Today we are going to talk about authenticity and how to be authentic. The interesting thing is that our modern world forces us to be fake. Just think about social media and think about your friends and your relatives.
Often when I scroll through my Facebook or Instagram it seems like I don’t know these people. Often, they look completely different from who they really are. Social media doesn’t value the real you, in comfortable leggings, with a ketchup spot on your shirt. Social media is demanding you to be a supermodel who is smiling, sexy, seductive, and happy 24/7. If you don’t get enough likes from the first few exposures of your photo, Instagram will stop showing it to your followers.
The photo or video of you must be extremely cute, extremely sexy, extremely funny, or extremely weird to even be shown to all these people who are called friends on your profile.
Let’s start with a debate question: Do you need to be fake or do you need to be authentic in order to be loved? To answer this, we need to know what being authentic truly means.
What Does It Mean To Be Authentic?
There is a collective belief that being authentic (being who you truly are) nowadays means being boring, unnoticeable, and unvalued. This is not true. This is a myth. Being authentic means being free. It means to accept your own natural beauty. Being authentic means being brave to show your true feelings and emotions. Being authentic is not about sweatpants but about how you feel in these pants.
There is an unspoken belief that if I am being myself, then I am not worthy of love. Because of social media, we have this collective detrimental idea that you must hide your true self and be someone else in order to be noticed by others.
The funny thing is that the original purpose of social media was not about being fake, but about the connection – the ability to connect with your friends and family, and the ability to connect with people that you admire: celebrities, writers, singers, spiritual teachers. I honestly love this idea of connection. But we, people, unfortunately, mis-used this idea. It happened so naturally.
The paradox is that we did it because we all wanted to feel great. We post a nice picture because we want to hear words of admiration, we want to see likes, hearts, and thumbs-ups. We want to hear nice words from our friends, family, and co-workers. We don’t hear it enough in real life, so we have to use social media in order to get other people’s attention. As a result, we created a competition that is destroying every one of us. In order to receive love and attention, we are competing and destroying each other.
Why Is It So Hard To Be Authentic?
Why is it so hard to give a compliment in real life? Social media helps us to express our feelings. It is much easier to click a like button than to look another person in the eye and smile. It’s much easier to write “congratulations” or click a thumbs up than to say words of admiration in person.
People are afraid to express their emotions because that means putting their guards down and opening their hearts. It is hard to give a compliment because we are afraid to show that we are vulnerable, that we are actually humans.
We are hiding behind our devices and yet craving for real connections. We are going back to social media because we need an emotional connection more than anything, and yet we are constantly pretending and competing. When we see another great photo of our friend, we feel bad, jealous, angry, and even depressed. I see my clients on social media. They seem successful and happy. They are enjoying their lives but then they come to my private sessions and I see their tears.
The Fastest Way To Become Authentic
I would like you to do an experiment. For the next 7 days, every time you want to click “like “or type something nice on your friend’s photo or video, do 2 things: click “like”, and then call your friend and say it on the phone. I am not even asking you to do it in person. Do it via a phone call. If that’s too difficult, do it with a text message.
At first, it will be hard to give a compliment even by a text message. You might even catch yourself being fake. We are used to putting on a mask and hiding our true selves. I am not asking you to through your mask away. I am asking you to lift it a little bit.
If you find yourself getting jealous, don’t send your friend a rude message but don’t click “like” either. Be truthful with yourself first. Be authentic. If you feel angry, admit it to yourself.
Once you admit your true feelings, you will be surprised by the shift in your perception of life. Instead of feeling angry, you will be curious. It is possible that you will want to send your friend a completely different message saying, “You look incredible. What is your secret?”
Start With Being Authentic To Yourself First.
Let me know in the comments, what being authentic means to you. I love reading your comments. Don’t hesitate. Your opinion is very important to me and to people who are just like you reading this article.
Ask your questions in the comments and I will be happy to share my professional opinion with you. If this article was helpful, give me a like and share it with your friends and family. I would really appreciate it.