Are you trying to be who and what others want you to be or are you authentic?
Most of us would answer that we are our authentic selves, but there is more to this challenge than we realize. Authenticity is not something that some people have and others do not. It is a conscious choice – or rather, a series of choices – of how we want to live.
It is a daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be, embracing our true selves, and believing that we are good enough.
This is not as easy as it sounds.
It means accepting your imperfections, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and expecting criticism and sometimes rejection. It means speaking out when you disagree with the popular opinion – at the risk of being side-lined or ridiculed.
Being authentic means being prepared to leave the safe waters of your comfort zone, risking to be real, rather than to be liked by all. You could be knocked down, hurt and even rejected, simply because you do not fit in.
Standing your ground and being authentic requires time, energy, and a commitment to being the person you are meant to be.
To not care what others think of you, is not an option. Why? Because living an authentic life means being able to connect with people on a deep and sincere level. People matter. But here is the difference: If your aim is to please others and to be accepted by them at all costs, their rejection will result in feelings of anxiety, blame, grief, and resentment. If authenticity is your goal, you will be giving the best you have to those around you.
Challenging other people’s discourses that you don’t agree with, does not mean “taking them out”, being a know-it-all or hurting others. It means having the courage of being vulnerable, telling your own story, and showing up as the real you. Someone once said that we should be brave with our lives so that others could be brave with theirs.
When we connect with others as authentic people, the connection would be deep enough to last a lifetime.