On My Journey to Authenticity and Meaningful Success: 4 Internal Shifts That Occurred to Me

In the last few years, I have leveled up dramatically.

I went from:

  • suffering from an anxious attachment style

  • living in a tiny basement room with random housemates

  • insecurely single

  • having a job that didn’t suit me

  • hating my life


  • being happily married to the love of my life

  • owning a house with my husband

  • feeling secure and comfortable in my own skin

  • thriving in my career

  • loving my life!

To me, this is a success.

Now as I look around, I can see a beautiful home, an amazing husband, and many things I’ve built for myself that make me feel more me. They have a profound impact on me inside and out.

As a result, my perspective and the way I approach life have gradually changed.

Here are 4 internal shifts I’ve experienced on my level-up journey:

1. Caring less about my appearance

During my early twenties, I was preoccupied with my physical appearance as I didn’t have much going on in other areas of my life, such as money or a career. I relied on my look as a young woman to gain the attention and validation I craved from others, believing that it was the only way to go. This led to a cycle of posting photos of myself on social media and checking who had viewed my stories, which gave me a dopamine boost but also made me terribly insecure. I began to equate my worth with my appearance, making me vulnerable to the opinions of others and robbing me of the joy of being present in the moment.

However, as I focused on building substance in my life and portraying my core values, I actively avoided using my physical appearance to gain approval from others and making it a central part of my identity. This change paid off, as I no longer define myself solely by how I look but as a whole person with intrinsic value. I feel confident going out without makeup and dressing for myself, rather than for others.

Practically, I’ve also minimized my use of visually focused social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok. These apps can trigger comparison and impose unrealistic beauty standards, leading to a distorted perception of oneself. By limiting my exposure to these apps, I’m better able to focus on what’s truly important in life and to find value beyond external appearances.

2. Having specific goals

In the past, I used to feel like I needed to achieve big, impressive things in order to prove my worth or feel good about myself. I would set lofty goals that were often unrealistic or unattainable and would feel disappointed or discouraged when I inevitably fell short.

Nowadays, as I know myself better and feel enough, my goals have become much more specific and manageable. I no longer feel like I need to prove anything to anyone, and I’m more focused on what truly matters to me. This has allowed me to set goals that are more aligned with my values and interests, and to feel a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment as a result.

For example, instead of trying to become a millionaire or a celebrity, I might focus on building a successful business that allows me to support myself and my family while doing work that I enjoy. By having more specific and meaningful goals, I feel like I’m able to make progress and stay motivated in a way that was harder to achieve when my goals were more vague or grandiose.

It’s about what those goals really bring to my life instead of what others would think of me by achieving those goals.

3. Prioritizing privacy and personal experience over content creation

I used to feel like I had to document and share every aspect of my life on social media in order to get noticed or have opportunities come my way. Every post felt like a lottery ticket to become viral and achieve success, and I felt like I had to keep at it or be stuck in a job I hated.

However, I now know that I don’t need to rely on social media for validation or success. I’ve built a fulfilling life for myself that isn’t based on likes and follows. I don’t need to sacrifice my mental health or relationships for the chance to go viral or create content for others to consume. I can afford to be offline when I want to. I have control over my life, and I can choose to keep some experiences private and meaningful only to me. I don’t have to feel guilty for going out and doing something without capturing every moment or worrying about the aesthetic appeal of it.

By reducing my social media usage, I’ve also become less dependent on external validation and can confidently make decisions that work best for me. I can see the world through my own eyes, rather than worrying about how others perceive and judge me. I now only post when I want to, and for my own enjoyment, rather than as a job or obligation. If later I decide to have a social media presence for my business, it’d be done with a strategy and intention.

4. Embracing my authentic self and rejecting societal expectations

I used to feel like I had to conform to certain expectations of what it meant to be a woman. I would spend a lot of time and energy on my appearance, pleasing others, and trying to fit into narrow societal norms of femininity and womanhood.

Now that I am happily married, have my own home, and have become a British citizen, I feel free of these expectations. I’m empowered to embrace my authentic self and reject societal norms that don’t align with my values or interests. I no longer feel like I have to prioritize my identity as a woman over my identity as a human being.

This has allowed me to explore different aspects of myself and to express myself in ways that feel authentic and true to who I am. I don’t have to wear makeup or dress a certain way if I don’t want to. It’s a work in process as I still live within the parameters of society, but for the most part, I can live my life on my own terms as the unique and multifaceted human being that I am.

Parting words

In the last few years, I’ve gone through a significant level-up journey that has brought about numerous internal changes.

From feeling anxious and insecure to being happily married and thriving in my career, I’ve learned to embrace my authentic self, prioritise privacy, and reject societal expectations that don’t align with my values or interests. I’ve also learned to care less about external validation and set specific and meaningful goals.

These internal changes have allowed me to live a more authentic, fulfilling, and meaningful life, one where I can fully embrace who I am and pursue what truly matters to me.

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