“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” ~ Dr. Seuss
How many times have you thought you were a good judge of someone’s character, only to be fooled? Unless you’re an expert at assessing character, it can be tough. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assert that we live in a world filled with fakes, frauds and people who are just not real. The obvious flip side to this and a belief I hold, is that being authentic is one of the most important aspects of living a meaningful life.
Being authentic is more than just being real; it’s finding what is real in yourself. And what is real for me may be quite different from what is real for you. There is no value attached; it simply is what it is, for each of us. If your sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs or chosen path is different from mine, we are both okay with it.
Being ourselves when we are with others, especially strangers, can be challenging. The stress in those situations can cause us to regress into old behaviors, personas, and patterns of feeling anxious and trying to fit in. While it may seem to be easier to stay in your comfort zone, finding the courage to be who you really are in all areas of your life will help you to realize your true potential. To get to your true self, you have to examine dreams you have forgotten, fears that are holding you back, or beliefs that are not your own.
When we are living our authentic selves, our differences do not frighten or challenge us. There are no judgments. I honor the authentic you and you honor the authentic me.
Learning and accepting the truth about who you really are and what is important to being who you are takes honesty, awareness, and time. Yet when you pursue your authentic self, you will find you no longer have to live in fear of exposure; it means you will be acting in good faith and aligned with your personal values. No more pretending to be someone or something else.
There are many ways in which to live a more authentic life. Here are four to consider:
Identify the voice. Is it yours or your mother’s or mass media or the TV? Steer clear of trying to be an image of what you think others would like to see.
- Be honest with your feelings. What you do with them is important. Be true to rather than denying them.
- Appreciate your uniqueness! Find your own special talent or skill. Each of us is blessed with gifts that we’re meant to share with others.
- Be clear and truthful with your intentions. When your heart’s intention is honest, you need not concern yourself with making an innocent mistake. Act in good faith.
You are one of a kind. Henry David Thoreau once said, “We are constantly invited to be who we are.” Is there any reason you’re not fully embracing that invitation?