“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~E.E. Cummings
It took me a long time to figure out who I really am and embrace it. It’s amazing what society and current ideals / expectations can do to you. You may become a chameleon and shape your opinions and beliefs on your company. Without noticing you trade your authentic self for the security of being liked and because of your fear of being judged.
Authenticity doesn’t come natural when you grow up behind The Wall. You must “meet the norm” (no more, no less) and you feel like you’re under constant surveillance. Nothing is more liberating than being yourself as fully as you know how. When you have nothing to hide and you can freely be yourself with everyone, there is a profound peace and confidence you will exude to the world.
Authenticity requires self-knowledge and self-awareness. Authentic people accept their strengths and weaknesses. They are accountable, genuine and real. Authentic people are imperfect. They are connected to their values and desires and act deliberately in ways that are consistent with those qualities.
Authenticity may also require you to acknowledge aspects of yourself that you’d rather hide away, but in the end it allows you to live a more open, honest and engaged life.
Authentic people don’t repress their feelings. Anxiety and guilt arise from not being present. They are both destructive. If you doubt your ability to handle challenges in the future, you create anxiety. Guilt results from feeling bad about past mistakes or people we have hurt.
Authentic people believe they are worthy of love and peace of mind. They are not afraid of voicing their opinions and they are fully aware that they can’t please everyone. There will always be naysayers, so what?
Authentic people have the courage to live their lives based on what they believe is right.
Photo by Rick Robillard