Living Authentically

Picture of Sarah Parker

Sarah Parker

Change coach, therapist, human being, and founder of Well of Being.

As some of you will know, we have 3 terriers. They are all adorable (I am unashamedly biased!) and all very different in their personalities.

Douglas is our oldest. He is a 12 year-old border terrier.

Border terriers are essentially working terriers. They were bred as working dogs and are described as capable of following a horse all day and having lots of energy. They are also, in line with their breeding, inclined to chase small creatures. They are quick to learn, although not always quick to do what you want them to do! As with most terrier breeds, they may be seen as feisty and independent.

For anyone who knows Doug, he couldn’t be further away from the breed description. He is gentle, doesn’t chase anything (it’s much too much effort) and is a friendly laid-back little fella. He has never been terribly keen on walking, certainly not endurance walks and, other than a short game of football in the garden he’s not at all keen on exercise. He much prefers the comfort of his buggy or backpack on longer walks. He would rather curl up and hide than get into a conflict and definitely prefers an easy time to the idea of work! He has always been a big gentle boy who prefers a quiet life. He doesn’t even bother with barking, though his two sisters more than make up for him with their barking.

Nobody told Doug he was expected to behave a certain way, so he has made up his own life rules. He didn’t know he was supposed to follow a ‘breed standard’, so he lives life on his terms. He is guided by what is right for him, not what was right for his ancestors, and certainly not what is expected of him by humans.

I see a wonderful freedom in how Doug shows up in life. He is kind and gentle and very placid. He is true to himself, rather than having to follow what is expected of him.

So often, we live our lives based on the expectations of others, or we continue with the same beliefs and ideals that have been held within our families, often for generations, without questioning if they work for us. What if it doesn’t have to be that way? So often we forget to question our lives and what matters to us. When we start to really consider our own lives and our own values – what is really important to us about how we live – we create our own guidelines for how we live life, and we start to live on our own terms.

Of course there are laws to abide by in our societies, but how we treat people and allow people to treat us, how we contribute and go about our daily lives is designed by us.

Let’s all be a little more Douglas – living life according to what is right for us, not for others, and doing what brings us joy and richness moment to moment without the pressure of expectations or comparisons.

With June love.

Sarah ❤️




How do I start living life on my terms?

You can start by asking yourself what really matters to you – in relationships, in your family, in your work? How do you want to act and how do you want to treat people and be treated by others?

These are your values. When you reflect on these and make conscious choices in line with them, you will start to create your own path rather than following the paths of others.


How can I start to make different choices according to my values?

 Here are some initial steps you can take:

  1. Reflect on your values and what matters to you
  2. Set small, achievable goals in line with your values
  3. Challenge traditions and expectations which don’t resonate with you
  4. Look to others who live authentically for inspiration and encouragement


Why is it important to question our lives and what matters to us?

Curiosity helps us to understand our deep desires and values, allowing us to live more authentically. It helps to prevent us from blindly following societal or familial expectations which don’t always align with who we truly are.


What would you say to someone who is struggling to live authentically?

Take small steps. Sometimes it can feel, or be risky and dangerous to challenge, so always make sure you are safe. Make sure you speak compassionately to yourself when you are struggling.

Spend some time reflecting on what makes your life rich and meaningful. Surround yourself with supportive people who respect your hopes and choices and gradually make decisions which align with your true self.

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