Being Your Most Authentic Self

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” --Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Even so... I'm not above wondering if they'll dig my beard.

Even so... I'm not above wondering if they'll dig my beard.

Man, is this hard, or what?

So many things to worry about in every situation: will I look stupid? Cool? Intelligent? Irrelevant?Empathetic? Criminal? Innovative? Insincere? Authentic? Old?

And on and on...

Whatever you're afraid of looking like, you send the most contrived version of you--I've heard it called The Representative--in order to protect yourself. And whose opinion do you fear? Theirs. All of them.

But just to put a couple of names and faces to They, let's call them Judge Judy and Judge Reinhold. 

Look at these two! They could represent your parents, your bosses, your lovers (maybe?), your business partners, whomever. In any case, isn't it bananas to try to wear someone else's version of you so that they approve?

So much of the way we behave is to appease those around us, and where is that getting us? For the 99.99999+ percent of us that aren't politicians, probably not as far as we would like.

Talk to anyone who spends a significant amount of time stuffed into the limits of someone else's version of them and you will hear a lot of pain. It takes a lot of work to fake it, and all that posturing and inauthenticity is exhausting. And unsustainable.

You know who it's easiest to be?

YOU.

It's so effortless because it's real. Keep the representative around for the rare times when you need him/her, but don't let it define you! We'll all be dust soon enough. There's no reason to spend our living, conscious life on someone else's terms. 

Figure out what you really value and be that. Like this dude...

Change what needs to change. Rewatch the Five Minutes With... Ramon Gil and get inspired to be the best, the most authentic version of you. Then tell me about how you did it and what we can all learn from your experience(s).

Hasta pronto,

--Thomas