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Article by Wendy McCance
A talk with my oldest daughter has triggered a question I can’t seem to shake. Why is it so hard for people to be authentic? When do people stop being their true self and start faking it?
When we are kids, I mean before you even enter kindergarten, you are the purest version of yourself. At such a young age, it would be difficult to be anything but authentic because you don’t have enough life experience to pull off acting in another way or considering that faking who you are could be a good idea. Nope, little kids are the best. What you see is what you get. Period.
Somewhere along the way, maybe a kid is 8 or 9 or 10, it occurs to them that there is a hierarchy of sorts. Some kids are more popular than others and so the days of trying to be something that the kid is not becomes a theme in their life. Acceptance is everything and everyone wants to be accepted.
Here’s the thing though, being something you aren’t isn’t impressive and usually makes you look worse than if you were basking in your own personal greatness. It’s a crazy thought that people would rather make themselves look worse by coming across as fake than to just be themselves.
I just don’t get it. Everyone has done it, hell I did it too, but why does everyone at one point or another feel it is a better choice to become something they aren’t than to just be themself? Is it that much easier when someone is turned off by “fake” you than by who you really are? Is it easier to play it off with excuses like they didn’t really know me so I can’t be hurt that they don’t like me? But, I still don’t get it. People connect to each other based on feelings. If someone is unable to show how they feel, how do they expect others to connect to them? It’s like in art, music, writing and dance, the more you are able to show others how you feel, the more others will connect to you.
Here’s the kicker, vulnerability is the key to connecting on a deep level. After so many years trying to conform to a particular mold to make others happy, people start to wake up and then they are drawn to the few people who are bold enough to celebrate living in their own skin.
People who are happiest being themselves are the ones that others are mesmerized by. What secret do they know? How were they able to shed away any insecurities and delight in being who they really are? How do others learn that same trick? These are the people who are creative, who will accept living with the happy moments and the tragic moments because they are ultimately living a real life. They get one chance on earth to do it right and they choose the authentic route because it feels best and creates the most intense feelings, ideas and abilities. Sort of like a superhero.
When you live an authentic life, the places you can go are unimaginable. Living in a way where you trust your gut, staying true to yourself and surrounding yourself with like-minded people inspires and propels you toward intense amounts of personal and professional success. It’s that moment when you lift the veil of society and wipe the outside images from your brain. You are satisfied with the way you view things and depend on yourself to take care of having a life worth living. You become strong and wise and lose the ability to be easily manipulated. You become proud and curious and don’t worry about asking when you don’t know and don’t fear doing it wrong as long as it was something you wanted and it wasn’t to please others.
Why can’t all of us live an authentic life? Can you imagine all of the amazing things that would be discovered? Can you see how much less people would be hurt by taking pride in celebrating who they are. The strength of the people would be incredible. A happier vibe would take over. Will the world ever wake up and enjoy just being who they really are?
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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