The way it works is simple: Simply observe your own reactions to any negative feedback. If someone cuts me off in traffic, if someone tells me that my anger often seems inappropriate for the situation, or if I’m told that I’m being stubborn, that I’m not listening, that I’m not “hearing” someone of the feelings they’re trying to express or whatever else it might be — if my initial reaction is anger, I know that I am living inauthentically, from the outside in, from my false self, from my child-self. The beautiful thing about this pop quiz is that it’s infallible; it never produces anything but a true result, no matter how much I remain convinced that the root of that initial anger is anywhere other than outside of my own self. When I am actually living my life without fear, trusting wholly and completely the person I know myself to be, by default, I will then be living at one with the present moment and in perfect harmony with the whole of the Universe. Seriously. And without fail.
The next test of whether or not I’m living authentically, is something I call “Mirror Mirror.” Simply, if we are ever convinced that something is “doing something” to us, “making us feel” something, or if we feel that the source of our pain, no matter how minor, is because of someone or something else, we’re not living authentically. We’re not being honest with our selves. Anything in our external reality is little more than a mirror of our internal state. Everything from how we dress, how we decorate our living space, to the people we have around us as friends. There’s no escaping this, and when my dad used to tell me that I can be judged by the company I keep, I wasn’t fully aware of how true this is.