“Authenticity” is such a great word. I LOVE IT! Authentic is what we all strive to be. What I find interesting about authenticity is that as we “mature” into adults, we often make major moves to become inauthentic. Ironic, huh?
Beginning in childhood we are taught that being an adult means being inauthentic to ourselves. Spontaneous joy, dancing, silliness and creativity are often met with the condemnation of childishness. And yet, being childlike is our true nature. As adults we pretend that our wants, needs and desires don’t matter. We often find ourselves saying “yes” to people when we want to say “no,” and saying “no” to people when we really want to say “yes.”
A child can innocently know what they want, and equally as innocently pitch a fit when they don’t get it. Their request doesn’t need to be reasonable. They don’t need to “get a grip.” They certainly don’t feel the need to make their wants, needs and desires wrong.
As adults, we often become numb to the experience of life, and instead try to control ourselves (and others). God forbid we “rock the boat.” We are desperate to avoid being uncomfortable; but we appear to be very comfortable with denying ourselves. Can you see how we create our own discomfort without realizing it? As adults, we forget that it is more than ok to want what we want and to not make ourselves wrong for it.
Being authentic often becomes so foreign to us as we grow up that we are stunted in our ability to express ourselves from a place of playfulness and freedom. We can even become depressed or irritated if we are in the presence of someone who is being playful, creative or expressive.
It is a double edged sword. We are attracted to people who express themselves, yet we often feel the need to condemn them for displaying their authenticity. Seeing someone live authentically feels wrong and irresponsible. We call them “free spirits” and yet we view them as individuals who need to “grow up.”
Here’s a thought: could it be that these “free spirits” remind us of our disconnect from our own inner child, creativity, and expression? Well, that sounds uncomfortable.
What if you knew that you really are a free spirit?
What if you knew your identities, controlling tendencies, and stories of what life SHOULD look like, are a whisper away from making a new choice in which you can drop that which no longer brings you joy?
Can you get comfortable with being uncomfortable?
We tend to confuse being comfortable with happiness, but it is important to know the difference between them. Maintaining comfort often has us going along to get along. Doing things differently may feel risky, but is it? Initial discomfort is common with trying something new. You don’t have to pretend that the discomfort isn’t there. Acknowledge it, feel it, be with it. Eventually, you will see how many of your physical discomforts are related to your beliefs. Releasing those beliefs through willingness to visit the discomfort of facing truth and change, opens to greater levels of authenticity and happiness.
Authenticity means you get to be you. Often as adults, we’ve had no idea who we are or what it means to be authentic. If you want to experience a greater level of satisfaction and authenticity in your life, it requires being more intimate with yourself. Paying attention to your feelings, wants, needs and desires and not repressing or suppressing them. Truth doesn’t hurt but our resistance to it can kick our asses.
From my own experience, and from a front row seat to thousands of clients over the years, I deeply appreciate that this work is NOT always easy and it takes a lot of courage. For your efforts, you get to move into a more authentic version of YOURself. For your efforts, you get to live YOUR life. It is what you have always wanted.