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Being Who You Really Are

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Being Who You Really Are7 min read

Don’t you think it’s weird not being who you are?

We’ve all talked about being more authentic and speaking our truths and being real for some time now in our personal journeys. More of the mainstream world are realising that being less unreal is something more people want more of. Basically, folks are finally starting to realise on a more global scale how important honest relationships are.

crumpled happy face balloon lying in street

crumpled – photo by Nathan Dumlao

Authentic positioning

Our civilised world has been controlled by people who were more interested in profit and power over others for many, many centuries. This has led to a lot of lies being flung around, to paint a false picture of a good and benevolent leader who, in reality, was an absolute tosser.

It doesn’t matter which institution these leaders were in. Religions, politics, commerce, they all used pretty words and clever visuals to mask who they really were and what they were actually doing, while pretending to be on the side of those people they continue to abuse and misuse.

Lying became so common that it became a norm. We expect our employers and politicians and religious leaders to lie to us. We expect everyone to lie to us. We have become a very distrusting society, for good reason. Virtually nobody out there is honest about what their ulterior motives us, because those motives are never for the benefit of those they are hidden from. Obviously.

But we continue to crave honest expression and truthful interactions. This need is so strong that we even allow people to be abusive to us and in our presence under the guise of being authentic.

Authenticity is simply about being who you are openly and unabashedly. Who you are might still be an arsehole. But because so many arseholes out there, throughout time and in our own lifetimes, have pretended to be roses, human society is happy simply to not be deceived. But that doesn’t mean you need to drop your boundaries. An arsehole is and arsehole. Treat them appropriately.

On the plus side, more and more people have stepped out of their shells and owned their truths. And more of the greater world is waking up to the positive side of being open and honest.

Which has led us directly to the mainstream clamouring about authentic positioning. Which is simply more modern-day marketing lingo for a trend that is sound but also stupidly obvious.

photo by Sharon McCutcheon

Following the tide

The world at large is tired of people, especially those who’ve claimed to be our leaders, saying something and doing something completely different. Basically, we’re done with liars. We want people who do what they say and say what they do. We want people who don’t try to paint a pretty picture of who they are, but actually viscerally live the way they are perceived.

As more of the world stop allowing people to lie and cheat, more people are being forced to speak their truths. Which is great for those whose voices had been squashed over the centuries, and not so great for those who’ve attempted to manipulate us.

On a personal level, what this means is we are individually freer to be more honest to ourselves and about ourselves. We don’t need to feign strength when we don’t have it. And we don’t need to feign modesty when we know that we’re the shit either. Regardless of what we’re revealing about ourselves, it’s more about the willingness to witness the raw and unflattering.

We’ve painted pretty pictures to obscure our truths because we were ashamed. We didn’t want the world to see that we weren’t where we wanted them to see us. We were embarrassed. Another symptom of being bred in a capitalist-oriented society.

The trend now is a mixed bag depending on which industry and cultural norm you put your attention on. I would like for you to just pay attention to one trend, though. That’s the trend of people being more honest with themselves.

You don’t need to rip up the pretty picture that you present to society. Just stop pretending to yourself. Be honest about how you feel. Be honest about what you want. Be honest about your dreams and the obstacles to them. Be honest about where you are in your life and where you want to be. Be honest about your own needs and take care of them.

mother pushing baby pram in front of wall art with the text the best gift is you

photo by Dakota Corbin

Who Are You Really?

In a nutshell, you are love.

I mean that when you feel loved, you’re feeling who you are at your core.

We call it different names. When you’re joyful, or in the zone, or at peace, or blissful, or in love, or in appreciation, or in your skin. Ultimately, these words describe pretty much the same thing: When you are centred securely in the truth of who you are.

We can get more specific than that, of course, but start with love. Feel that sensation of everything working out for you as tho you are the most important human in the universe. Find that sensation as best as you can. It’s easier to feel for a singular emotion like love or appreciation or joy or peace, than going into the details of who you are, so if you can find and bask in this feeling for a few minutes everyday, that will be a quick route towards being more fully yourself in your everyday life.

But if you want to drill down a little, check in with the type of person you are being in your relationships and in your career and in your alone time and with people, strangers and familiars alike.

Make a list, if you want, of the kind of parent you are, for example:

  • I always listen to my child
  • I am impatient
  • I don’t have time to play everyday
  • I work hard to ensure a good education

Whatever. Write out how you would describe yourself. Do it for different parts of your life. Who are you as a friend, as a lover, as a partner, as a child, as a parent, as an employee, as an employer, as an artisan in your particular field, as a neighbour, as a citizen of your city, of your country, of your planet.

These lists could be as detailed as you dare. The more detailed, the better you can drill down. Your task ultimately is to review these descriptions of yourself and determine whether you’re happy with them or not. Are they really describing the you that you truly want to be, or are they describing a version of you that you’d rather not be.

human wearing t-shirt with text love who you are

photo by Sharon McCutcheon

You are who you want to be

This may be more responsibility than you may want but who you are is who you want to be.

Don’t dismiss the profoundness in this statement. You are who you want to be.

Who do you want to be?

That’s easy to answer. The person that you’re being when you are in love and in joy and in appreciation is the person you want to be. The teacher who inspires and spreads fun. The parent to uplifts and supports and empowers. The employer who is considerate and caring and inspiring and humble.

Who do you want to be?

You could separate those descriptions you wrote about yourself into two main lists, illustrating the person you like being and the person you don’t like being. And then, if you feel so inclined, make a new list, describing the person you would like to be. For every description you aren’t proud of on the second “person you don’t like being” list, write a corresponding description that you would be proud of on the third list, and do what you can, going forward, to make this new list your default.

When you stop tearing yourself apart trying to be the person that your mother wants you to be and the person that your spouse wants you to be and the person that your workplace wants you to be, and just be who you want you to be, well, then you will slip into those behaviours and manners of the person that thrills you, even if it thrills nobody else. It’s not about them. It’s about you. You get to decide that being happy is more important than serving others who haven’t learned how to be happy on their own yet.

And if the person you want to be is not yet the person you’re being, it’s time for some adjustments.

Keep adjusting. For as long as you’re alive, for as long as you’re evolving and becoming more, there will always be adjustments to make.

lady holding mug and cradling book title "Hashtag Authentic"

Hashtag Authentic – photo by Amy Vann

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