Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t always have to be strong. You don’t have to be funny. You don’t always have to know the answer. You don’t always have to be stoic. These are only a few of the things that we pretend to be each and every day. That’s right, I said pretend.
For some reason, we believe that if we “playact” through this part of life it will somehow make it better or easier for us or for those around us. It won’t! Oh maybe we’ll get a way with it for a while, but sooner or later it will catch up with us. We have to be authentic in order to walk the path we were meant to walk and help the people we need to help.
Think of it this way, how would you like it if you found out your best friend, boss, husband or wife was lying to your face? (After all, isn’t being inauthentic the same as lying?) Most importantly, if we spend our days lying to others, there will come a day when we begin lying to ourselves. When that day comes, finding the truth in anything is like peering through the fog at midnight.
So what does it take to “stay the path” of authenticity? Two things, courage (That my friends is so much easier said than done!) and forgiveness. We all know what courage is but we seem forget that, when it comes to forgiving ourselves, we aren’t very charitable. We’re not always going to succeed at this new project and understanding that will be a daily challenge but at the end of the day, we’ll be that much closer to being the kind of person we were meant to be.
Here’s what I know…
It’s ok to feel the way you feel even if it’s out of the norm.
Communicate! Tell others how you feel and why. They might be more accommodating that you think. The same goes for telling yourself the same.
Don’t be afraid! This applies across the board. Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to succeed, to feel bad, to feel good, not to know, etc.
And oh yes, convince yourself to be authentic as much as possible.
Remember, you don’t always have to be strong. You don’t have to be funny. You don’t always have to know the answer. You don’t always have to be stoic. Each day before you get going make a promise to yourself that you’ll do your best to be as authentic as possible. That’s all anyone could ask, including what you’d ask of yourself.