What does it mean to be authentic?
Basically, it means to be genuine or real. An authentic person can be thought of as an original. We can go deeper and say a person who is authentic is true to their own self.
Let’s look at society as a whole. What are we lacking? For the most part, people lack authenticity. It seems like everywhere you look someone is attempting to be someone else. Many of us don’t even know who we are.
Look at the vast majority of young men in our society. Lacking self esteem, they endlessly search for “strong” males to emulate. Unfortunately, many of the men they attempt to pattern themselves after are frauds themselves.
As for women, we are shown the most “perfect” women to emulate. The women/girls in magazines look so freaking perfect, how could we ever meet those standards? Look at women’s Facebook profile pictures or even better look at women’s pictures on dating sites. More than half the time, the woman featured in the picture looks nothing like the actual person. We live in the age of “selfies” or ‘look at me’ filters. With all of the wondrous photo editing software of today, how do we know what is real and what isn’t?
Many organizations will boast “We did this and so can you!”. They don’t tell you what it actually took to get there or provide proof of their claims. Many times we get suckered into believing the claims of people and corporations, to pay the piper. It seems as though anyone can be the “best trainer”, the “number one producer”, the “natural body builder” without any real substantiation or proof.
Reality today appears to be lying to people. Reality TV is no where near “real”. People will spend every penny to give the appearance of being someone they really are not. All for the sake of approval from people who really could give a shit less.
What’s going on out there? Why are we so attached to what others think of us? Maybe, it started at a young age. We sought the attention of our parents, doing what we felt was necessary to get what we wanted. Perhaps, we learned from our parents (without even realizing), we were being the observer. Think about the times when your parents would hound you to “tell the truth”. Yet when the phone rang and it was someone they didn’t want to speak to (and you answered the phone) they would say, “Tell them I am not here”. How is that for telling the truth?
Being authentic does come with risk. Especially these days, many people are simply not accustomed to being authentic. We are taught to “follow the rules“. Look at our public schools, our children are taught how to conform and are judged by test scores. Look at the kids who won’t sit still in school and listen to the teacher. They are diagnosed as having ADHD and drugged to be more “normal”. It has been increasingly more of a challenge to be an authentic version of ourself since we are geared to be “sheeple” in society.
Let’s be real, we aren’t going to go around spouting off all these “truths” because we are going to be “AUTHENTIC”. Perhaps for some people this is how they choose to be. Then the question becomes, “Do you like having other people in your life?” If you do, then remember the importance of discretion. Part of being mature is knowing what to say, when to say it and how to say it. Also, just because you believe something to be true for you, doesn’t necessarily mean it is true for someone else. Forcing your belief on someone will only push them away not draw them closer to you.
Do you have to answer a question simply because it is asked? No way! Do you have to do what is asked of you? No way! Remember, you are ultimately the one in charge of your answer or of your actions. Being authentic (and mature) is knowing how to respond at the appropriate time. Being who YOU truly are (or desire to be).
How many people do you think are in relationships in hopes of changing their mate? Come on, I am sure there are a few out there. He/she will change if____happens. Get real. If you are being authentic with your mate then you accept them for who they are, without the need to change them. You can’t be with a “rocker” type and expect him/her to mature into an analyst once you have kids. People are who they are, accept and love them for this. If you can grow with one another, AWESOME. If you can not accept them, then why are you with them? Authentically accepting your mate is the highest form of love.
Why is it increasingly more of a challenge for a person to sit down with their partner and express what is going on? Some men will brush off their own needs by saying, “Whatever makes her happy”. Sure this can work on some things however whatever happened to open communication on expectations in a relationship? How many times do you think a man has asked his partner, “Are you OK?” and she responds with “I am fine!”, when in actuality she is steaming mad inside.
If who you are is someone who blows up first to get out your anger, then blow up! If you are someone who prefers to have some time to cool down before talking then make this known. But make sure you communicate this CLEARLY with your partner so expectations are set accordingly. When one person refuses to communicate with the other, more drama usually results.
This brings questions to my mind: Why is it so hard to be authentic with the people we care about most? Is it because we care so much about them? Why do we stay in relationships where the love has died? Why do we accept mediocrity in a relationship? Perhaps, we are so disconnected to the truth, the “lie” seems to be the real deal. Hmmm, maybe it starts with ourselves. Begin by being authentic with yourself. What the heck does this mean?
When you tell yourself you are going to do_____ then simply do it. Imagine that, you believe yourself! Start small and work your way up to more important tasks. You say something and you follow through for yourself. You tell someone I will call you back in 5 minutes or less, then you call them back. You tell yourself you will stop drinking alcohol and you STOP. You tell yourself you will wake up at 6 AM and you wake up at 6 AM without continually pressing the “Snooze” button. You decide to start a new workout program for 6 weeks and you follow through. Can it really be this easy? Of course! Stop lying to yourself. Be the best and most authentic version of you.
Think about how great this would be in goal setting: you have become such a person of authenticity and integrity that when you say something it easily comes to fruition! It is no longer about saying or doing something only to please others, it becomes about setting realistic goals and deadlines. Once you get to this point in your life, you have certainty. You KNOW you accomplish what you say.
STOP looking for the “magic pill“. Realize anything of effort requires work. Don’t believe everything Facebook, TV and magazines tell you. Investigate for yourself. Be diligent. In our world today, it is important to discover the real truth for you. Invest time in you.
The best part of this, is there is only one, magnificent you. Accept you and love yourself first. Once you are authentic and transparent with yourself, you will automatically discover what works for you. You will naturally feel when something is not right. Your life won’t be about the need for other people’s approval.
As we have stated on our hangouts, know thyself. Know what you want. Know how you react. Be the most authentic version of you. Ask yourself productive questions like: If I were my own best friend and treated myself the way I treat me, how long would I remain friends with me? Only you can determine and mold the best version of you.
BE the Best YOU EVER!