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9 Tips to Nurture Authenticity in the New Year


A smiling massage therapist holding a clear plastic umbrella as a shooting star passes above her

Authenticity is at the crux of the work you do. Without it, tending to the needs of others is hard, and sometimes ingenuine. What does authenticity mean to you? Do you feel you are “authentic” in your personal and professional lives? What are ways you can nurture your own authenticity? Here are nine tips to build your authentic spirit.

1. Know What Really Matters

“Maybe you’re OK with a smaller income and more free time. Never apologize for your decisions,” says Kathleen McIntire, author of Guiding Signs 101. “The minute you find yourself worrying about how others perceive you is the minute you abandon authenticity.”

2. Own Your Decisions

Whether you want to take a solo vacation this year instead of attending the annual family reunion or want to spend this year focusing on a specialty for your practice, McIntire says own the decision; embrace it. “If you find you can’t own it, it’s time to rethink what you’re doing.”

3. Be Realistic

Want to increase your client load? Or increase the amount of time you devote to exercise each week? Whatever your goal, be realistic. Don’t sabotage your success by setting unrealistic goals. Break those goals into bite-size chunks that you can successfully check off in manageable increments.

4. Learn to Say “Yes”

“Be flexible and fun,” McIntire says. “When a good friend invites you to dinner on the spur of the moment, drop everything and go. We rarely regret heart-inspired action.”

5. Do Things for Yourself

Book your own massage. Buy those new shoes. Binge watch your favorite show all weekend. Finding things to feed your joy helps build your authentic self.

6. Get Real About Money

“Spending what you can’t afford is another way of pretending to be who you aren’t. It’s also a disaster in the making,” McIntire warns. “That weekend getaway may be amazing, but not if you’re still paying for it in six months.” Need some help with your money habits? ABMP’s Mind Your Money series offers best practices from the experts, along with tips and worksheets for improving financial habits for massage therapists and bodyworkers.

7. Take a Break from the Need to Do Something

Seems simple enough, but when was the last time you tried it? “Simply be for five minutes or five hours,” McIntire says. “It’s good for mind and body.”

8. Know When You’re at Your Best (and When You’re Not)

When you’re not, McIntire says that’s the perfect time for a bath, nap, walk, or meditation. Try ABMP’s Meditate and Move for quick meditations to help you reconnect with your better self.

9. Say “I Love You” to Yourself

Until you can fully love yourself, McIntire says you can’t fully love others in your life.