How to Be More Authentic in Every Aspect of Life


A well-known poet, E.E. Cummings, once wrote, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” To truly live as your truest, most honest and most authentic self does take courage. It’s easy to fall in line with the pack, to just go with the flow and compromise to satisfy others. To stand behind each and every one of your thoughts and actions can feel more difficult. Living an inauthentic life, however, rarely leads to happiness. If you feel that you are ready (and needing) to make a change in the way you interact with others as well as yourself, please keep reading. Once you have made the decision to stop molding your thoughts and actions after those of the people around you, and to allow your authentic self to shine, nothing is more important than consistency and repetition. It will take practice to avoid exchanging your true feelings for the feeling you think you should feel based on others’ opinions, so you must be ready to fully commit for this to work. If you do, I promise that you will feel a level of happiness, self-assuredness and purposefulness that you never imagined was possible.

Now that you’ve committed to making this important (and rewarding!) change, it’s time to take action. The top six steps to living more authentically in every aspect of life are:

1. Practice Self-Awareness and Forgiveness

Gaiam Life blog describes so well the value of self-awareness in living an authentic life. It says, “Authenticity starts when you set the intention to be genuine. Then, there must be an awareness of what that looks and feels like, and a willingness to act in accordance with your genuine nature even when it feels vulnerable.” Having the ability to recognize inauthenticity in yourself, and to acknowledge that the way you life your life directly impacts your happiness with that life, requires a level of self-awareness that many people refuse to allow themselves to experience.

Forgiveness, in my opinion, comes hand-in-hand with self-awareness. Recognizing fault in yourself, or even just a need for change, can leave you feeling crummy. You may feel that you’ve lived an inauthentic life for too many years and regret not having put in effort to change earlier. It’s okay to feel that way. Forgive yourself and move forward. Many, if not most, people go their entire lives playing different roles in different situations – never actually allowing their true selves shine. The fact that you’re seeking greater authenticity, at any point in life, should be celebrated. :)

2. Re-Evaluate (and Redefine) Your Values

In order to live more authentically and to ensure that every action you take works towards celebrating your true inner self, and achieving happiness, you need to take a serious look at your values. What did, or does, your “inauthentic” self value? Maybe it’s money. Perhaps it’s brand name clothing or the envy of friends. Is it your name on the door of a corner office? Or, is it the love and affection of people you’ve never even met? Ask yourself why these things matter. Challenge yourself to re-evaluate your former values and decide which, if any, belong in your new authentic life.

Once you’ve done this, ask yourself what you truly value. Is it the love of your significant other? A feeling of self-fulfillment?  The ability and means to travel? Chances are, your “new” values may very well be connected to your former values. The difference you’ll likely find, however, is in the way you describe the values and the aspect of the value that now matters most to you. What financial success would enable you to do, for example, will likely become more important than financial success in and of itself.

3. Catch Yourself and Grow

Just like quitting smoking, cutting back on salt or sticking to an exercise regime – living a more authentic life is nearly impossible to do “cold turkey.” Rather, it takes time and plenty of practice. When you feel yourself doing or saying something inauthentic, note the situation and circumstances. This will allow you to better catch yourself the next time and may even show you a pattern you were unaware of before. For example, do you feel the need to play a certain role with a certain person? If so, there’s likely a reason that particular individual brings out your inauthentic self. You may find the need to work out differences with family or friends or to seek new friendships in your life altogether.

4. Seek Genuine Company

It’s often said that you are the sum of those with which you surround yourself – or at least the average. Once you’ve made the conscious decision to seek authenticity in all aspects of your life, it’s important to surround yourself with people who genuinely want to see you succeed. If your friends or coworkers leave you feeling jealous, down or tempted to shift to inauthenticity, you may no longer feel that those people serve your mission of genuine, authentic happiness. It can be incredibly difficult to evaluate your current relationships and make a decision to seek new company, but sometimes it’s necessary to move forward in your “new” version of life.

When seeking new friendships and relationships, look to people who have similar values to those that you set in Step 2. Seek self-aware, caring and authentic people. Finding truly exceptional relationships can take time, and it may feel that there are a limited number of people who share your values, but I assure you that the effort will be worth it.

