How I Learned to Stop Standing In the Crowd and Start Being Authentic
Have you ever found yourself trying to fit the mold? In a group of friends, sports, life, etc?
Have you pretended to be something your not? Or maybe even worse – taming or tailoring your true self to be a follower and fit in? Because it was easier to do that than be made fun of for being your authentic self?
Everyone has at some point in their life, it’s inevitable – and it’s sad. I used to go to movies as a kid and walk out at the end pretending or wishing or wanting to look JUST LIKE the main female character. This is very natural, of course, but it can be taken too far and starts at a younger age than people realize.
Too often we are groomed by society to believe we should look, dress, act or live a certain way.
Adhere to your needs to start being authentic
Often times people bend to requests or expectations because they don’t want to disappoint people or let them down. I’ll be the first to say I’ve done this over the years.
Corporate America can be a breeding ground for that mentality, but every day life also can too. Have you ever been reluctant (or have gone against your own beliefs) to agree to do something? Think about how you felt afterwards when you really wanted (or even needed) to say no. Did you feel happy?
No, you either felt bad for yourself that you ended up in an unhappy situation or you’re just pissed – usually both.
No! Say no to start being authentic
I am not pulling the woman card by any means because I believe men deal with their fair share of bs too, but as women we especially feel the need to hide or tame our emotions and feelings. I can’t tell you how many more men are WAY more emotional or sensitive than I am.
How can you possibly be authentic if you say yes to everything? Do everything within reason but DO NOT bend to someone else’s request if it goes against your own authenticity. You don’t have to go crazy in response but do not tailor your response to be inauthentic!
I’ve written about saying no a lot. There is power in the world no, your own power!
When making a yes or no decision take a step back and evaluate these three things:
- Will it impact me in a negative way?
- Will it impact my family in a negative way?
- Does it go against my own beliefs and morals?
If you answered yes to any of these things – SAY NO! People don’t earn respect for saying yes to everything. You may think that early in your career but you’re not positioning yourself well for your future if you say yes to everything – and believe me, some no’s are way harder than they should be!
Do not over explain
So you just said no. Great! Stop at no.
Do not put yourself in a position that makes you over explain why you’re saying no. You might as well have said yes. It shows you don’t stand behind your conviction because you need to express why it’s ok you said no.
This may be even harder than saying the initial no. As human beings we tend to want to explain and back up everything. You have to learn how to have a backbone and stand by it. There are situations where you’ll have to explain your reasoning to a boss or family member, per say, but no means no!
Embrace your authentic self
Love to jump on couches? Love to send sweet little thank you notes in the office? Love to wear certain clothes or style your hair and makeup a certain way? Go on with your bad authentic self!
Try this out for one day: live authentically in the moment. If you feel something, agree to act on it (within reason of course, don’t go mountain climbing in the snow if you have a broken leg, silly).
Commit to doing what makes you feel good and making smart decisions for yourself, while making educated decisions based on those around you as well.
My story to start being authentic
My journey began with a lot of trying to fit in to an image that wasn’t my own. I played the good girl who did everything that was asked of her and had everything under the sun for the first 10 years of my career. Nothing was unattainable and the sky was the limit.
The problem was, it wasn’t my story. It wasn’t who I was made to be. Every job I took, every new car, every new and bigger house left me feeling unhappier than the move before. I had no idea why I was so unfulfilled.
It took me a long time to realize the story I was telling myself wasn’t my own. It was what society was telling me to do.
From the outside I had everything, on the inside I felt broken. Every new move I’d make came with little whispers inside that told me not to do it. I pushed those whispers down until I broke.
I became so unhappy and unfulfilled I knew it was time to start being authentic, make a change and start focussing on who I was made to be and not what society told me to be. I started taking steps to work on myself and explore what I really wanted to do with my life.
Whispering in Wonderland was born and I slowly built it up over the last few years. Helping others discover and live out of who they were made to be is my true passion and calling and I’m so much happier living this life than my previous one.
Summary – start being authentic
If you’re stuck, starting or in transition in your life, know that your calling is only one decision away. It’s the decision to stop accepting what you’re told to do and start living how you want to live.
If you’re struggling with this, reach out, I’ll help you because I too was there and you don’t have to be alone.
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This article was originally published 8/29/2018 and has been updated to include new information and links.