What "Being Authentic" Really Means

I'm currently reading a book called "Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken" by Mike Robbins, and it is eye-opening.

I thought I understood a lot about authenticity, but as always, any time we learn about something we know well from someone else's perspective, new things start to open up to us.

One of the things I've noticed about authenticity is that people often say, "be authentic," but they don't say how. It's like another "be happy!" or "be real!" or "be you!": it commands a lot but without instruction. 

There's a lot that goes into authenticity. And what came to me like a flash of lightning as I was reading this book, is that when people say, "I want to be authentic," what they really mean is, "I want to tell the truth."

Most of us, at our core, want to tell the truth about ourselves. We want to know and be known; love and be loved. But we're restricted and silenced by this crippling fear that our truth isn't acceptable, or it won't make us loved, or we won't be able to stand behind it when people oppose us, or any number of things. Like anything worthwhile in life, there is a large helping of fear that we get served every time we try to dish up our truth.

Now, not everyone is this way. Some lucky people I know have always had the bravery and courage to show up as they are and to speak, explore, and experience their truth while easily overcoming their fears. But for the rest of us? Not so easy.

Most of us are driven by connection in this world. Connection with people, connection with things, connection with Spirit, connection with God...there are a number of connections that all of us seek at any given time, and as anyone who's been in an open, trusting, totally accepting, perfectly healthy relationship knows, it takes sharing the truth to get to that ultimate connective place.

But even though we all crave connection and love and understanding and acceptance, we walk around flinching and shielding ourselves from the innocent (or probing) questions of others. We reject invitations to talk about ourselves, to share our experiences, to open our hearts and minds to what's possible when we transform the fear and move forward in life.

And yet, when we can overcome this fear, when we tell our truth, that's when things take off for us. That's when the money starts flowing in; that's when relationships becoming fulfilling and meaningful; that's when friends show up out of the woodwork with support and love; that's when we feel so spiritually connected with who we are and what we desire, that the Universe can't help but deliver!

As with all things, this comes with a flipside too. Telling our truth can lead to things taking off for us that we didn't know we didn't want. Relationships may crumble; money might stop flowing from the source we've depended on for so long; friend groups may change; and even though the Universe always delivers, we might feel lost ourselves for a little (or long) while. We might come to the realization that the entire life we've been living up to this point, wasn't really ours all along. We might discover and learn the hard truth about what we've been convincing ourselves that we wanted or needed or hoped or dreamed for: that none of it was actually true.

So when we look at the pros and cons of showing up in our authenticity, in telling our truth, there are definitely flipsides to both things. It's completely understandable that so many of us are terrified to show up in our truth. Whether it's fear of losing money or losing friends or finding out our carefully crafted life is not what we wanted or even discovering that it is exactly what we wanted and now we're terrified of our success, telling our truth always leads to change. 

But it can also lead to our greatest success. For easier or harder, better or worse, showing up as we authentically are will always lead to a deep inner peace that can't be reached any other way. Knowing that we recognize, see, and are willing to partner with ourselves is the ultimate pinnacle of life, because only then can we be truly guided by the spiritual power and divine intuition that's within all of us.

So if you're on a journey of authenticity, if you're committed to sharing your true and higher self, don't give up hope. It might be confusing, it might be rough, or it might be fully glorious and enjoyable; either way, it's you. You are your journey.

To learn more about authenticity and get connected with your authentic self, pick an activity or movement that brings you peace. Get out into nature; brain dump into your journal; pick up a coloring book; go dance or yoga. Do whatever it takes to get you into the truest, most aligned version of you, and let yourself know what you want. Then take that truth, and accept it for what it is. You don't have to go for it, you don't have to rush into things. Just accept. What you find may surprise you.

Share your thoughts in a comment below!