Why Being Authentic Is So Important
For the past few months, I've realized something about myself. I am a kind person, but sometimes people think they can take advantage of me. Unfortunately for them, I am kind but not naive! I can readily know if they are good for me or not!
Last year, I experienced that twice and I had to question myself about it.
You meet a person for the first time. Instantly, you can sense that this person is intelligent, ambitious, and passionate about the work that they do. They seem to always have the ‘right’ answer to your questions — and yet you get the sense that they aren’t giving you their ‘real’ answers. It feels like they are telling you what they think you want to hear, rather than the truth! They use sweet talk on you, but your gut is telling you they don't sound real at all!
Why pretend and be fake rather than being real?
Authenticity — what is it, who has it, and how do you get it?
Most people associate authenticity with being true to oneself — or “walking the talk.” But there’s a problem with that association- it focuses on how you feel about yourself.
Authenticity is actually a relational behavior, not a self-centered one. Meaning that to be truly authentic, you must not only be comfortable with yourself, but must also comfortably connect with others.
So I have a few thoughts on this subject that I want to share with you today about being authentic and perhaps my advice (based on my own humble experience) will help you to understand what “being REAL” actually is.
1) Never let the expectations and opinions of other people affect your decisions.
It's your life, not theirs. Be more concerned with truth than opinions.
Stop questioning yourself. Stop listening to everyone else. The world is waiting for you to start something, waiting to hear what you have to say, waiting to see you SHINE!
Remember the dream you were too scared to chase? It’s still not too late to give it a try! We tend to think that we’re not good enough, and give up before we even start.
The self-criticism and self-doubt will always be present, and the only solution is to just act in spite of them.
2) Do what matters most to you. Do what makes you feel alive and happy.
Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are.
When you are stuck in autopilot, it is very easy to forget to be grateful for what you actually have. The basic fundamentals that so many people lack, the people who like or even love you, and the amazing wonders of the modern age. Appreciate them now, rather than live with regret when things may have changed later on.
Become more aware of the negative thoughts around you and don’t let them drag you down. Instead, find one thing that is positive or helpful in the long run in the situation you are in. Then build on that.
The more you do it, the more this kind of thinking will become a habit and soon your mind will start reacting in a more positive and constructively imaginative way no matter what situation you find yourself in.
Instead of just going along in your usual way take a day off from that. And smile towards everyone you meet: the lady in the checkout line at the supermarket, your co-workers and the people closest to you.
How does that affect how you feel about yourself and your life? And how does it change your interactions and day?
In one word S-H-I-N-E
3) Never let others tell you who you are. Otherwise, you will live their reality — not yours.
Humility comes when you welcome who you really are (as opposed to creating a pretense or "mask").
People label us. They put a tag on us. And too often, it sticks.
We start to believe the way we're perceived. We let the judgment take hold. They perceive us based on assumptions, false first impressions, or old information. Folks keep us in a box. They limit us. They seek their own comfort in trying to form us as they want us to be, in the way that makes them most comfortable (and superior) -- instead of the way we are made.
There is more to life than pleasing people. There is much more to life than following others' prescribed path. There is so much more to life than what you are experiencing right now!
4) Be free from hypocrisy: "walk your talk" and don't be naive about other people's "sweet talk."
Hypocrites groom you to become hyper-aware of your own minor (or non-existent) wrongdoings, while actively dismissing anything that they themselves are doing wrong.
First they move the blame—then, your conscience does the rest of the work for them.
Hypocrites are experts at blaming others, while empathetic people are experts at blaming themselves. The more of their poison you absorb, the more you start to doubt yourself, thereby making you more vulnerable to more poison.
These dynamics leave you feeling self-conscious, inferior, insecure, and like nothing you do will ever be good enough—like someone is always judging you. You become a perfectionist, terrified that you might have actually become all of these things you’ve been accused of.
On the other end of the spectrum, they target you because healthy, humble individuals do not constantly talk about the good things they have done, because it would be arrogant and uncomfortable. Instead, they prove it with their actions, which are intentionally ignored by hypocrites who can simply invent fake virtues with fake words.
5) Know who you are and be proud to be that human being
Find your strengths and you’ll become fearless. Utilise the gifts you’ve been given, and impact your world with them. Be humble. Be a friend. Be generous. Give your heart away, and lead others.
Do not fear others seeing your vulnerabilities but decide to be who you are for YOURSELF not for them. Be confident to walk away from situations where you can't be yourself (which I did recently).
6) Accept and love yourself.
The way to create unconditional love for yourself is to turn your attention away from the system of punishment and rewards you learned to use to control your own behavior. Instead, turn your attention to what you value most.
Feelings of discomfort are bound to occur in situations where what you value is missing in what you've said or done. However, you can learn to use these feelings to focus all of your attention on how to create what you value in that situation, rather than punishing yourself for having done something "wrong."
Become a whole Human Being and believe me you are ready to live the most Amazing Adventure of your all life!