Thought it was time to do a little bit of cheerleading for the promotion of authenticity. In a world where media bias is constantly presenting us with a skewed agenda, we can become disillusioned with this world of ours. If you are a highly sensitive person, or even moderately high, you will probably be very aware of fake and find it hard to tolerate. Why is there such a tendency towards fake and lacking in authenticity? I believe it is born from insecurity and fear. It causes people to wear masks and present a false image of who they really are. So how do we move towards being authentic? Here are three ‘simple’ steps:
- Challenge the fear-based thoughts about ‘what will others think of me?’ This is a question that can loop and spin and rut in your brain your entire life unless you work to extinguish it. What does it matter what someone else thinks of you, especially if that person isn’t your significant other or someone deeply important to you? We cannot live our lives in fear of what someone may or may not think of us. This is primarily driven by irrational fears. A good checkpoint to make sure you aren’t listening to irrational fears is to ask yourself these two questions – ‘is my thinking based on fact?’ and ‘does my thinking help me with how I feel?’ If the answers are no, then you have gotten into irrational thinking and that can be your leverage to shut it down. If it becomes REAL, then deal with it.
- Be courageous. Live your life from the driver’s seat. Having the courage to change the things we can, truly is a good prayer that will lead to serenity. Courage can help us push through the insecurities that often lead a person to be fake. If I am being authentic, I am becoming more and more comfortable with not allowing the externals to dictate. Focusing on external appearance — how I look, how tidy my house is, how fancy my car is…all plays into the thought that I have to look or be a certain way in order to be acceptable. Be courageous and choose to believe that you are acceptable. Period.
- Embrace yourself and seek to live in an authentic way. Choosing to accept yourself is a great step towards ridding your life of inauthenticity. Seeking to live in a manner that is authentic will reinforce itself. Is this true to who I am? Does it line up with what I value? And most importantly, is it okay to be me? When we decide that it is, then we can most embrace our lives. Being authentic is like a deep, fresh breath of air that gives life deeply into the soul. It frees us from fear and insecurity. Breathe deep. It is okay for you to be you — in fact, you are the only one who can be.