How I embraced my authentic self:
What is wrong with embracing and expressing your authentic self? This past weekend, I was really irritated and snippy, and I wasn’t sure why.
I was sitting at one point, drinking a cup of coffee, when it dawned on me. I was irritated because of all the hate and insults I had been receiving (more on this story in another post). I also realised that this has been a problem for me all my life, and I’m sure many can agree. If like pop music, or Justin Bieber, or you’re “shallow”. If like pink, or glitter, or makeup, or you’re “materialistic and fake”. The list goes on.
This is not the first time I’ve been even more motivated and inspired to be just who I am, but every now and then I am reminded, why I prefer to be authentic, real and honest, not just with myself, but with the way I bring myself across to others. These are the lessons I’ve learnt over the last 10 years.
So here is a list of 7 ways that you too, can embrace your authenticity!
I stopped being afraid of saying sorry. You will live, I promise. I know that sometimes it’s hard to “admit defeat” and acknowledge that you screwed up, but once you do that, apologise and start moving forward, you’ll feel a weight lifted off your shoulders and find energy to do better.
I stopped being afraid of being wrong. What do you think is going to happen? Admit when you’re wrong and learn from that, it doesn’t make you weak or stupid. You’re not always right, get over it. And usually, being wrong is a brilliant opportunity to learn something.
I stood by my convictions. Not everyone has to like you, or agree with you. Most importantly, First do no harm, and then stand up for what you believe in. If it hurts another human being, then shut up. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling shamed when I’ve stood up against something that the majority are in support of. That is what makes me who I am though.
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
― Brené Brown,
I stopped worrying about what people think. Seriously, think about that more than just the cliche it is. It truly doesn’t make a difference in your life if Jannie on Facebook thinks you’re a “libtart” or some chick on the other side of the world thinks your ideas suck. This is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself! It only matter what YOU think of yourself, so you better make sure those thoughts are powerful and positive!
I stopped seeing my extreme sense of empathy as a weakness. I feel what others are feeling, I hurt when others hurt. I cry when others cry, even if I don’t even know what is going on. If there are tears, I’m probably going to join in. I used to think it made me a weak, emotional “typical girl”. But that trait has shown me how much I can do for someone else by just showing compassion and understanding.
I started to understand jealousy, what it means for me and how I can make it positive. You’re human, you’re bound to be jealous of someone at some point. Ask yourself WHY you’re feeling jealous. I recently found myself noticing that while there is a certain woman in business that I really love, I realised I was actually a bit jealous of her. I started to think about it and I realised it’s because she appears to have, what I feel I lack. She’s running a super successful company, she does this with a new baby in the house, and she ALWAYS looks fabulous when she does her FB live. Nevermind that her house always looks clean and beautiful. She’s also in a similar field to me and I was feeling threatened. But that’s not on her, that’s on me. I don’t even know her personally. So instead of feeling that twinge of jealous insecurity every time I see her on FB, maybe I should take some damn tips and learn from her, then I can get there too. I can also acknowledge that I don’t know what she goes through on a personal level, and that she is also not perfect.
I stopped being obsessed with perfection. I have made it my mission this year to stress a LOT less about whether or not I’m wearing makeup, or the perfect outfit for literally every occasion. I was ALWAYS worried about how I looked during the school run, if I didn’t look perfect while doing groceries? Well if you’re reading that and thinking, well DUH! That’s the realisation I made about how silly that is. It’s Pick N Pay, not the MET Gala. You are under no obligation to look a certain way for anyone.
Now go out and be who you are!
If you have your own lessons and tips on being your real, honest, authentic self, I’d love to hear from you!