We live in very complex times. This is an age where for one reason or the other, everyone wants to have a voice.
But, the truth is that many of us are not living our real lives, even if we want to. And the reason is that society has placed an enormous amount of pressure on what is “acceptable” or “not acceptable”, and this has forced many of us to become fake.
Deep down within ourselves, we yearn for the opportunity to live our real lives. We want the world to accept us for who we are. But, alas, the world is so selfish and self-centered. Seeking only its own gratuities and caring less for how we feel or where it hurts us the most.
This undue pressure and demand have forced a lot of us to become timid and less assertive. And this has also led to many cases of bullying we see all around us.
You may be reading this and wondering why others are finding it difficult to live their real lives. And the reasons are numerous; ranging from societal perceptions, cultural barriers, economic classifications, physical or other forms of disability. And the list goes on and on.
But, we do not have to continue living our lives this way.
We should all have the freedom to live our lives as we choose. The only person who should have a say in how we live our lives is the One who has created us- God! And once He is happy with us, we should be game, right?
Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.
But there is a way out, and that way out begins with us. Becoming authentic as individuals and in the various relationships we have formed, depends a lot on what we are willing to do or not do.
And you can begin by paying particular attention to what I am about to say next.
I went through a period of my life when I couldn’t live the way I wanted to live. Meaning, I wanted to live to satisfy the expectations of others.
I wanted to feel accepted at any cost, even if it meant giving away some of myself. Therefore, I began to live my life like it belonged to someone else.
Until I started to feel the heat.
I started to feel the heat of wanting to please everyone around. I couldn’t look people in the eyes and let them know exactly how I felt. I couldn’t voice my own opinions because I never wanted to be judged or criticized by others.
Let me just say this, “don’t bother trying to become a people pleaser. Because, apart from the fact that you can never please everyone, you would also need to suffer a lot of emotional duress in the process. And probably get burned, just like me. So, quit trying.”
Well, I got to my breaking point when my actions began to have its toll on me. I was no longer my happy, cheerful self. I became moody and sad. And my actions were beginning to rub off on those closest to me.
And that was when I decided to regain control over my life.
And many years later today, what you see is what you get. And what you read (my writings), is what you get.
This is Evi-the real authentic Evi, and here is my journey to becoming more authentic than ever.
Becoming Authentic involves:
Recognizing that everyone is trying their best to impress others.
Many people we come across on a daily basis at work or other social gatherings are not real. Many of them are just trying to create an image of what they want others to perceive them to be. Why join the bandwagon? Choose to be different.
Loving yourself no matter what.
If you do not love or appreciate yourself, who do you think would love you? Whether you are thin, fat, short or tall, it doesn’t matter. You have to love the person that is you, just the way you are and roll along with it.
Listening to your conscience.
For many of us, we have that still small voice (our little friend) inside us that sort of lets us know when we are veering off course. More often than not, that voice is correct. Learn to listen to that voice and act accordingly.
Understanding that the opinions of others about us do not matter.
Many times, we are often forced to live differently because we place too much emphasis on what others think about us. Who cares about them? As long as your conscience agrees with what you are doing, let the opinion of others be used as toilet paper that is flushed down the toilet.
Not seeking validation from others.
Who made others the judge over your life? Why go around asking others what they think about your life, or goals? If you don’t like my ideas or lifestyle, it’s perfectly ok if you decide to snub me and move on to the next person. And that is because your opinion about my life doesn’t count.
Having faith in your own abilities, even if they are the worst.
It doesn’t matter how you perform on that test, business idea or interview. Trust your own unique process and have faith that your abilities (no matter how lackluster they are) would be the light that is needed to brighten a dark situation.
Understand that social media is not meant (or ideal) for everyone.
Some people have become depressed, frustrated, and anxious by following closely the activities of their peers on social media. They want to belong and feel among. And that makes them buckle under the pressure to become a certain way. The result? They begin to live out the lives of others and continue to experience frustrations and defeat because their lives are no longer theirs. If you must and for your own sanity, quit social media. It may do you a whole lot of good!
Realize that the Creator has uniquely endowed you with gifts to impact this world with.
Your gifts are different from mine, and vice versa. None of us was ever born empty and our gifts are made to complement one another. Even Jesus said a prophet is not recognized by his own people. But that did not stop Him from being his authentic self. He still went about preaching the gospel, healing the sick and raising the dead, despite how mocked, scorned and derided he was. Imagine if Jesus had decided to allow the opinions of others define who He was, I doubt that we may have ever had salvation today!
So, yes, we are all unique and different. And our uniqueness is what makes the world a gathering of tiny bits of specialties.
Do not let the world define who you are or become. Be bold enough to live as YOU. Be authentic!!!
All the very best,
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