In today’s world, we often struggle to be ourselves. As human beings we all want to be liked, to belong, to be accepted. This human need has gain a different meaning as our exposure to the world has become broader. We put ourselves out there through our profiles and social media every day, all the time. How much of that represents who we really are? Are we being authentic?
Every time I sit behind my laptop and write content to post on my social media or on my blog, I face myself with this same question. Am I being authentic? Is what am I writing good enough for my readers to actually read me and feel inspired to change and grow? To answer it shortly: I truly believe I am being authentic and genuine as I write to you with an open mind and heart, while I choose personal development themes that can spark your attention while providing some ‘food for thought’. I could go on with my list, but this is not about me. It is all about YOU!
Going back to this natural need of ours to fit in, to be liked, to be approved – which by the way happens to all of us! How often do you ask yourself if what you are about to post in your social media is interesting or good enough? Or if you have communicated too much – or maybe too less – in your latest presentation at work? Or if you’ve made a good first impression during a job interview last week? Or if your partner actually valued your last birthday gift or your Valentine romantic surprise?
How close to reality does it sound? And at the same time, how exhausting? How hard do you have to try to just be yourself? Which leads to the question – Is there a way to be authentic after all? How does that look like?
To start from the beginning, to be able to be yourself you have to know who you are. Otherwise, you keep running in circles, trying out different masks that at the end do not fit. Last week we have talked about self-awareness, the ability to observe your thoughts, feelings and behaviors from a distance and understand the impact they have in your life. The more self-aware you become, the more you know about yourself allowing you to connect to your core and live your truth. This is an important step towards authenticity.
What else can be useful to embrace your authenticity?
1. Do not be a people’s pleaser: You can never please everyone. Do not waste time being someone you are not just for the sake of others. That does not mean starting a conflict just because you disagree with someone. When you are running after what you want, find the right people – your people – and speak to them openly.
2. Show your vulnerability: Take a chance and share something deep. Do not be afraid to show your imperfections – we all have them! Use vulnerability in your favor to bond with others, to show those parts of yourself that make you unique. It shows your courage to put yourself out there leading to new and unexpected opportunities.
3. Assume intimacy: (read it once and it stuck with me!): Do not wait for a long-life connection to bond with someone and show them your real you. Talk to strangers as you would know them, sell to your potential clients as they would be already your customers, treat a first date as a third or fourth one instead, look at your job interviewer as a peer instead of an intimidating boss.
There are other aspects contributing to live your authenticity to the fullest, such as, being mindful, accepting yourself for who you are, living according to your values and your purpose. Some of these themes we have been covering since last year; others will be addressed throughout this year.
Wherever you find yourself in your personal growth journey, you are always in time to reflect and work on them. Meanwhile, one step at a time, look within. Explore who you are and how you are living your authentic Self.