Drie sleutels tot authenticiteit

The Three Keys to Authenticity

"Be yourself. There are already so many others." - Loesje” – Loesje

In a world filled with social media and constant comparisons, the quest for authenticity is more relevant than ever. Stephen Joseph, a leading psychologist, emphasizes that true authenticity consists of three core facets: self-awareness, autonomy, and integrity in our actions and choices. But what do these facets mean for your daily life, and how can you apply them to live your most authentic self?

In my book 'Hoe was je dag' I invite you to explore your authentic self along with a walking partner. But you can also sort everything out for yourself.

Key 1. Self-Awareness: The Foundation of Everything

Self-awareness is the foundation of authenticity. It is a profound understanding of who you are, including your passions, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. This requires time and reflection. Questions like "What did I enjoy doing as a child?" or "When did I recently feel completely myself?" can shed light on your true nature and desires.

Key 2. Autonomy: Taking Control of Your Life

Authenticity also means being in charge of your own life. This involves making choices that align with your personal values, not those imposed by others. It takes courage to follow your own path, especially when it deviates from the expectations of others. So, ask yourself who has control over your life. Who possibly determines (along with you)? And what do you do to navigate your own course?

Key 3. Integrity: Living in Accordance with Your Values

The last facet, integrity, is about acting in accordance with your values and beliefs. This means staying true to yourself in your actions, words, and decisions. It is the authentic self that comes out in everything we do. So, ask yourself if you are being yourself or do you too often play a role? Do you follow your passions?

How Do You Know You're Authentic?

The path to authenticity is personal and unique. It requires self-reflection, and that's not always easy. Do you want to be confronted with who you are, what you want, or would you rather let sleeping dogs lie? Authentic living also requires an act of courage, not only to get to know yourself but also to stand up for yourself and claim your own authentic life.

Authenticity as a Philosophy of Life

Authenticity is more than a trend; it's a philosophy of life. Embracing the three facets enables you to lead a life that is rich and fulfilling, true to yourself, and resonant with your deepest desires and values.

In Conclusion

In our current time, where it's easy to get lost in the crowd and live according to others' expectations, authenticity offers a compass for personal freedom and self-expression. Let us, therefore, strive for a life in which we can fully embrace our authentic selves, thereby cultivating a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us.

How authentic do you live? And what does authenticity mean to you?

Reading tip: Joseph Stephen, Authentic: How to be yourself and why it matters, 2017.

The Power of Quotes

The Power of Quotes

"Quotes are medicine for the brain." – Brenda Casteleyn

Ik ben gek op citaten want ik ontdekte de kracht van citaten al heel snel. Heel wat beroemde schrijvers, acteurs, zangers en andere bekendheden hebben citaten verzonnen. Maar ik vind het ook leuk om er zelf te verzinnen.  En dat is meer dan alleen een leuke hobby, want citaten hebben een diepgaande impact op mijn leven gehad. Zo herinner ik me een periode waarin ik me vaak ergerde aan kleine, financiële ongemakken, zoals verkeerd terugbetaald worden in de winkel. Toen hoorde ik iemand zeggen: ‘ik maak me nooit meer druk over geld’. Niet zo geslaagd als citaat misschien, maar het bleef bij mij hangen en sindsdien begon ik die zin als een soort mantra te gebruiken. En het had een enorm effect. Langzaamaan kon ik een meer ontspannen houding aannemen ten opzichte van geld. Ik hoef me nu niet meer benadeeld te voelen als er weer eens een financiële tegenslag is, want… ‘ik maak me niet meer druk om geld’. Daarnaast gebruikte ik citaten om me te motiveren tijdens mijn studie, om me te troosten bij verdriet en bij tal van andere gelegenheden. Deze persoonlijke voorbeelden illustreren hoe een enkel citaat  je perspectief en zelfs je gedrag kan veranderen.

Let's, therefore, list the ways quotes can enrich your life.

1. Quotes Comfort

A quote can express a feeling you struggle with and feel alone in. The relatability of the quote can then provide comfort. I find this one by Isabel Allende quite beautiful: "The biggest problem with people today is that they are afraid of suffering, so afraid of losing something. We have forgotten that loss is a part of life." Also, you can find solace in quotes about resilience and hope, which remind you of how others have overcome similar experiences. This quote by Nelson Mandela, for example: "The greatest glory in life lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

2. Quotes Motivate

A quote can motivate you to maintain a habit or pursue your goals. Maybe you need motivation to study for an exam or to go to the gym. This quote by Mark Twain might then help: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." And when you hang such a quote somewhere visible, so you're confronted with it every day, it works as an affirmation or mental support.

