What are some of the biggest fears you have about what will happen if you fully be yourself, speak your truth, and go for what you truly want in life? We all want to live happy, authentic lives, rich & full of purpose, we yearn to express ourselves more fully and be unconditionally accepted by others. But the reality is that it’s often easier to remain and behave in less authentic ways rather than risk letting others see and experience who we really are.
It often feels like we can’t truly be authentic because it means we risk having others judge us, or worse, reject us. In the end, it seems easier to just be quiet, fit in, and hide who we really are rather than attempt to live more authentically around others. Still, we want to be more authentic, but at the same time, being more authentic seems very scary! We are apprehensive to take an honest look at our hidden selves. However, if we want to live more authentically, we must move pass this fear.
A great metaphor for authenticity is an iceberg where the iceberg’s tip can be seen above the water’s surface, but the majority of it lies hidden beneath the water’s surface. We often go about life in a similar fashion, showing only a small part of our true identity and hiding everything else. We don’t want others to see and experience who we really are. To become more authentic may require us to lower our waterline and share more of who we really are.
We don’t want to share things that we feel people would look down on us for, such as:
- Failures and disappointments
- Guilt and shame
- Fears and insecurities
- Weaknesses and embarrassments
- Resentments and jealousies
We also hesitate to share their positive traits such as:
- Our hopes and dreams
- Our vision of what makes us truly happy
- Our accomplishments and future goals
- What we love and appreciate
- What excites us and give us childlike curiosity
The reason we can be equally hesitant to our positive qualities is because revealing our most hidden strengths, desires, and aspirations still makes us vulnerable. These positive qualities can still be judged critically by others, so there is risk associated with opening up to others, even in positive ways.
Being authentic means being willing to openly and honestly share all of yourself with others – both good and bad. If you look up the definition of ‘authenticity’ in the dictionary, you would see the concept described as ‘the quality of being genuine.’ Being more authentic is more fully expressing all of who you really are, and this includes both the light and the dark.
When you are more authentic, you are also more vulnerable; there’s no denying this fact. Still, isn’t risking a little vulnerability worth the potential gain of becoming:
- More confident in yourself?
- More willing to pursue your passions?
- More free of other people’s opinions?
- More connected with yourself and others?
- More in a state of peace of mind?
- More accepting and appreciative of your true self?
Keep asking: Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?