Authenticity is a beautiful and courageous thing. Beautiful because embracing your individuality is what will set you apart from the crowd. Courageous because we live in a society that discourages you from who you are.
It takes great courage to step out and proudly declare “This is me!” and be unapologetic about it. Whether you are gay, or trans or vegan or have decided to ditch your childhood religion because it doesn’t feel right, accepting it privately and then being public about it can each bring their own challenges.
I’ve had a little think about what snippets of wisdom I can share with you on this, and put it into 5 points for you to consider.
1. Know yourself.
This is important on so many levels. You should be clear on who you are before you even consider to offer an explanation to anyone else. Take time to meditate, whether you listen to music or switch off and listen to yourself breathing. Be alone with your thoughts, so that you can hear your inner voice talking over everything else. If it helps, keep a journal. Write when you need to offload and then read back in a day, week or month. This is a great way to see your journey from a new perspective and really being to appreciate the person you are and/or are becoming.
2. Know your worth.
Once you have accepted yourself, you’ll be en route to self love and self worth. You won’t want to change or dilute yourself for nobody, and why should you? You have to realise your worth. You have to know that you are enough for you and that is all that should matter. People will have their opinions and sometimes this will hurt but people are not permanent. People change, leave, stay and all sorts, but you are always present in your life so it is not at all a bad thing if you value your opinion over somebody else’s. Think about it, you could be complimented by lots of people but if your inner voice is taunting you with negativity, chances are that it is your voice that will make the impact. You pay attention to you. So tell yourself you are worthy.
3. Know your circle.
In embracing your authenticity, it would be awesome to be surrounded by people who are in full support of you. Not everybody is comfortable with change, but that is their issue to address, not yours. I really do think that it is when we take steps for ourselves, we soon learn who is walking alongside us and who is blocking the way. Prepare to lose people. People who love you should love you for who you are, not their idea of who you ‘should’ be. If people bring negative energy around you, if you can’t trust them, if they say things to hurt or insult you, change the people you keep company with. It doesn’t have to be confrontational at all. I’d go with the option of opting to spend less time interacting with them and giving no fuck about it. You don’t have to explain to people what they are doing wrong when they are old enough to know better.
4. Knowledge is power.
This is my favourite part. I’ll share something. When figuring out where I was on the sexuality spectrum, I decided to do a lot of reading. I read blogs, articles, tweets and watched youtube videos. I found a bigger community than I anticipated and different labels for different people. I tend to shy away from labels, but my point is that once I decided to do research, my mind expanded. And so when a close friend decided to embrace his authenticity and begin to transition from female male, I was able to support him because I knew a little bit and my mind was open to more. No tunnel vision around here.
5. Keep going.
Once you’ve made the first few steps, don’t stop there! Don’t be discouraged by negativity because ultimately you have to live with yourself. How can you be comfortable in your own skin, if you haven’t allowed yourself to breath? Being true to yourself doesn’t mean you set out to hurt and harm people. It is about having your inner you in alignment with the version of you that everybody else can see. It is about not hiding behind masks and other people’s expectations of who you should be. You embark on this journey because you know your worth. You embark on this journey because you don’t want to live a lie. You don’t want to accept insults to your soul. You don’t want to dilute the amazing person that you are.
So, be you. Authentic. Sincere. Honest. Open. Concentrate, not dilute. You.