There was a time when I thought and believed that I wasn’t good enough, cool enough, intelligent enough, successful enough. I tried my hardest to become something else in order to fit in. I tried to be someone else, someone I wasn’t. I’m sure most of us have felt this at some point in our life. This is true in all areas of our lives, work, socially, dating and perhaps even with our families.
These days I have no fear about being me, authentically the woman I am. I see no reason to try to be anyone else. I love the Steve Maraboli quote at the top, it’s my philosophy too. Do you go through life being unapologetically you?
We love to hang out with someone who’s authentic don’t we? There’s just something about them that’s so uplifting. We naturally become more relaxed, more playful, less judgmental, and less fearful. They’re often comfortable breaking the rules and pushing boundaries. They’re certainly used to stepping out of their comfort zone, they don’t seem so bound by societal rules and expectations. They don’t seem to worry about what people think of them. They just are themselves. And this is refreshing. We feel hopeful and positive around these kinds of people. Do you agree?
These are some of the things I’ve learned on the way to becoming authentic:
- Never feel you have to change yourself to fit in, to be cool, to be approved of. There is no need. You are unique and why would you want to change that?
- Fear is something that keeps us away from being our authentic selves. We fear that we aren’t enough that there is something wrong with us and that we need fixing in some way. It’s not true in any way. We are human and we are all enough.
- Many of us live in fear of the future, creating all sorts of made up imagined scenarios that keep us away from being ourselves in the present moment. We re-run the past and things we might have done or someone did to us in the hope of altering it and its impact on us. How exhausting is this? And how futile? Could we simply not let it be?
- I questioned the mask I was wearing that was preventing me from being my authentic self. How many times when we’re asked, ‘Hey, how are you?’ we respond, ‘Yeah, great thanks..’ when we’re feeling quite the opposite? How many times do we pretend that everything is great, we’re offering up a sanitised Facebook or Instagram account of our lives for fear of being judged or questioned?
- I learned and began to ‘show up’ when I was with people, friends, colleagues and strangers. I showed real interest in them and what they had to say. The more interested I was the more interesting I became. I began to become more and more comfortable with who I was. And once I’d started there was no going back.
So what about you?
What are the things getting in your way and preventing you from being your true and authentic self?
How differently would you behave and live your life if you were living from a place of authenticity?
Rebecca Perkins is the co-founder of Irresistible Dating, creator of The Midlife Coach and author of Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for Midlife. She has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and BBC Radio London. She writes regularly for The Huffington Post, The Guardian and eHarmony.
She is passionate about reinventing midlife. Following a divorce, Rebecca found herself single and 45 years old, and set about online dating in midlife. She loves sharing her experience and expertise as a coach with clients, guiding them into the right mindset for dating success whatever their age. Midlife has taught her to be open-minded, to take more risks, to enjoy the simple things and to live each and every day with the question, ‘If not now, when?’ She lives in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom and enjoys celebrating life after 50. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram