Be Authentic and Stop Trying to be Someone Else

I’ve been doing some self reflection this year and it seems the moment I think I’ve finally got the answers I’m looking for, more questions come up and start my reflection process all over again. One question I’ve been asking is “Am I truly authentic?” and “What does it mean to be authentic?” I’ve read a lot of self-help books, and quite frankly I’m becoming ‘burned out’ by them. The authors names are blurring together as are the words that are printed on the pages. Many of these authors love to tell people to be authentic. But what does that mean? It’s very confusing because your ‘authentic self’ may love shoes and accessories and doesn’t want to give them up. Yes, these material items bring you joy, but some self-help gurus may tell you that they’re bad or wrong and you should focus on the spiritual world. Of course, they tell you this as they’re giving an interview on the Today or Oprah show dressed in a designer outfit!

What does it mean to be authentic? I think it means to be who you want to be. If you want to be a person who volunteers, then do it. If this makes you happy, what’s wrong with that? If you want to buy expensive clothes then go ahead and do purchase them. Why shouldn’t you be wearing the latest fashions? If owning a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes puts a smile on your face, purchase them. Unless, of course, you really can’t afford them right now; the alternative is to dream and feel what it would be like to wear them.

It’s seems that self-help authors love to tell people what to do and how to ‘fix’ their lives, even though most self-help authors will tell you that you can’t fix anyone but yourself. Isn’t this a contradiction? Didn’t they break their own rule? The only one you change is yourself.

If you’re tired of trying to fit into a box that family and friends or self-help gurus expect you to fit into, say the heck with it. Be who you want to be and love every part of you — this includes the light and the dark. Until you accept the ‘whole’ you, you won’t be happy and you’ll make others miserable. Life’s too short to be something you’re not!