5. Create a Daily Practice

Living authentically, in and of itself, is a daily practice. In all honesty, it’s a moment-by-moment movement. To rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, it can be helpful to establish a daily practice or ritual. The condition of your body affects that of your mind. Your ability to get a good night’s sleep affects your mind. Living authentically takes strength. It takes a clear conscious and refreshed state of being. Consider taking up yoga, meditation or another activity you feel calms and refreshes you. Having a ritual or practice to look forward to, each and every day, allows you to check in with yourself and evaluate your progress. After all, authentic living is a process and movement with no finite finish.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?


How to Stop Feeling Self-Conscious Around New People


Every relationship you’ve ever had, and have, started by you meeting someone new. Maybe it was in your childhood. Perhaps it was during college. It could even have been last year when you started a new job. But, at the end of the day, all of the people you “know” began as people you didn’t. As we grow older, however, we tend to find it more and more difficult to meet new people. You may find yourself becoming more self-conscious in social situations or even experience anxiety in a new environment. While this is normal and you’re not alone – it can lead you to miss out on amazing new friendships and opportunities. If you find yourself routinely tempted to turn down social invitations or the thought of walking up to someone new and introducing yourself gives you shivers, then I hope this post can help you. I want to challenge you to shed your insecurities, check your self-conscious thoughts at the door and experience a fuller life. Keep reading!

1. Remember It’s All in Your Head

This is probably the hardest step to master because this is where the self-conscious thoughts and behavior all begin – in your head. But, if you can regularly remind yourself that it really is “all in your head,” you’re going to find new situations and new people a whole lot more exciting.

When you walk into a room or are meeting someone, it’s natural for the other person (or people) to look at you. But, I assure you that they’re not staring you down like you may feel they are! Anything you are self conscious about, it often is only you who notices. The people around you have so many other stimuli and most of the time they are absorbed in thinking about their own insecurities!

I find that people tend to feel most insecure or self-conscious about their appearance and/or accomplishments when first meeting someone new. They tend to feel the other person has done more with their life, looks better or has more money. It’s so important to remember that, in thinking these negative thoughts and drawing such immediate conclusions, you’re hurting your chance at a new friendship or relationship right off the bat. Keep in mind that everyone experiences insecurities and that, while you’re thinking these things in your head, and as I said, the other person is likely thinking almost the same about themselves.

2.Pinpoint Your Self-Consciousness

Knowing what causes your self-consciousness is a crucial step in conquering it. Take a moment to reflect on the last time you met someone new. Whatexactly was it that made you feel insecure or self-conscious? Was it what you were wearing? Was it something you said… or didn’t say? Was it what you were talking about? Being able to narrow down and isolate what causes you to feel self-conscious will help you avoid the feeling in the future.

For instance, if you weren’t feeling your best because of what you were wearing – consider donating that item of clothing and buying something new in which you feel amazing. If it was the topic of conversation, steer clear of that subject in the future… or brush up on it so you’re better prepared next time around. Do whatever you can to leverage your history of self-consciousness to defeat the feeling the next time around.

3. Practice Putting Yourself Out There

It always takes a little bit of time to get back into the swing of things – no matter what the thing might be! If you haven’t been in social situations or within an environment where you regularly meet lots of new people, it’s natural to feel a bit out of place. Should this be the case for you, I suggest you remember the adage, “practice makes perfect.”

To get more comfortable interacting with new people, whether it is a new networking connection or first date, you need to start meeting new people more often. While that might sound scary at first, I promise that you’re more than capable. Remember way back when you were just a child and regularly met other kids and made new friends? It all comes down to bonding over a similar interest, environment or opportunity.

If chatting up the person next to you on your morning commutes sounds too daunting, consider signing up for a social painting class or joining a recreational sports team. You’ll quickly be tempted to leave your self-conscious shell behind and realize just how easy it is to meet new people – and just how interested other people are in meeting you.

