When we go through the day – and through our lives – we can have the exhilarating experience of being ourselves, or alternatively, of wearing a mask, or sometimes several masks.
We might be afraid to be our true selves, especially in specific, challenging situations. If we are wearing a suit and going to work, we might believe we have to behave in a certain way. If we’re going into a meeting, we might believe that being our true self is not going to get the job done, so we put on a different persona.
But there is freedom in authenticity. We don’t have to remember which role we’re playing and when and where. In addition, who we truly are attracts the people with whom we need to be.
When we are not authentic, we are not attracting the people that are the right match for us. Ironically, we may end up rejected – which is the very fear that is often keeping us from being our true selves.
I’ve been there. I do understand. When I was growing up in Turkey, I was told I would always be alone because I was “too strong of a woman.” So for quite a few years, I played down my true self and became timid. I hid my strength.
But now I don’t do that anymore, most of the time. Over time, I allowed the true Tildet to emerge – and what freedom and joy I feel!
In this age of instant gratification and instant adjustment, we might now start to think, “OK, then I’ll be authentic. What are the steps to do this? Let’s go!”
But it does not work that way.
You can not look at a rose, for example, and say, “Open now!” You can buy several roses from the same florist, and each one will open at its own pace. There is beauty in that reality, if we can accept it.
Dance with yourself first and practice the moves. Then take one step in a safe environment. See how are received, and see how you feel. Absorb it. Then do a little more. Once you try and you see that it’s OK, you’re able to take additional inspired steps from a place of increased authenticity.
Right now, I am studying the sixty move form of Tai Chi Chuan. I didn’t learn all the moves in one class. Instead, I practiced a little at a time, day by day. Before I knew it, I was able to do all the moves in their sequence, and now the practice feels natural to me. And I enjoy it.
Surrounding ourselves with authentic people also gives us permission to be more authentic, and encourages our growth. Choosing environments and close friendships that support your own growth is one more way we can enlarge our own dance, and become more fully ourselves.
The world needs your inspiration, which comes from being who you really are.
When was a time you felt like your true self? Tell me on my Facebook page. Really.