Updated on January 11, 2016
In our daily lives, we face the challenge to either be who we think others want us to be, or simply to be ourselves. In writing, the answer might seem obvious and straightforward, but in actuality this is a much greater feat than we might expect. Why? Because to be our true selves, requires us to be hugely courageous.
It takes valor to let the veil drop and stand in our transparency. We have to face the fear that maybe someone won’t like who we really are without hiding behind the excuse of “well, that wasn’t really me anyhow.” Of course it’s natural to have the desire to not feel humiliated but the irony is we run a far lesser risk of that when we are truly ourselves. When we live from our authentic self we exude a different kind of energy, which makes us feel better about ourselves, and which silently inspires others to be themselves as well.
So what does authenticity mean and why is it so valuable? Firstly, being authentic simply means asking ourselves the question, what is true for me now and can I live and speak from that place? Secondly, why be authentic? Because being authentic is the most powerful and liberating thing that we can learn to do and become. It means dropping the pretenses, shifting the paradigm that we have to be someone who we are not, and being brave enough to confront our own fears of revealing who we truly are. It might be scary in the process and perhaps the fear will never fully subside, but arriving in an authentic place from one moment and experience to the next, enlivens us.
We spend so much energy trying to pretend to be what we think others want us to be and constantly worrying whether they approve of us and will accept us into the tribe. The irony is most everyone is thinking this simultaneously so the truth is, people aren’t worrying about you, they are worrying about themselves just as you are. So what a relief it would be if we could all let go. Of course this is easier said than done. It may not happen in a day but the more we begin to know who we are, how we feel, what we desire in our lives, the better we can design the life we have been wanting. Having the humility to look at our weaknesses and wounds is what gives us great strength and power. If we take responsibility for ourselves, we become self-empowered.
We do have a choice though. We can remain safe and hide behind the masks that keep us “protected.” Or we can find the courage to move through the fear and step into our fullest potential, our true selves. The question is, what is the cost? What is the cost not to be who you truly are?
Are you ready to become the person you want to be?