Close your eyes for a moment and think back to when you were younger. Sometime in your childhood or adolescence.
Think back to elementary school or middle school. What did that look like for you?
If you’re like most people, you probably spent a good amount of that time trying to “fit in”. Whether it was following the latest fashion trend, styling your hair a certain way, or listening to the music that all of the “cool kids” were listening to, you may have felt pressure to be like all of the other kids around you.
And you did this for good reason. You didn’t want to be made fun of. You wanted friendship. You wanted your crush to notice you. You wanted to feel love from your peers. Maybe an adult, like a parent or teacher, encouraged you to be different in some way: less weird, less opinionated, less boisterous, less this, less that, less less less.
And so you did! You muted yourself. You watered yourself down. You emulated those around you. And you were “rewarded” for this with “love” and “attention” and “friendship”.
As you got older and grew up though, you may have noticed that something didn’t feel right.
Sure, you have people around you, you’re “accepted”, but it doesn’t feel…genuine.
Because the real you, the true version of you that was potentially belittled or scolded when you were a child simply for being who you are is desperately crying out to be seen, heard, and loved.
The truth is, many people will spend years desperately trying to fit in with society, with their family, or with a friend group, until one day they are exhausted and flabbergasted that they don’t stand out from the crowd in any discernible way.
Think of it this way:
How many people do you know who say they are looking for their “soul tribe” or even their “soul mate”? Are you one of these people? How can any of your most aligned friends or romantic partners find you if you aren’t being your authentic self? For all you know, you may have already met your soul mate, but they didn’t recognize you because you were being someone else.
What’s the solution here?
It’s simple: be your authentic self.
Being authentic helps you find the people who truly love you for YOU, not for some facade.
Being authentic helps you learn more about yourself and figure out what brings you the most joy in life.
Being authentic is the highest form of self love.
Loving yourself fully means loving who you actually authentically are, warts and all.
I don’t mean to be flippant or claim that this is a quick fix. This is easier said than done. And there are consequences to moving into authenticity.
When you decide to be fully authentic, some people will have a problem with you. And some will tell you that. Others will quietly leave. Others will take offense that they can’t manipulate you now that you have new boundaries. You may also find that you are simply incompatible with the job, social life, or lifestyle you were trying to wedge yourself into before.
But if you can hold on in that void space between your old inauthentic life dissolving away and your new authentic life forming, something beautiful will happen.
You will discover new hobbies that you love. Things you probably never even considered you might like. You may change careers, or at least discover new skills and experiences that better align with what you truly like to do. You may even move to a new city, state, or country – a place that really resonates with you on a soul level.
And the people. “Your people” – your soul tribe, your soul mates, the people you vibe with – will find you.
Being who you were put on this earth to be isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s by definition, the easiest possible thing to do. But getting there is hard as fuck.
Having your ego get bruised when people reject the real you is hard as fuck.
Getting the courage to drop everything that isn’t you and watch your inauthentic self die in real time is hard as fuck.
I use the word “die” very deliberately here because it is absolutely a death. Death is transition, and transition is change, and change is hard.
Death also comes with mourning.
It’s a process.
So as you proceed on this path to full self love and authenticity, take the time to mourn your old self and let it go. Just let go of anything that isn’t truly you.
Your new self, your authentic self, and your new authentic life will thank you.
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