Authenticity: Uncovering Who We Are at Our Cores
Materialism and superficiality surrounds us, making it hard to discern what is authentic from what isn't. When it comes down to living your ultimate life, you must be authentically you.
I've been thinking a lot lately about authenticity. So many insightful, and straight up bad-ass, wellness & lifestyle influencers are advocating "doing you" and rocking it. I'm digging it. It has definitely become a prominent topic in the wellness social media world as influencers and bloggers constantly post about how important it is to be authentic and to be yourself. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this movement, I guess you could call it, and think its about time the world gets a bit more authentic. I feel like the world is swaaarmming with ideas of what we should be doing, how we should look, what we should believe, etc. We're influenced daily through Instagram, Snapchat, our jobs, and the list goes on.... Programming us to want, to need, to look a certain way, to eat a certain way, to live our lives a certain way.
It comes down to the fact that we pretty much have to accept ourselves as we are. Simple, but not. It doesn't mean we can't change, it means accepting where we are currently and loving that, while we work toward our better selves. We need to know our values, desires, beliefs, at our cores. There are many different types of people we aspire to be, pulling us in so many different directions. Personally, I find myself wanting to be so many different versions of myself, each living a completely different life, all at the same time. I'm a student of the world, wanting to learn, research and cultivate so much knowledge that I'm bubbling with ideas and information. I'm a blogger, but I also want to be a proud entrepreneur of a thriving, influential company. I am a yogi, but I also love a high-intensity workout class, and a good grass-fed burger. I'm a student (in the literal sense), but I'm also a traveller and explorer. I see myself as a citizen of the world, but I also just love being home. We can want to be so many things, in so many directions. It can be confusing, but its also okay. I personally see it as a sign of being inspired and passionate about a whole slew of things.
I had a yoga teacher, the other week, who alluded to this idea of finding yourself at your core. It's hard to be all that you are, and all that you want to be, all at the same time. But I personally feel like all those different people and personalities I obtain are what makes me, me. I'm not just a blogger, but a blogger with entrepreneurial aspirations to expand on. I'm not just a IR & Management student, but a student seeking all the knowledge in the world. I'm an enthusiast for restorative, mindful yoga also with a craving for intensity, which makes me balanced. You get the idea. We can be so many things, as that is what makes us different and unique. The key is to only actually be what you truly want to, what we truly feel and know that we are, and not what someone else is influencing us to be.
Be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. —Judy Garland
And that comes from asking ourselves what do we actually want to be, at our core. What are we when we strip ourselves of our outside influences? When we're not a product of our relationships, our job statuses, our moods, our surroundings. We, as humans, all have so much more buzzing within us than just a label, whether it be a mom, girlfriend, friend, sister, manager, salesperson, anything. At our core, any label or external influence means absolutely nothing. It no longer defines us and we become much more than our labels and we our surroundings. We are just us. What we are at our core is authentic, it's raw. The more we express that self, the more authentic we as humans will be.
More simply, being authentic is aligning your behavior, words and actions with your core beliefs and values and being able to portray yourself genuinely, stripped of all that superficial people-pleasing, fake stuff. When we portray our authentic selves, we will always be in the exact spot we are supposed to be, with the right people walking on in. As our authentic selves, we can trust our intuition, we do as we genuinely desire, and we honor and respect our honest selves. From there, most things in life fall right into place as they are supposed to. It's kind of like self manifestation, in that if we uncover what we truly believe in desire in life, and express that, it will eventually find us. If we are authentic to that, our lives will become an authentic reflection of our personality and beliefs and desires; things will go our way or they won't, but they'll ultimately serve us. To uncover your true self you've got to step away from any materialistic version of someone you think you're supposed to be, and just be you.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
I think another huge limitation to authenticity is comparison. As we know, "Comparison is the thief of joy". Personally, I feel that since entering the blogging world (which is completely supportive and not competitive) I am guilty of still comparing myself to other bloggers with a bigger following and influence. Yet, I have supportive family and friends and loyal followers and that's all that matters. Even if I compare myself to another wellness blogger on Instagram who has 20K followers, it doesn't take away from my worth and from my 600 (lol) awesome humans. And I'm realizing that comparison is worthless and detrimental to my own progress. I'd rather write with my own voice, rather than imitate another's, just because they are successful with it. They're successful because they're being authentic to themselves, and people are attracted to that. It wouldn't be authentic of me to just copy them, right? It just doesn't work like that. Everyone compares themselves in some way or another to everyone, its human nature. And ultimately, what makes us different from someone doesn't necessarily have to make us inferior. In living a harmonious lifestyle thats genuine and essentially full of happiness, I truly we have to eliminate comparison. It's unhealthy.
We just have to let go. Let go of expectations, influences, pressures, other people. When we exhale that all right out, we really are just left with ourselves. I think that's honestly the easiest way to get rid of the extra junk, just letting it go.
I think, personally, I am at a point in my life where I am the closest I have ever been to expressing authentic self. My authentic me is listening to my passions and desires as a road map, not as just root-less ideas floating around. I'm becoming aware of what I crave in life, and following that without worry of outside judgement or beliefs. I'm not agreeing with other's opinions just for the sake of fitting in. I'm not saying yes to thing I don't actually want to do, to be a person I don't want to be, just for the fear of missing out. It's honestly so freeing to just "do-you" in my world. Creating this blog has become a place where I can be genuine with whoever may be following along, hoping for the same thing! I'm being pretty raw and honest here (opening that closed throat chakra!), and have been able to voice my opinion and true self with less hesitation, fear, and sometimes embarrassment. I still have so many different people I aspire to be, but someday I think I can balance being all those people.
Like I said earlier, totally a work in progress, but one that I am excited about. Being excited about eliminating expectations to be perfect and pressures to do certain things just because everyone else is. It is honestly the most authentic thing I've done. In reality, it feels loads better to truly be myself (not saying that I'm wildly unique or special, I'm just me) than a compilation of a thousand different people.
Whew, so that's that. What are your thoughts on authenticity? Do you seek it in yourself, in others? Can you pick out those who are authentic to themselves and those who aren't? Do you wish to be more authentic, but stuck as to how to do it? Would love to discuss this topic more!