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3 Ways To Get In Touch With Your Authentic Self (That Will Dramatically Improve Your Relationships)

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3 Ways To Awaken Your Authentic Self That Leads To Happy, Healthy Relationships
Love, Self

Get to know the true you.

There are probably times when you feel disconnected from your authentic self, in some way. But healthy relationships can't thrive when you are not showing your true self to your partner, which is why figuring how to be yourself — authentically — can dramatically improve your relationships.

When you're not in touch with your authentic self, the disconnection you feel is usually triggered by something — a life event which challenged your self-concept, advertisements that condition you to live and think in a particular way, or the self-promotion and impression management that is the world of social media.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Start Being Your Authentic Self (So You Can Finally Stop Faking It)

Once we feel this disconnection within our selves, we lose focus and energy and feel a sense of being lost or going "off track".

This subsequently can lead to feelings of envy or put us at risk of comparing ourselves and our lives negatively to that of others — the cognitive distortion known as ‘compare and despair’.

Sometimes, reflecting on what we envy in others can give us insight into our desires and what is missing from our own lives. However, continual comparison simply blocks us from getting back in touch with our authentic self.

Authenticity is one of the signs of a healthy relationship. It's important not just for your own well-being and happiness, but also because when you are not in accord with your true self, your relationships will be affected.

The best and healthiest relationships depend on the individuals themselves being in balance and at peace with themselves.

One of the most common requirements people ask from a potential partner is that they are "comfortable in their own skin". So, how do we create that harmonious state?

Here are 3 ways to awaken your authentic self that leads to happy, healthy relationships.

1. Develop self-knowledge

The first step is to know yourself and build self-knowledge. It is easy in this busy world to have your attention focused externally, without ever asking yourself the important questions in life.

Coaching can be enlightening as it challenges people and forces them to engage with different perspectives and sides of themselves to develop this self-knowledge. In the words of Shakespeare, "To thine own self be true". But, preceding this is the requirement to know yourself in the first place.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Nurture Your Most Authentic Self

2. Develop self-acceptance

From self-knowledge comes self-acceptance. It is common to feel the need to prove yourself to others or to match an illusion created in your head through years of absorbing societal and cultural ideals.

The less you feel you have to prove the more in touch you will be with what matters to you without being pulled in different directions. In essence, don’t censor yourself; accept yourself.

3. Develop self-compassion

The internationally recognized leader on self-compassion, Dr. Kristin Neff draws a distinction between self-kindness and self-judgment.

Self-compassion encompasses being kind to yourself when you are upset or experience failure, rather than becoming self-critical, punitive or ignoring your pain. Life is inevitably full of difficulties and, in order to practice self-compassion, you need to allow yourself to be vulnerable.

The warm and compassionate treatment of yourself in these situations allows you to reconnect with your authentic self — which, in turn, can lead to happier, healthier relationships.

RELATED: You Can't Have A Healthy Relationship Without These 8 Characteristics

Dr. Georgina Barnett is a psychologist. She has dedicated herself to the area of relationships and matchmaking at Seventy Thirty, and continues to coach and write on these subjects.

This article was originally published at Seventy Thirty . Reprinted with permission from the author.