Are you an authentic person? Plenty people are classed as ‘nice’ but are you genuine? So what does it mean to be authentic? For me personally it means,
- Being true to myself.
- Value’s and principles that I live by.
- Listening to my conscience.
- Setting firm boundaries on what I deem acceptable and respectable behaviour towards myself and others.
- Having a very strong sense of who I am as a person.
How can we remain authentic and real in the world today? It is not an easy task. But what is the alternative to being true to yourself? I have known many outwardly ‘nice’ people. They are agreeable, dependable, non-abrasive typically. Some people claim to be real but really they are just mean and should learn to edit what comes out of their minds and voice boxes. Other people are nice on the outside but endlessly frustrated deep inside. They have low confidence, exhibit passive aggressive behaviours, feel powerless in relationships and often find they are so desperate to ‘fit in’ they dilute who they truly are. What is the solution to this? I’d like to think it is possible to be a nice person but also a person who is authentic and true to yourself. It appears to be a delicate balancing act. We must be mindful not to lose our selves in company but also be enjoyable to be around.
Perhaps you have reached a point in your life whereby you are eager to pull back the many protective layers of bubble wrap that you have used to buffer your real self for years? Be honest with yourself. What do you really want from relationships? What do you really need? What do you like? It can be exhausting to live a life surrounded by people who do not know you. It is impossible to keep up a fake facade long term too. Your face will hurt if you are forcing a smile. Peel back the layers, expose who you truly are. People can take you or leave you. At least you know you are being true. You will find you have much healthier, real relationships. People who have wrapped themselves up in barriers to stop the real them from shining through can be left feeling lonely when they realise no one truly knows them. Furthermore, genuine people can smell a rat. Real people will be discouraged and move on once they discover you are unwilling to connect and be true. Only the fake or equally insecure beings will be drawn to you.
What else can we do to ensure we live an authentic life?
- Learn to say no. You have the right to. If people take offence, let them.
- Form opinions and voice them. Have courage in your convictions. Who ever was remembered for being a nice person?
- Explore new interests, new passions, new friendships.
- Break the moulds set by your peer group. Make your own choices about who you should have in your own life. Refuse to be influenced or swayed by others. Take back control. This is your life. Your story.
- Ignore the negative people. No matter what you say or do there will always be someone out there telling you that you can’t do this or that! Perhaps because they feel they couldn’t possibly achieve the dream.
- Stand up for what you believe in.
As you can see it is not an easy task. Sometimes it is easier to follow the crowd, agree with everyone else and keep your head down. But ask yourself this – are you alive right now? Check your pulse.