Living Your Truth: First Step to a More Authentic Life

How to be more truthful in life

We all lie to our selves much more than we realise. For the sake of “keeping up appearances,” many of us fake our smiles when we are actually crying inside or hide behind our shield of success to protect our vulnerability. How to stop lying to ourselves?

Whether we care to admit it to ourselves or not, we all have two personalities: one in which we share with the world and one that we share with ourselves in the privacy of our minds.  In that personal space, we reveal our true selves and our true feelings.   

The personality that is harder or stronger on the outside, is usually the most sensitive and troubled on the inside.  Many times, if we are living in this type of scenario, we tend to snap at people who innocently make comments about things we do not want to hear.  We accuse them of being judgemental and create any type of excuse to make them feel bad, so that they don’t have to be right.  That’s what someone who is lying to themselves hates - for someone else to be right!  

Through a regular practice of yoga, we learn the benefits of living in truth.  The voice in our head gets louder, prompting us to make changes for the better, so we cannot ignore it. Here are some ways to stop lying to yourself.

Notice the physical signs of not living in your truth

The physical signs of this are clear: stress, disturbed breathing, and symptoms of depression or irritability. When practising yoga, we get in closer touch with our true feelings. If we have been lying to ourselves about something, we will be more aware of these signs. It may feel uncomfortable because two opposing forces are battling it out in our psyche: our higher consciousness versus our comfort in habit.  We know that we have to confront or change or let go of something that we frankly aren’t willing to do. This is why we feel stressed or depressed.

Determine what needs to change

The first time we acknowledge the need for change, it’s traumatic and hard. Frankly it's because we dread being judged for making mistakes. After all, humanity can be brutal. It's a great time to begin journalling and using yourself as a sounding board. One prayer that helped me to face challenge and change in my life is this:

 

Small, incremental changes

To begin, start small. As my beloved Guru, Sri Swami Satchidananda said, "Start with small things daily and one day you will be doing things that months before you would have thought impossible." He shares the example of cutting out sugar from your coffee or tea. If you are starting with two teaspoons a day, then for the first week, make it one and a half teaspoons. The second week make it one teaspoon. The third week, half a teaspoon and the fourth week no sugar. This helps make change easy and more permanent. 

Proceed with an open and courageous heart 

As we continue practising and making small incremental, each subsequent time, it gets easier. From the moment of our first success, we develop a sense of trust, which leads to increased confidence, which leads to fearlessness.  We become more honest with others as well, we draw healthy boundaries and rid ourselves of toxic relationships.  It’s never easy at first, but with time, it makes so much more sense and keeps our minds at peace.