“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
You cannot be someone you’re not. Well, I guess you can, but it makes for a very challenging life. At least I would imagine. Actually, scratch that. Plenty of people pretend to be someone they are not and whether it works for them is not my business. What I should say is that being someone I am not just doesn’t work for me.
I could pretend I’m a night person that loves the nightlife, living it up with a crowd until the wee hours of the morning. But I’m not. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I love dressing up with the fanciest of the fancy and enjoying a night out. However, for the most part, give me some chocolate (what the heck pizza, too) and a good book and I’m set for the night.
Authenticity – the real you.
Sure, we have different shades of what is at our core, and yes, we are always changing, evolving; two steps forwards one step back. Yet, to try to be someone we are not, to wear the clothes, the personality, that seems so eluding and filled with praise and popularity, is to wear something that just doesn’t fit.
And I do see clothes, or shoes, or even personalities that I would love to try on. They look so fun and desirable. I want to make them my own. But quite literally, the shoe just doesn’t fit. I always end up coming back to me, whatever and whoever that is. There aren’t necessarily words to describe it, but more of a feeling. It just feels right. I feel comfortable in my own skin. And it’s a lot less work.
Always trying to be ‘on’ is incredibly tiresome. Even more detrimental, it prevents us from becoming who we are meant to be. We don’t learn the lessons that will help us grow. We surround ourselves with people who don’t feed our souls. And if anything, people who are not getting to know our true selves, as we mirror only those around us and not what is inside of us.
It is not what we want others to see, but also how we want to see ourselves.
As unglamorous as it may seem, living a truly authentic life allows us to feel the lows and the highs. We develop a core from which we can use to assess the rest of the world. We get to know our likes, our dislikes. It allows us to move forward, and most importantly just be in our own skin and get to know the person staring back in the mirror. Because when the dust settles from all of the bravado on the outside, we are still left with the same person on the inside.
Being authentic means to live our lives based on our values, on what we believe to be true, and not that of someone else. If we live according to someone else’s expectations we will never be solid in ourselves. Even more precarious is to assume to know what others are thinking and acting in a particular way for a certain reaction. We need to act for ourselves. We need to be true to ourselves.
We have to know ourselves.
Essentially, when we are not authentic in who we are, when we put on a charade for the sake of someone else, we are lying to them. Even more importantly, we are lying to ourselves, which is probably the worst lie of all. We have no basis for truth.
Therefore, we need to take the time to reflect on what resonates with us; what drives us, what brings passion and equally, at where we draw the lines. Being authentic is bringing your inner soul to the surface. Not everyone will rejoice. You can’t please everyone, and if you try, you’ll never please yourself.