3. Quotes Offer a New Perspective

A quote can prompt you to see something from a different angle. Sometimes you're so down in the dumps that you can't see anything positive anymore. Then this quote by Martin Luther King might help: "Only in the darkness can you see the stars." It gives you a new perspective on the difficult situation you're in and challenges you to see it not only as an obstacle but also as an opportunity to learn and grow.

4. Quotes Provide Insight

A quote can help you achieve something on a deeper level. For instance, I recently heard someone say: "better done than perfect." For a perfectionist, this might initially seem counterintuitive, but it can also lead to the insight that perfection actually leads to the opposite, namely that your quest for perfection becomes an obstacle to progress and completion. This quote can then lead to a more productive attitude, allowing you to derive more satisfaction from completed tasks and the process itself rather than just focusing on an unattainable ideal of perfection.

5. Quotes Inspire

A quote can inspire you to experience new things or tackle matters differently. Perhaps you're looking for some inspiration to find the right job in your life or to break out of your stagnant job. Then this quote by Confucius might inspire you: "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

6. Quotes Improve Your Mood

Quotes can also be funny, and in that case, they can significantly improve your mood. How about this one: “The problem with doing nothing is that you never know when you're finished." - Groucho Marx

In Conclusion

Quotes are a fantastic tool to give your mental well-being an extra boost. What quotes have helped you? Do you have a favorite quote or a favorite author? Or are there other ways quotes have helped you that I haven't mentioned? Share it below.

Teleurstelling als kracht

The Power of Disappointment: 6 Steps to Turn Disappointment into Strength

"Desire is the mother of disappointment." - Alexander Pola

I recently launched my third book. Although many had registered via LinkedIn, Facebook, and email, a flood of last-minute cancellations led to fewer attendees than expected. Naturally, I was initially disappointed, but the positive reactions from those present and the fact that I sold more books than there were guests made up for a lot. Have you ever experienced a similar disappointment? How did you handle it?

With these steps, you can turn your disappointment into strength.

Step 1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

It's normal to feel upset when things don't go as expected. Maybe you missed an opportunity, a promise was broken, or a goal was not achieved. That hurts. That evening after the launch, I gave myself time to feel and accept the disappointment. This is an essential step to turn disappointment into strength. In my article about 'constructief lijden(constructive suffering) I explain why it's so important to allow and give space to sadness and negative feelings.  

Step 2: Explore Your (Limiting) Beliefs

Take a moment to reconsider your expectations. Were they realistic? Could I really have expected my launch to turn into a large event that was more crowded than my previous launches? Tony Robbins, now a famous speaker in stadiums, started with events for an audience of three people. So, I had to accept that growth takes time and that it's okay to start small.

Step 3. Redefine Your Goals and Expectations

Now that you've adjusted your beliefs, you can also redefine your goals and expectations. Instead of focusing on the number of attendees, I chose to appreciate what went well: the quality of the interactions and the feedback. This helped me revise my goals and focus on what's really important: the impact of my work and sharing insights.

Step 4: Build Resilience and Perseverance

With adjusted goals and expectations, you can now continue with renewed resilience and perseverance. Like Thomas Edison, who experienced many failures before his breakthrough, I saw this experience as a valuable insight on the way to my ultimate goal.

Step 5: Create a New Strategy

You now have enough motivation to work out a new strategy. In my case, that meant focusing on the power of 'butterfly effects' or starting small. Instead of fixating on the number of readers or followers of my author's page (which, by the way, has increased tenfold in the last three months), I can now focus on a real connection with readers.

Step 6: Improve Your Self-Image

Finally, use the experience of disappointment to develop gratitude for what you have learned and pride in how you handled it. The experience has already helped me to move forward with renewed strength and confidence.

In Conclusion

Disappointment can be painful, but it is also a powerful tool for growth and development. By embracing these feelings and learning from them, you transform yourself in ways you never thought possible. Often, the seeds of future success and happiness lie at the core of disappointment.

What setbacks have you had to deal with? How did you handle them?