Why be authentic? Why not? The answer to both of these questions is the same: because we want to be loved. And how we define love directs whether or not we choose to be authentic.
Does our definition of love include that we give up who we are and what we want to show our love? If so, we sacrifice our authenticity in the hope of fulfilling our need to receive someone’s love.
Does our definition of love include that we stand up for who we are and what we want? If so, we will not sacrifice our authenticity, since we already receive love from ourself and life/God—and anyone else’s love, although appreciated, is not necessary.
What is authenticity?
It’s being deeply honest and genuine. This includes learning and caring about our deep feelings, thoughts, needs, and wants.
What does being authentic look like?
Here’s my personal example. After having been single for nearly a year and a half by spiritual choice, I went on three dates with a man. The prospects for the relationship were hopeful. After the third date, he asked to spend time together twice daily, which would have required me to not follow through on promises I had made to myself and my team. At that point, I had a choice—to be inauthentic and back out of my promises, or, to be authentic and stand by my promises—which were aligned with my character and trajectory. I chose to be authentic, and the man and I haven’t spoken since. For me, it was better to be authentic, and care for and about my feelings, thoughts, needs, and goals—because he could not. It was also better for me to know where each of us stood in regards to authenticity now, rather than waiting to find out until after “the veil” was lifted (all puns intended). I’m laughing now, but at the time, I was saddened that he wasn’t at all amused by my authentic self. However, instead of allowing myself to be gloomy, I chose to feel the joy in who I am, and look forward to the joy that I will feel when I am with my match—a man who is proud of, and not afraid of, my authenticity.
Inauthenticity may be disguised as “compromise.”
I did not always have this level of confidence and discernment. The first time I experienced a similar scenario, I chose to be inauthentic and give my mate more of my time. I called it a “compromise.” Over time, his requests for more time together continued to increase. And I continued to “compromise,” giving him more time together. Eventually, I realized that my “compromises” simply enabled his fear of being abandoned and cheated on to fester, while also enabling him to not do anything to address them, such as going to therapy, getting energy work, etc.. He was using me to salve his wounds, and the more I “compromised,” the more I felt trapped. Eventually, I felt totally drained and, although I loved both of us, I didn’t like either of us.
If we’re inauthentic, we probably have reasons.
Our reasons may sound smart and may seemingly solve a problem in the moment. They may allow us to “keep” what we have. However, I urge each of us with my heart, soul, and experience—to not lose sight of the value of our authenticity and the freedom we require in order for it to be expressed. Because each time we choose to be inauthentic, we are cinching the tourniquet on our own freedom.
How much is our freedom worth?
Are we willing to be enslaved to being inauthentic, so we can keep stuff and people?
Sounds insane when we put it that way, doesn’t it?
Still on the fence about being authentic?
If we’re not sure if authenticity is for us, here is one, outstanding reason to choose to be authentic.
We all need at least one person who will stand up for what’s best for us, be in our corner to protect us, nurture us, care for us, and support our: needs, wants, thoughts, and feelings. We all need someone who can cheer us on through thick and thin. Since it’s literally not possible for any person besides us to always be with us, we are the best person for the job.
If that’s not enough, below are eleven more reasons.
Eleven more reasons to be authentic.
1. We owe it to ourself to discover the awesomeness of our authentic self.
2. Inauthenticity causes long-term drama, trauma, anxiety, fear, and stress.
Medical research estimates as much as 90% of physical, mental and emotional illnesses may be caused by stress.
3. If we aren’t authentically us, who will be?
Our role was created just for us. The director of this life calls us to authentically show up. To reference the movie Ferris Bueller’s day off, life can only call our name so long … Bueller, Bueller, Bueller, until it becomes obvious that our authentic self is choosing to be absent for this lifetime!
4. Beauty, serendipity, and new friends will flock to us!
We don’t need to be fake to be liked. People, animals, and life in general are magnetized to authenticity and joy. Just this week, a hummingbird came an inch from my hand and flitted around me, and a cormorant bird swam within a few arms’ length from me while I swam in the river. All of nature, its babies, and animals are comfortable in their own authenticity. And they can feel it when we are too, so they come closer.
5. We’ll find our real friends.
If we’re inauthentic, our current friends like that person, not the real us.
6. We’ll be loved for who we are.
How can someone love our authentic self if we don’t love it enough to show it?
7. To respect ourself and our Creator.
As Aretha sang, “R-e-s-p-e-c-t!”
8. To Strengthen our Soul.
By standing strong in our authenticity, we strengthen our soul in this and future lifetimes.
9. To reduce regret.
When we make choices that authentically honor our truth and best, what’s to regret?
10. To no longer be afraid of who we are.
11. When we love our authentic self, loving others is easy!