How To Be More Authentic (You’re Already Unique!)

You’re already unique! Unless you have an identical twin, no one is configured just like you. That’s kind of amazing, given the number of humans we’ve managed to produce. We all are “special snowflakes” in our biological makeup. So, being unique has been established.

In most areas of our life, it’s not important to be unique. In fact, there really is very little new under the sun when it comes to the majority of our daily lives. Most of us work at something, and sleep and eat, and enjoy different hobbies. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies to almost all of us.

The original. Source.

The good news: the things that make life good don’t have to be unique. This is a big one to remember. There is joy and comfort in routines, in familiar friends, well-loved clothing, and favorite meals.

What about being authentic?

So, how do we develop and dig deeper into our authentic selves, particularly with regard to our outward style? Here are some of my thoughts, and I’d love to hear yours:

Don’t imitate others. Better said: get inspired by others, read blogs, watch videos, collect images, but always make your own decision about what to wear. One exception: I could dress head to toe like Jenna Lyons for at least a year.

Authenticity has to come from within, from our instincts and experiences. It’s more important to follow what we find meaningful, not necessarily what’s trendy.

And of course our authenticity can shift over time. The way we express ourselves evolves. I wore nude pantyhose and pumps every day for years, and that was the real me. Now it’s more cotton skirts, graphic tees, and booties. It’s awesome that we can change.

Seek to find a balance between comfort and expression. I write about comfort all the time, because I can’t get dressed without it. But comfort could devolve, in my case, to sweats and tees and flip-flops, so I seek that balance.

My outfit from Visible Monday. It’s 100% comfortable and 100% “me.”

Don’t fight mother nature! We have body shapes and sizes to honor, and hair color/texture, and skin tones. Work with, and appreciate, what you’ve got, and you will be authentic.

Choose your colors. Color is a wonderful way to express your authentic self. Work from your palette, and what feels like YOU. My palette is black, navy, ivory, and denim basics, with red, pink, and dark teal for extras. And I love a wildly colorful scarf.

So many wonderful colors. Choose your favorites! Source.

Having said the above, have fun, try something new; there are all levels of self-expression. Maybe a golden mustard chunky sweater speaks your name. Maybe some Doc Martens in a fab color, or dainty flats. Remember, getting dressed and feeling good is not a performance or audition; we don’t have to be striving. Just us, doing us.

Stay fabulous, xo,

Here’s some cool ways to express yourself:

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  1. First off I would like to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Thanks!|

  2. Satisfaction in life comes from appreciating the small things. Thanks for the reminder to strive for authenticity, Patti!

  3. Nice post Patti! I remember studying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs when I took some Social Work courses at University. It’s true that the things that make life good don’t have to be unique to you. I think everyone enjoys a delicious meal shared with friends.

  4. what a fabulous post and fabulous attitude! I totally agree on that ‘good news: the things that make life good don’t have to be unique’, actually love this idea of not having to look for flamboyant new things all the time!. I do love my own joyful routine!
    And I also love comfort, color, expression and fun, indeed!. I’d like to have all of them in every outfit everyday!.
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  5. I like how you noted the important distinction between ‘unique’ & ‘authentic. Clarifying exactly what you aim to achieve with your fashion sense (a very shared human experience because we do it daily, sometimes several times a day) makes it easier to achieve your that upper self-actualization area!
    I love that sweater!
    Not gonna lie, comfort has become a huge issue in my 40s in regards to my style.

    • Thanks Becky. Comfort does rule – life is full of challenges, let’s not let our shoes be one of them : > xox.

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