolescent, as well as my anxious disposition. However, the older I get, the less shits I give about what other people think of me and that to me is one of the most beautiful things about getting older (although I won’t lie, I still have my wobbly moments in that department).

    Shell // The Novice Life

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:27 pm

      So sorry you had to go through that, Shell! I think one of the best things about getting older is that you just stop giving a shit about what other people think, I totally agree with you on this one! :)

  • Reply
    Aleksandra // bunniesaremagic
    January 29, 2018 at 2:46 am

    My rule of thumb is: if I want something, I ask myself what is the worst thing that can happen as a result of it. If my answer is: I will be embarrassed, I just go for it. Not worth wasting my time for that.
    But yeah, I totally get the conservative, what-will-they-say upbringing ;)

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Yesss, love that so much! Such a great mindset to have on life! We definitely tend to overthink even some of the simplest of things ;)

  • Reply
    Chelsea Jacobs
    January 29, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I love the thought of competing with yourself instead of with others!

  • Reply
    Ellie | PetiteElliee
    January 29, 2018 at 10:11 am

    LOVE this post! It is so important to stay true to yourself and just CELEBRATE being you

    Ellie xx

  • Reply
    January 29, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Funny things first: I have been searching for this exact topic in the last few days – perfect timing :) I am slowly understanding how irrelevant it is to be liked by people just because you pretend to like something, dress a certain way or live your life on their terms. They don’t love you and they are not your friends. We fear being the outcast and/or alone when we live our life like we want to live it. I think I have to go down the “freedom road”, too, to discover people that are like-minded and like me for my real, “weird” personality.

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:29 pm

      This is such an important thing to remember! It’s actually one of the reasons why I love blogging so much; it helped me connect with so many people who are interested in the same things, who like the same things and it helped me realize that you shouldn’t waste your time on people who just don’t get you. x

  • Reply
    Christine C.
    January 29, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    I think I wrote down about a half page of notes after reading this post! So, so good and inspiring!

  • Reply
    She's So Bright
    January 29, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    I’m the youngest in my family and it took me YEARS and 3,000 miles away to find out who I am. It was really hard, and there was a lot of darkness, but I came out the other end so much stronger. Every day I try to be more and more myself. It’s hard, because judgement is a scary thing, but this year I am trying to face up to all those fears.

    Eva |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Sometimes you do have to go through those dark times to help discover who you are. So proud of you for deciding to face your fears- I think it’s amazing!!

  • Reply
    Yara Mel Rozaay
    January 29, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    Lovely post Paula! I also feel oppressed at home, I know who I am but can’t be it fully. This society I’m in isn’t ready to the abnormality I am haha. That’s why I can’t wait to leave home again. And that’s why I probably won’t have kids early (or ever) because I crave the freedom of being myself fully so much that when it happens it will be hard to let go !

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Thank you, Yara! I felt the same way at home when I was young. As I got older, my family did become a lot more “cool” and fun and accepting, so perhaps, getting older has something to do with that, too. That’s one of my fears about having children too, and I’m also still undecided, but I do have to say that I love getting older- it’s a lot more rewarding and fun and not as scary as I once thought, haha! :)

  • Reply
    January 29, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    I love the questions that you have to write in your journal. I restarted journalling after a very long hiatus and I usually use it to jot down some thoughts and ideas, but I like asking questions about my future/fears/goals etc :)

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      I think that it’s great to ask yourself questions like these, about your future and goals- it helps you realize what it is that you really want out of life. x

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    January 30, 2018 at 5:48 am

    Comparison is the thief of joy, isn´t that what they say? While I don´t completely agree with that (I think comparison can fuel great discoveries and unlock potential by challenging you), there is a lot of truth in that. You are meant to be the best version of you, which is not defined by someone elses life and choices.

    Easy to write down, but hard to live by, I admit…

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      It definitely isn’t always easy, I agree! Like with many things in life, easier said than done, haha :)

  • Reply
    January 30, 2018 at 6:55 am

    It can be so easy to compare ourselves to others, especially when everyone around us seems to think we should be the same as everyone else! These are some great tips to help remain focused on our own unique goals. We don’t all need to walk the same path in life! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      “we don’t all need to walk the same path in life” I love that so much, Kate, and I completely agree with you on this one!

  • Reply
    Janah Jay
    January 30, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Living according to other people’s agenda…so easy to in this age of social media and this post is an amazing reminder to not get caught up in it all! Thank you! <3 xxx

    Janah |

  • Reply
    The Elegant Earthling
    January 30, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing Paula. I always enjoy reading your posts because they are real and honest. I grew up in a small town in Greece for the first part of my life and in a Greek-American community for the second part, so I can totally relate to the “what will people say/think”. Sometimes I catch myself saying it or thinking it and I have to consciously get myself out of that head space. On the being fearless part, I second Aleksandra’s comment. I always ask myself “what’s the worst that can happen?” and I realize that the worst is actually not that bad.

    Chrissy |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 31, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      Aww thank you, Chrissy!! I went through the same thing when I moved to the states- as a teenager I lived in a Polish-American community and the mindset was the same- the only thing everyone worried about is other people. I loved what Aleks said too. It’s a great outlook to have :)

  • Reply
    Genesis Garcia
    January 31, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I love how that you incorporated the idea of going for things on your own because it’s true, as you say, you realize who you are when you are experimenting new things in life by yourself. I truly loved this post and the motivational words to inspire others. Thank you so much!!!

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    February 1, 2018 at 2:15 am

    I’m really working on the whole being fearless thing. I’m currently pursuing acting and there are so many things that scare me in that field!

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Reply
      Paula @
      February 4, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Wow, Julia that is so awesome, I love it!! I think the more scared you are, the bigger the payout will be! :)

  • Reply
    #idle nimue
    February 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    “Competing with yourself, instead of “competing” with other people, is a much healthier way to measure your success.” >> Like, hell yes to this! Such a valuable lesson, that I am actually still very much in the midst of learning. I am also doing a lote of yoga lately and I feel like it’s really helping me define who I am and what feels right to me. It’s also giving me much more determination to take actual steps towards creating the life I want to live. Your journaling ideas are very interesting too though, and I will definitely be exploring those self investigative questions! Thank you for this post, it was a very insipring read!

    Nimue from #Idle

    • Reply
      Paula @
      February 4, 2018 at 3:07 pm

      Nimue, thank you SO, so much! I think it’s so important to focus on continually learning new things about yourself- especially if we want to pursue authentic living. I am so happy you liked this post, thank you so much for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Gallantly, gal
    February 4, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Another great article!! Thanks again :)
    Will definitely revisit this when I forget to be myself. My resolution this year is to love myself. This includes being comfortable in my skin and encouraging me to be me! So hard in a tough or toxic environment as you’ve said, but worth the fight.

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    April 12, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Great tips! Never stop exploring yourself because we change as we grow!

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