Why authenticity allows us to embrace our true selves and be more confident
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are” – Brene Brown
The above quote sums up authenticity very well. Often our sense of identity is tied up with material things, the expectations of our friends and family, work colleagues and more. Today, appearances still do matter, and people still do have opinions, make assumptions and judge one another.
We find there’s a lot of positive and inspiring messages out there on social media, saying BE YOURSELF or BE TRUE TO YOU. However, if being authentic is something you actually struggle with, you might be left feeling less inspired and just a little bit down, asking yourself – how?
Well my dear, you need to get past some of your fears and be more authentic.
In many ways, society and those around us form and influence our own idea of who we think we are supposed to be. For example, so many girls have become bulimic because they see skinny run-way models online and in magazines. These girls think to be accepted by society, the too need to be thin.
Society also plays a hand in defining what it means to be successful, and the image that we are supposed to fulfill in order for others to see us like that. You know what we are talking about – THE car, THE house, THE clothes from THE brands. When we are presented with the image of a successful woman, she is often a business woman in well-tailored clothes – high end clothes with perfect hair and make-up, giving the vibe of wealth and luxury. Sure, it’s great if these women have those things and that’s actually what they want. However we believe we all should hold different ideas for ourselves of what it means to be successful. What society classifies as success doesn’t need to define what success means for each of us.
When you think about it, our minds are influenced with so much pre-conceived ideas, that it seems almost impossible to really know who we are, what we stand for, and have our own ideas, thoughts and opinions. But we are here to tell you that it is still possible, you just need to dig within and voice it out.
A mask for every occasion
Every one of us at some stage in our lives has worn a mask (and we aren’t talking about a physical face mask). We are talking about an invisible cover we shield our faces with to protect ourselves from people seeing our true selves and protecting ourselves from others judgement.
Perhaps at work you act like one person and at home you act like another. Or you act all happy and positive all the time outward to your friends, but inside you are sad and depressed.
Often we wear a mask because we fear another person’s judgement or criticism if they knew what we REALLY thought or how we REALLY felt. We fear that we will not be accepted by others, and we will isolate ourselves. In different environments, like in a work environment, being seen or to act in a certain way might help you fit into the Company’s culture and get you promoted or taken more seriously. But this would be a daily internal struggle for you if you do not naturally align to the Company’s culture or values.
In some countries expressing ourselves might not be so easy as well. There might be cultural stigmas in sharing your true feelings, and there also might be sever consequence in doing so too. So the masks remain on.
Take off a mask where you can
If you want to be authentic, then you have to take off some of your masks, let people experience the REAL you.
We might not realise it, but the more masks we wear, the more personal energy it is costing us. We are doing more harm than good to your self-esteem. In the process of trying to fit in, we are actually making yourself more lonely and miserable.
We might still wear a mask once in a while, but if we are being authentic, then we are wearing fewer of them.
Taking off the masks takes courage, but we believe it makes us stronger, more aligned with our self and increases our self-esteem and confidence. By making the decision to be our self regardless of the consequences, there comes a certain freedom. A new confidence will come to share our thoughts and feelings.
In summary, if you'd like to be more yourself and practice authenticity then:
a. Go beyond societal norms, materialistic things, who you're friends or family think you are supposed to be, and discover who you really are away from these influences. Find what is uniquely you.
b. Find out the masks you are wearing in front of different people or occasions.
c. Identify some of the masks you can start to "take off" by talking to someone genuinely, letting out your true and real thoughts and opinions on a matter.
d. Get past your fear of judgement, criticism and non-acceptance if someone doesn't agree with you or maybe like who you really are. Find your voice.
When we have the courage to be real, amazing things can happen! We have more confidence because we know who we are, what we stand for.
How will you be more authentic today?
Did you like this article and get value from it?
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Yours in confidence,
Herparade Team x