Being Your Authentic Self

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It’s late Fall here in the US. This is a time of year when many people tend to meet up with others to celebrate various cultural or religious holidays and celebrations. During this season we may be visiting family and/or friends we love, family we don’t know all that well or don’t generally enjoy spending time with, or attending social events for work/organizations that may include people we know as well as people we’ve just met.

Who are you in these situations? Do you find yourself spending time with people who know you well and love you for who you are — the real you? Or do you find yourself gritting your teeth, taking a big breath right outside the door of the event, and walking in hoping to maintain some shred of your personality by the end of the night? If you’ve ever left the house, you’ve probably been in at least one of the situations just described by the latter. But some of us find ourselves participating in more activities of that sort than we like.

Living in the world the way we do, we’re probably not going to be in situations involving conversations with others that we feel comfortable with 100% of our lives. But being afraid to be real, to share our real personality traits or reveal our real opinions, can be damaging over time. Part of looking at the whole picture of our health is to look beyond the every day choices for movement and food and think about how we are actually feeling inside. As in, our emotions. It’s very draining if we’re walking around with a smile on our faces in order to make others feel comfortable. Or if we’re hanging out with negative people even when we feel good, and then smushing (the technical term) down our happiness just so we don’t make our friends or family feel bad.

At what point do we stop the niceties and just be real? I know that when I look back at how I used to live my life, I can think of times when I’d be evasive at get-togethers when asked about parts of my life that I didn’t think people would accept. Or when I thought that if I answered their questions honestly, I’d make them uncomfortable. These days, I find myself just being me, regardless of where I am. I don’t see that it’s had a negative impact on my life over all, and quite honestly, I feel better about myself than ever before. I let go of worrying about what other people would think, or if I might make some people uncomfortable about their choices just because I didn’t live my life the same way they might live theirs.

Own yourself. You and all of the things about you, are awesome. So when someone asks what excites you, tell them. When someone asks what upsets you, tell them. If there’s something about who you are that you’ve been hiding, start by revealing that information to just one person. I know that some of you reading this might not be ready to do this. It seems too scary. That’s okay. For now, just think about how this might work and leave it at that. Some of you aren’t sure if you’re ready but might be willing to give it a try, and some of you have been ready for years and just needed a friendly push. Well, here’s your friendly push….sent with love.

Let me know how it goes.

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