We’ve all heard (and probably repeated) the mantra: Be true to yourself. To yourself be true. Be authentic.
It sounds easy. But the reality is that it is hard. It takes courage. And hard work.
As E. E. Cummings wrote, “To be nobody-but-yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.“
To be authentic is to be who you are instead of who you (and everyone else) thinks you should be.
Sometimes it is the people closest to us who struggle the most when we choose to live authentically, especially when we have spent years doing what we think we should be doing. Sometimes, being authentic takes us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it is easier to live the inauthentic life that everyone expects of us, rather than the authentic life we were made for. Sometimes we have been inauthentic for so long, we don’t even know what an authentic life looks like!
When we choose to live authentically, we are choosing to be vulnerable. Knowing that we will be hurt. But by not being authentic, we are not being who we were meant to be.
If you trade in your authenticity for safety you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief. Brené Brown
So first step in developing a resilience to unworthiness and shame: be the person you are, instead of the person others think you should be.