4. Conjure Confidence by Strengthening Your Self Love

Negative thinking is one of the biggest causes of self-consciousness. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? What do you think of yourself? Your answers to these questions drastically impact how you believe others perceive you too. I want to challenge you to look in the mirror at least once, every single day, and strengthen your self-love by complimenting yourself.

When you allow yourself to recognize the amazing in yourself, you’ll begin to conjure confidence that will stick with you throughout the day. You’ll walk into rooms with your head held higher, your back straighter and a more authentic smile on your face. When you feel more confidence, you’ll also find itthat much easier to meet new people and start up great conversations. To continue to strengthen your self-love, I encourage you to read another post I wrote about just that. Click here to read that one now!

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?

Life Coach Advice: Avoid These 4 Self-Sabotaging Habits


There’s a time old adage that teaches that happiness begins within. While it may seem at times that finding happiness in the right now is impossible, I can’t stress enough how much control you truly have in your own emotional well-being, in the path your life takes and in your experiencing of true joy. To help you achieve joy and happiness, I want to share my list of four self-sabotaging habits you need to stop now. One of my greatest joys as a life coach is seeing first-hand how my clients are able to effectively change their outlooks on life, personal happiness and achieve success. I won’t say that it’s an instant change, because it’s not. But, it’s a change that is entirely possible and that I believe that you, too, can make.

Avoid Autopilot Behaviour

What do I mean by this? Well, there are many behaviours that can easily achieve autopilot status under the right (or, in this case, wrong) circumstances. Some examples are mindless eating, binge watching television, losing hours to vying over your ex boyfriend’s recent trip with his new girlfriend… these are all examples of actions or behaviour that happen without a deliberate intention. They just get into autopilot.

Allowing yourself to carry on a life in which you regularly simply tune out and allow yourself to engage in autopilot behaviours can have a negative, direct impact on your happiness. It’s so incredibly important to be aware of this "brain habit" and consciously catch yourself. This way you can, in the moment, choose different thoughts.

When you allow your life and your mind to be filled up to the rim with unintentional thoughts and actions, you end up without any room for positive intentions. A life filled with deliberate, thought-out and intentional actions will ultimately lead to a much more fulfilling and happy day-to-day.

Avoid Criticizing Yourself

Believe me when I say that everyone experiences self-criticism, just simply of varying degrees. At the end of the day, we are all only human. With that being said, regular self-criticizing behaviour can have major negative impacts on your self-esteem, self-confidence, outlook on life and happiness.

When you feel yourself beginning to pick yourself apart, take a moment to breathe. It’s imperative that you follow that breath with a self-affirming statement. For example, not feeling beautiful today? Remind yourself that you are special (and gorgeous) in your own unique skin. Feeling down because a presentation you delivered at work didn’t go as well as you hoped? Remind yourself that you are capable, intelligent and will rock the next presentation twice as hard.

Avoid Isolation

When you’re feeling down, it can be tempting to throw on the sweats and retreat to a weekend filled with Netflix, delivery food and just about nothing else. Allowing yourself to remain in isolation, particularly when you’re feeling especially down, can have more negative impacts than healing ones. While “me” time can be very fulfilling and productive, the difference between that and “isolation” really comes down to purpose.

The next time you’re tempted to cancel on friends with plans or decline an event invitation, ask yourself if you truly intend to spend the time working towards greater self fulfillment or if there is now a larger likelihood you will feel worse through isolating yourself. Again, I fully believe in recharging by spending time alone but we just have to be careful of when and how we do it.

Avoid Putting Everyone Before Yourself

Have you ever been called a “people pleaser” or thought of yourself a “yes man” or “yes woman”? Generosity and devotion to others is not a characteristic to be ashamed of, nor is it a negative. However, if you regularly put everyone else ahead of yourself to the point that your own needs and wants are not being met – chances are that you’re not as happy as you could be.

Spending time focused on working towards your own happiness will result in a lift in happiness of those around you. Everyone wins when you put your own happiness as value numero uno. This joy has influence and will emanate to those around you.

To your authenticity,

Love, Christine

Want to Become a Certified Dating Coach and Help Others Find Love?